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French court drops case against Amnesty volunteer who helped migrants

AFP  |  Nice (France) 

A today ordered charges dropped against a 73-year-old International volunteer who helped two underage Africans enter the country, one of several cases involving activists assisting migrants on the move through

was accused of aiding the Guinean youths to cross back into illegally after they were arrested and returned to during a raid at the farm where they had been sheltering.

She had been facing up to five years in prison or a maximum 30,000 euro fine (USD 35,000), though courts have often given much lighter sentences.

But last week France's ruled that people could not be charged for helping migrants, saying such punishments went against a basic French "principle of fraternity".

At the court in Nice today, the said Landry "had at no point sought to break the law, acting to the contrary in line with the law".

The pensioner argued that she stepped in to help the boys, said by to be 15 years old, only after they crossed onto French soil and took them to the police to register for asylum.

"I am very happy to have done this because I applied the law, I am delighted and ready to start again," Landry said after the decision.

"Today's decision is not only a victory for justice but also for common sense. did nothing wrong," Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty's director, said in a statement.

Landry's case had become a cause celebre among critics of Emmanuel Macron's tough stance on migration after a sharp influx of people fleeing war and misery since 2015.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, July 13 2018. 20:20 IST