Turkey holds two human-smugglers in custody over drowing Syrian toddler, Aylan

Alan Kurdi (L) drowned trying to make a sea crossing, alongside his brother Galib (R) and their mother
Alan Kurdi (L) drowned trying to make a sea crossing, alongside his brother Galib (R) and their mother

Two suspected people-smugglers are on trial in connection with the death of Alan Kurdi and four other people.

Alan was the Syrian three-year-old whose photograph – lying dead on a beach – focused world attention on the refugee crisis in September 2015.

Mufawaka Alabash and Asem Alfrhad, both Syrian nationals, are being tried in Bodrum, the same Turkish seaside city where his body was washed up.

Mr Alabash and Mr Alfrhad face up to 35 years in prison each if found guilty.

They are charged with human smuggling and with causing the deaths of five people “through deliberate negligence”.

Both said they were innocent of the charges at the hearing on Thursday, which, the BBC understands, has already finished.

Their next hearing will be in early March and the men will remain in custody until then.

Alan’s five-year-old brother Galib and his mother Rihan also drowned when the boat they were on sank during an attempted crossing to the Greek island of Kos.

The father of the family, Abdullah, survived. He is currently thought to be living outside Turkey.

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