Three human smugglers have been sentenced by a Turkish court to 125 years each in the 2015 drowning incident of Alan Kurdi, the Syrian toddler whose death became a symbol of the global refugee crisis, according to the CBC news website.
The 3-year-old’s tiny body was pictured lying face down on the beach of a southern Turkish shoreline. His family was fleeing to Greece in the hopes of eventually joining family in Vancouver when the 15-foot rubber raft carrying them capsized. Alan’s 5-year-old brother and mother also died.
As the image spread around the world, thousands of people rallied in support of the family, and Canada’s refugee policy was brought into question, even becoming a central issue in the 2015 federal election campaign.
Last month Turkey opened its doors for migrants trying to cross into Europe, sending thousands of refugees to the Greek border.
According to the UNHCR, 5.6 million Syrians are refugees, and another 6.2 million people are displaced within Syria.