Pensioner goes on trial in France for helping migrants

Martine Landy is charged with aiding two underage Africans to illegally enter France, in latest case involving activists assisting migrants.

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A 73-year-old Amnesty International volunteer appeared in court in France on Wednesday charged with helping two underage Africans illegally enter the country, the latest case involving activists assisting migrants on the move through Europe, reports FRANCE 24.

The trial of pensioner Martine Landry is the first of its kind in France involving a member of Amnesty.

It comes a day before three activists -- two Swiss and one Italian -- appear in court for helping a group of migrants cross from Italy to France through a pass in the Alps in April.

Landry is the coordinator of Amnesty's refugee response in southeast France.

She risks up to five years in prison and a fine of 30,000 euros ($34,700) if convicted of illegally assisting two Guinean youths in July 2017.

She is accused of helping the pair, both aged 15 according to Amnesty, cross back into France after they were arrested and returned to Italy during a raid on the home of olive farmer and activist Cédric Herrou, where they had been sheltering.

Landry claims that she did not help the teens re-enter France after they were turned back at the border by Italian police.

The white-haired campaigner said she stepped in only after they crossed onto French soil and took them to the police to register for asylum.

Read more of this report from FRANCE 24.

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