Syrian boy on beach death a fake: One Nation candidate
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE
A ONE Nation candidate claims a three-year-old Syrian refugee who washed up on a beach in 2015 is alive and well.
Queensland candidate for the Cairns based seat of Mulgrave, Peter Rogers, has written a blog post claiming the drowned boy's story was fake and "a lie that changed the world".
"The whole photo thing was fabricated, as it turns out this kid was alive and well," he wrote.
Mr Rogers claimed the photo led to world leaders opening countries' floodgates to refugees who he labelled "fraudsters".
The story of the drowned toddler, Aylan Kurdi, made headlines around the world in September 2015. It was reported the he and his family were Syrian refugees headed for Canada.
The family boarded a small boat that capsized five minutes after leaving Turkey.
Mr Rogers said the story was made up and former Prime Minister Tony Abbott was one of many leaders fooled by the story. He said the then-PM let tens of thousands of refugees into Australia as a result.
Aylan's father, Abdullah Kurdi, spoke to AP about his son's drowning and said he took over and steered the boat. He said the waves were so high that the boat flipped.
He said he grabbed his wife and children but he realised they were all dead.
Mr Rogers said there were holes in the story. He claimed addresses given by Mr Kurdi were contradictory. At one time he lived in Turkey, at another time he lived in Damascus in Syria.
But Mr Kurdi's sister said Mr Kurdi fled from Kobani in Syria to Turkey.
"Was he living in Damascus or Kobani? Kobani is over 500kms from Damascus," Mr Rogers said.
Mr Rogers claimed Mr Kurdi also said he fled from ISIS in Kobani but that ISIS wasn't even in Kobani when his family fled.
The One Nation candidate said the greatest social changes that happened in Australia were founded on lies, and used the Port Arthur massacre as an example.
He was referring to a conspiracy theory that circulated while John Howard was Prime Minister, which suggested convicted killer Martin Bryant did not commit the murders.
Rogers does not give evidence to support the photo or the story being fake.
On Pauline Hanson's One Nation website, Mr Rogers writes that he decided to stand for politics so he could make a difference in the lives of his children and grandchildren.
The small business owner for 35 years writes: "I want the Australia back that I grew up in."