A Turkish court awarded four years and two months' jail term to two Syrian smugglers in connection with the drowning of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, the Associated Press cited state-run media as saying Friday. The body of the migrant boy from Syria washed up on a beach in Turkey last September.
The two Syrian nationals were convicted of human trafficking, but they were found not guilty of causing the deaths of Kurdi and four other migrants "through deliberate negligence," the AP cited Anadolu Agency as saying.
The convicts were identified as Muwafaka Alabash and Asem Alfrhad. Their trial began Feb. 11 in the Aegean resort of Bodrum. During the hearing, the duo claimed innocence and accused Aylan's father Abdullah Kurdi, who survived the sinking, of organising the trip, acording to the AP.
"I don't know why I am here or why I have been jailed for the past five months. My family spoke with the survivors after the accident. They said Abdullah Kurdi headed this (organisation) and that he then went on television as a hero," Alfrhad told the court, adding he was on a business trip in Bodrum.
Aylan, along with his mother Rihan, five-year-old brother Galip and two others drowned while attempting to reach the Greek island of Kos, hoping to migrate to European nations for a safer life. The Kurdis belonged to Kobane in northern Syria.
The photograph of Aylan's body on the Turkish beach became a symbol of the migrant crisis in Europe and the situation in some of the nations in the Middle East. Over 400 migrants have died while trying to sail through the Mediterranean Sea to reach safer places, according to the International Organisation for Migration.