ANKARA, Turkey – Two alleged people-smugglers are on trial in Turkey accused of causing the death of 3-year-old Syrian migrant boy Alan Kurdi and four other people.
The image of the boy – his lifeless body lying face down on a beach – galvanized world attention on the refugee crisis, graphically illustrating the magnitude of the suffering and the treacherous journeys the migrants risk.
The trial against Syrian nationals Muwafaka Alabash and Asem Alfrhad opened in the Aegean resort of Bodrum on Thursday.
The two face up to 35 years in prison each if convicted of the charges of human smuggling and causing the deaths of five people “through deliberate negligence.”
Kurdi’s brother and mother also drowned in the ill-fated journey from Bodrum to the Greek island of Kos.
The boy’s aunt, Tima Kurdi, welcomed her brother Mohammad Kurdi and his wife and five kids to Vancouver in late December.
With files from The Canadian Press