One Nation candidate Peter Rogers’ blog claims drowned Syrian toddler photo, Port Arthur massacre fake – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

One Nation candidate Peter Rogers’ blog claims drowned Syrian toddler photo, Port Arthur massacre fake

By Patrick Williams and Francis Tapim Updated Thu Jan 12 22:17:25 EST 2017
Aylan and Galip Kurdi
Aylan (L) and Ghaleb Kurdi died when their boat sank off the coast of Turkey in 2015.
A blog post on the website of One Nation candidate Peter Rogers says images of a three-year-old Syrian refugee washed up on a beach in 2015, along with Tasmania’s Port Arthur massacre, were fabricated.

The comments on both incidents come from an undated article on the far north Queensland candidate’s website titled “The drowned boy, the lie that changed the world”.

The website said images of a three-year-old Syrian refugee washed up on a beach in 2015 were fabricated and the boy is “alive and well”.

Peter Rogers
Photo Mr Rogers is running as the One Nation candidate for Mulgrave in Queensland.

Facebook: Peter Rogers – Pauline Hanson’s One Nation

Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi’s lifeless body washed up on a Turkish beach in 2015 amid Europe’s migrant crisis.

The toddler died after his family, sheltering in Turkey from the war in Syria, decided to make a desperate bid to reach Greece from Turkey in a flimsy inflatable boat.

Aylan’s mother Rihana and brother Ghaleb, four, died in the same incident.

Images of Aylan sparked outrage around the world and helped spur European nations to seek an effective response to the growing migrant crisis.

“The whole photo thing was fabricated, as it turns out this kid was alive and well,” the post read.

Warning: This story contains graphic images that some readers may find distressing.

The post went on to target Aylan’s father Abdullah Kurdi over what was called varied accounts of the drowning.

“His story is made-up. He was never on that boat to watch his wife and children drown,” the post read.

“Listen to all the contradictions and holes in his story. This is an attempt to send his wife and children before him, while he never lived in a war zone.

A man holds a placard with a photograph of three-year-old Syrian refugee boy Aylan Kurdi.
Photo A man holds a placard with a photograph of Aylan.

Reuters: Paul Hanna
“After leaving from what they say was a war zone (Syria is huge and the entire country is not a war zone) the Kurdi family was given FREE housing in Turkey and had been there for THREE years. Abdullah Kurdi was not in any war zone! He was safe, he had food, he had over $4,400 in cash, which is over 13,000 Turkish Lira – so why did he leave?

“Frankly the whole story simply doesn’t add up.”

The blog references numerous news articles, claiming they each contradicted Mr Kurdi’s initial story.

“It’s all fraud. All of this explains his dry crocodile tears. They’re intentionally frauding the system. And now they also push propaganda to open the floodgates to the rest of these fraudsters,” the post read.

More than one million refugees and migrants came to the European Union in 2015, including more than 970,000 who made the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, the UN refugee agency said on Tuesday.

Port Arthur massacre ‘total lies’

The blog also made mention of the 1996 Port Arthur massacre.

“The greatest social changes that happen in Australia are founded on total lies and a fabricated incident. Look at Port Arthur,” it read.

Tasmanian Greens senator Nick McKim said the statement was politics at its absolute worst.

“They should result in him being disendorsed as a One Nation candidate and Pauline Hanson apologising to the people of Tasmania for what is a really grievous insult and big lie,” Senator McKim said.

The ABC has contacted Mr Rogers and One Nation for comment.

Posted Thu Jan 12 20:43:50 EST 2017

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