Two More Refugees Arrested After Walking Length of Channel Tunnel

Eurotunnel Migrant Crisis
Migrants waits near a fence with razor barbs as an Eurotunnel freight shuttle goes to England by Channel Tunnel in Calais, August 2. Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

Two Iranian men who walked the 31 mile-length of the Channel Tunnel from the French port town of Calais in an effort to reach Britain have been remanded in custody on their arrival in England, according to Kent police.

Payam Moradi Mirahessari, 25, and Farein Vahdani, 20, were arrested on Saturday afternoon and charged with obstructing an engine or carriage using the railway, under the Malicious Damage Act 1861, according to a police statement. They appeared before Medway Magistrates' Court on Monday and were remanded in custody.

In August, a Sudanese man, Abdul Haroun, 40, was also arrested after he attempted the same journey by foot, walking alongside trains capable of traveling up to 100mph. He was charged with the same offence as Mirahessari and Vahdani and remanded in custody. If Haroun's case goes to trial, it will begin in January.

Since June, 13 people have died attempting to cross the Channel, with the majority being hit by freight trains. The latest person killed on the tracks was an Eritrean man in his 20s, who was hit by a freight train last week.

An estimated 3,000 people, mostly from Syria, Iraq and Eritrea, live in several makeshift camps near the entrance to the Channel crossing on the French side, according to the BBC.

Charity workers who have been to these camps told Newsweek earlier this year that the refugees, including children, were living in very poor conditions and that some were suffering from gangrene, scabies, severe diarrhoea and breathing difficulties.

Channel operator Eurotunnel was forced to close the tunnel early on Saturday morning after a "large and co-ordinated" group stormed the railway tracks at Calais, the Independent reported.