- The Washington Times - Friday, March 4, 2016

Two men linked to the death of Syrian toddler who washed up on a Turkish beach were convicted Friday of human trafficking and sentenced to serve four years in prison each.

Photos of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi’s body facedown on a Turkish beach in September prompted global outrage and sympathy for refugees fleeing violence in the Middle East and North Africa and shone a light on the dangerous trek migrants take across the Mediterranean to reach Europe.

A Turkish court in the coastal city of Bodrum did not convict the two smugglers, Muwafaka Alabash and Asem Alfrhad, for the deaths of Aylan, his mother and brother and two other migrants who died crossing the Agean sea last year, NPR reported.

The defendants maintain their innocence, asserting that the child’s father, Abdullah Kurdi, is responsible for the deaths since he arranged the trip, The Associated Press reported.

Mr. Kurdi has returned to Syria since the tragedy, calling on “the whole world to open its doors to Syrians.”

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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