Dream of Europe turns deadly at Bulgaria’s border

The journey to Europe by a family of Iraqi refugees ended in tragedy after Bulgarian officials blocked their path. Trifa’s story illustrates the human cost of closing borders. Dimitar Ganev reports.

When 30-year-old Trifa Kader Sedeeq embarked on her arduous trip from Iraq to the EU in search of asylum, she had no idea that the quest would cost the lives of three people she loves: Her husband, brother and sister-in-law froze to death in the snow near the Bulgarian-Turkish border.

Trifa Kader’s family comes from Irbil,  the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, which in recent years has been shaken by suicide bombings. Still, compared to other parts of Iraq, the city is considered a relatively safe zone.

However, Trifa’s husband, Najad, and her brother Rebwar, who worked as journalists for the Iraqi newspaper Hawlati, found themselves the targets of government repression, she says. Hawlati apparently closed around two years ago.

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(Photo (c) Jodi Hilton)