NEWS

Alan Kurdi's Father Blames Canada For Family's Death

09/10/2015 04:24 EDT | Updated 09/10/2016 05:12 EDT
The father of a three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed up on a Turkish beach has told a German newspaper that he blames Canadian authorities for the tragedy that also killed his wife and another son.

Abdullah Kurdi tells Die Welt that he does not understand why Canada rejected his application for asylum.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada, however, says it received no refugee application from Kurdi, and Tima Kurdi, his sister in Coquitlam, B.C., says she hasn't made one.

CIC did, however, receive an application for Kurdi's brother, Mohammed, but said it was incomplete and did not meet regulatory requirements for proof of refugee status recognition.

Tima Kurdi has said that although there was no official application made for Abdullah's asylum, his plight was brought to the attention of Immigration Minister Chris Alexander when her local NDP MP handed over a letter to him in the House of Commons earlier this year.

The Kurdi boys and their mother were among at least 12 migrants, including five children, who drowned Sept. 2 when two boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized.

"Yes, the authorities in Canada, which rejected my application for asylum, even though there were five families who were willing to support us financially," Abdullah Kurdi replied when asked by Die Welt at whom he levelled blame for the tragedy.

The heartbreaking photo of Abdullah's drowned youngest boy — wearing a bright-red T-shirt and blue shorts — was met with a global outcry and galvanized the debate on the migrant crisis in Europe.

It also prompted Canada's opposition parties to pressure Prime Minister Stephen Harper to expedite the process for refugee resettlement.

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