Iraq, family mourns daughter who drowned crossing to UK

A wake for Nouri, Maryam Nouri who died this week along with at least 26 others in an ill-fated voyage with dreams of reaching the United Kingdom, was held in Soran on Sunday in Iraq’s Kurdish semi-autonomous northern region. Male relatives sat outside the family home, counting prayer beads in her memory, in line with local customs. Her body has not yet been returned to Iraq, pending legal issues, they said.

Nouri, 24, had boarded an inflatable boat carrying people with hopes of being reunited with her fiance, Karzan, in Britain. She had managed to get a Schengen visa to Europe, and travelled to Italy on November 1, and later to Germany and France.

Aid groups blamed European governments for increasingly hardline migration policies they say are driving the recent surge in smuggling.

Nouri had tried many times to get a visa to the UK but was unsuccessful.