Human Rights Voices

While the UN devotes its human rights operations to the demonization of the democratic state of Israel above all others and condemns the United States more often than the vast majority of non-democracies around the world, the voices of real victims around the world must be heard.

Islamic State, September 3, 2015

'My Wife and Two Boys are Dead' said Father Whose Family Fled ISIS

Original source

Daily Mail

The grief-stricken father of the migrant brothers whose bodies washed up on the shores of the Mediterranean phoned relatives after the tragedy but only managed to utter the words: 'My wife and two boys are dead'.

Little Galip, five, and Aylan Kurdi, three, were on an overcrowded dinghy filled with refugees fleeing the war in Syria when it capsized shortly into the crossing to the Greek island of Kos.

Pictures of Aylan's limp body in the sand and of it being carried by a local gendarme has come to epitomise the crisis engulfing Europe as a tide of humanity flees the horrors in the Middle East.

Both boys died in the sea alongside their mother, Rehan, while their father Abdullah survived.

Now the boys' aunt has spoken for the first time of the moment a grief-stricken Mr Kurdi called relatives after the tragedy.

The news comes as heartbreaking new photographs emerged of Galip and Aylan - who fled the ISIS-besieged Syrian city of Kobane to start a new life in Europe - including one showing the boys smiling and laughing as they sit together next to a large teddy bear.

Aylan and Galip, who were not wearing lifejackets, did not stand a chance when the boat overturned in the dead of night, some 30 minutes after it set off from the holiday resort of Bodrum in Turkey.

All 17 passengers were flung into the Mediterranean, and despite the calm water, Galip and Aylan drowned.

Their lifeless bodies, still clad in tiny T-shirts and shorts, washed up on Ali Hoca Point Beach in Bodrum today and boatmen alerted the authorities.

The boys' aunt has spoken of the moment a heartbroken Abdullah Kurdi telephoned relatives to tell them about the tragedy.

'I heard the news at five o'clock in this morning,' Vancouver-based Teema Kurdi told National Post.

She said that learned of the tragedy through a telephone call from Ghuson Kurdi, the wife of another brother, Mohammad, who had spoken with the bereaved father.

'She had got a call from Abdullah, and all he said was, "my wife and two boys are dead",' she explained.

According to Mr Kurdi's Facebook page, he was originally from Damascus in Syria but had been living in Istanbul, Turkey. He uploaded a photograph of himself in Turkey in August 2014.

The aunt said an application to sponsor the family to go to Canada was rejected in June.

'I was trying to sponsor them, and I have my friends and my neighbours who helped me with the bank deposits, but we couldn't get them out, and that is why they went in the boat,' she added.

She added that Mr Kurdi now plans to return to the family's war torn home town of Kobane in order to lay the boys and their mother to rest. He said he wants to be buried alongside them.

Canadian legislator Fin Donnelly told The Canadian Press he had submitted a request on behalf on the boys' aunt, but that it was turned down by Canadian immigration officials.

A heartbreaking photograph of a Turkish gendarme cradling one of the boys in his arms emerged shortly after the tragedy and video footage showed the body of the second.

In total, 13 passengers - including the Kurdish brothers, their mother Rehan, 35, and another three children - are believed to have died. The boys' father Abdullah made it back to shore.

According to local reports the boats were part of a flotilla of dinghys that were boarded at an inlet before puttering out to the sea off Akyarlar – the nearest point from Turkey to the Greek island of Kos.

Another dinghy among the flotilla, which was carrying a further 16 refugees to Kos, also capsized.

Turkish authorities reported that eight were confirmed as drowned, four more were still missing and just four had managed to survive.

The fisherman who found the brothers' bodies told the BBC: 'I came to the sea and I was scared. My heart is broken.'