Brighton beach body bags highlight EU migrant crisis

_82481160_82480904Two hundred body bags were placed on Brighton beach in a protest to highlight the UK’s response to the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.

Amnesty International supporters were zipped into some of the bags in the first few rows, alongside a banner saying #DontLetThemDrown.

Bags were lined up in rows in front of the East Sussex resort’s Big Wheel close to the pier.

The protest came ahead of an EU leaders’ meeting over the crisis.

David Cameron will attend the summit in Brussels, which will discuss a response to the growing problem.

Amnesty UK director Kate Allen said: “Until now, the UK government’s response has been shameful but finally they have been woken up to the need to act.

“EU governments must now urgently turn their rhetoric into action to stop more people drowning on their way to Europe.”

‘Horrific loss’

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Home Secretary Theresa May and other EU ministers met in Luxembourg on Monday to discuss the situation ahead of Thursday’s meeting.

After that session, Mrs May said: “Everybody is very concerned about the horrific loss of life that we have seen in the Mediterranean but there is no quick fix.

“We have to have a comprehensive approach which looks at a variety of issues… Crucially, we need to step up a gear in terms of dealing with the human traffickers and their ships.

“We will be looking at enhanced co-operation between law enforcement agencies, at how we can work better with third countries to ensure these journeys don’t start, don’t happen in the first place and how we can more effectively return illegal migrants.

“The European Council will obviously take these issues forward.”

BBC News April