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Bulgarians raised fund to bury killed Afghan refugees, bodies still in Refrigerator

Shocking cases of refugees have been circulated throughout media outlets and continue to circulate, with the latest story on Afghan citizens who lost their lives in a car accident in Bulgaria.

Afghan refugees, living on the Canal Saint Martin, underneath a bridge. | Wikimedia

The goFundme platform shed light on the matter as it set an online fundraising campaign to collect around 15 thousand pounds needed to cover the repatriation of the bodies of the dead citizens who were lost their lives in June in the south of the country, particularly in Pazardjik city.

According to the source, the organizers of the campaign stated that the bodies have remained in the hospital in Pazardjik for over a month and have not yet been reclaimed or repatriated to Afghanistan because their families are very poor and cannot afford to pay for the cargo of the dead bodies.

The six Afghans were killed in what the prosecution described as a suspected smuggling of migrants, along with other three Pakistanis. Eight other immigrants were injured. Their 16-year-old Bulgarian driver died in the crash as well after he lost control of the vehicle and hit a tree on the highway connecting Sofia with Burgas on the Black Sea.

The bodies of the Pakistani citizens have been recognized and will be transported to Islamabad next Tuesday with the assistance of the Pakistan embassy while the bodies of the six Afghan migrants remain in a mortuary refrigerator at the Pazardjik hospital.

According to the law, bodies of foreign citizens have to be identified before being transported back home to be buried by their families.

The expenses of the process are usually covered by the family of the deceased or by the diplomatic body present at the host country such as the embassy. Sources asked the Afghan embassy in Sofia to clarify whether it had taken steps to identify and return the bodies of the victims to Afghanistan, but received no answer.

Immigrants have been facing deadly accidents during their smuggling or travel. In November 2014, four men were found dead near the village of Kireevo in south-western Bulgaria near the border with Serbia.

In January 2016, border guards found two bodies of young migrants near Kalotina at the Bulgarian-Serbian Border. In September 2016, two Iraqi migrants - a young man and a boy, drowned while attempting to cross the Danube to Romania by boat. Earlier in 2016, a woman and a teenage girl were found frozen to death near the Bulgarian border with Turkey.

A teenage Afghan boy was shot to dead by a Bulgarian border policeman in November 2015. He was later cleared of any charges.

Also, 71 migrants who were found suffocated in an abandoned lorry in Austria in 2015. In 2015 alone, some 2,500 people were reported as dead during their attempt to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.