Alan Kurdi’s aunt has mixed feelings after sentencing in his case

VANCOUVER — The aunt of three-year-old Alan Kurdi says she has mixed feelings after three people were sentenced in the human smuggling case that resulted in the deaths of her nephew, his brother and mother as they fled Syria in 2015.

In an interview on Monday, Tima Kurdi said the sentences bring small comfort to her.

“What can I say? Yes, I am very happy,” said Kurdi, who lives in Coquitlam, B.C.

“But it’s not going to help. It’s not going to bring my family back.”

The English-language website of the official Turkish news agency Anadolu reported on Friday that three organizers of the human trafficking ring involved in the Kurdi case were each sentenced to 125 years in prison.

Kurdi said she heard the news about the sentencing from her brother in Iraq who’s been living there since the tragedy.

“He was very sad to hear about it,” she said.

“He recognized one of those three. It took him back to that time when he was trying to pay the smugglers.”

A photo of Alan’s tiny body washed up on a beach in Turkey focused global attention on the Syrian refugee crisis. His five-year-old brother and mother also died when the boat there were in capsized as they tried to make their way to Greece.

Kurdi said human smugglers are taking advantage of people fleeing war zones.

“They only care about making money,” she added.

Her brother paid the smugglers $4,000 for him, his wife and their two kids, Kurdi said.

“The way it works is the smugglers don’t charge for children but it’s an average of $2,000 per person,” she said.

While the sentencing may deter some, Kurdi said people are desperate to save their families.

“What is the choice people have when you see your whole family struggling to survive?”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Immigration

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer COVID-19 cases reach 20

Red Deer now has 20 cases of COVID-19, an increase of three… Continue reading

A message from the Advocate publisher

In good times and bad, The Red Deer Advocate has been here… Continue reading

Staff at the Central Alberta Humane Society are ‘bracing for more pet dumpings’

Lay-offs and pandemic measures could take a toll on pets

List grows of central Alberta municipalities laying off staff because of pandemic

Lacombe announced it was laying off one-third of staff

Red Deer men whose trailer home destroyed by tragic fire moving on

Trailer home residents asking for a little help from volunteers to clean up the trailer site

WATCH: Firefighters, RCMP help Red Deer boy celebrate 3rd birthday

Firefighters and RCMP officers helped a Red Deer boy celebrate his third… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

Alberta’s energy war room to spend only on ‘subsistence operations’ due to COVID-19

Alberta’s energy war room to spend only on ‘subsistence operations’ due to COVID-19

A message from Waskasoo Medical Clinic

A Message From Waskasoo Medical Clinic Waskasoo Medical Clinic (including our walk-in… Continue reading

Father of Humboldt Bronco disappointed Saskatchewan has relaxed trucking rules

Father of Humboldt Bronco disappointed Saskatchewan has relaxed trucking rules

Alberta education minister resists Opposition calls to rescind mass layoffs

Alberta education minister resists Opposition calls to rescind mass layoffs

Alberta Medical Association calls health-care changes irresponsible during pandemic

Alberta Medical Association calls health-care changes irresponsible during pandemic

Crosby, McDavid favourites again in NHLPA annual poll

Crosby, McDavid favourites again in NHLPA annual poll

Most Read