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3 Men Caught, Sentenced Over Infamous Drowning

Turkey sentences them to 125 years each
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2020 4:00 PM CDT
3 Men Caught, Sentenced Over Infamous Drowning
A graffiti showing drowned three year old refugee Alan Kurdi was created at the river Main in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, March 10, 2016.   (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

(Newser) – Turkey has thrown three human traffickers behind bars in the case of a Syrian toddler whose death made headlines around the world, CNN reports. The three organizers, caught by Turkish law enforcement after fleeing the trial, were each sentenced Friday to 125 years in prison. Their crime: "killing with eventual intent." The 3-year-old Syrian, Alan Kurdi, was found face-down on a Turkish beach in 2015; a photograph of his lifeless body immediately symbolized Syria's refugee crisis.

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Alan's father, Adbullah, was the only survivor among family members on a boat taking 14 Syrian refugees to Greece, CBS News recalls. Abdullah's wife, Rihan, 35, and son, Galip, 5, also perished when the boat sank in the Aegean Sea. "The waves were so high, and the captain panicked and jumped into the sea," said Abdullah. "I took my wife and children in my arms, but they were all dead." The family was escaping Kobani, a Syrian town destroyed during an attempted takeover by ISIS. Back in 2016, CNN reported that Turkey sentenced two other men—both Syrians—to four-plus years each for the sinking that claimed Alan Kurdi's life. (Read more Syrian refugees stories.)

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