RFE/RL – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (Autor)
March 05, 2016
A Turkish court sentenced two Syrian smugglers to four years and two months in prison over the death of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, whose lifeless body on a beach focused world attention on the refugee crisis.
The court in Bodrum convicted the two of human trafficking but acquitted them of the charge of causing the drowning death of Aylan and four others through deliberate negligence, authorities said.
A photo of the Syrian boy's body, face down on a Turkish beach, riveted attention by illustrating the migrants' severe suffering, though hundreds of others have faced similar fates.
Aylan's brother, Galip, and mother, Rihan, were also among the five victims who drowned when their boat went down as they attempted to cross the Aegean Sea from Bodrum to the Greek island of Kos last September.
Trials in Turkey usually take months, even years, to conclude. The quick verdict appeared to be an effort by Ankara to show that it is cracking down on human traffickers just before a summit between Turkey and the European Union to discuss the migrant crisis on March 7.
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