The migrant crisis tragedy and the duty of hospitality

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Last week a court in Nice handed down a suspended prison sentence to a farmer convicted of helping the illegal entry of three Eritrean migrants into France. Meanwhile, the Italian authorities this month adopted a hostile approach to NGOs operating missions to rescue migrants from perilous conditions in the Mediterranean, accusing them of aiding illegal immigration. In this op-ed article, Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel denounces what he says is an outrageous criminalisation of fundamental acts of humanity, which illustrates both moral bankruptcy and a gross ignorance of the reality behind the migrant crisis.

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One day we will remember with shame that in France, at the beginning of the 21st century, a democratic society, its state, its rulers and judges, criminalized that elementary gesture of humanity that is called ‘solidarity’.