French Pro-Migration Activists Prosecuted for Aiding Illegal Immigration

A picture taken on April 23, 2018 shows a sign board reading "Stop Police" at the French checkpoint of French Border Police in Montgenevre on the border between France and Italy in the Alps. - France's interior minister said, on April 22, 2018, he would send "significant" security reinforcements to …

Two pro-migration activists are being prosecuted for helping Afghan migrants illegally cross the Italian border into France in November of last year.

The two activists, 28-year-old Thibault C. and 31-year-old Alexandre W., are accused of aiding an Afghan family to illegally cross the border in the commune of Montgenèvre after police observed them assisting the Afghans prior to their arrest on November 19th.

Around 300 people demonstrated outside of the courtroom on Thursday where the trial was being held, including Green Party MEPs Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield and Damien Careme, Le Dauphine reports.

Florent Crouhy has requested the two men be handed a two-month suspended prison sentence and but claims the pair should not be equated with people-smugglers.

Their defence has called for both men to be released from custody.

A decision on the case is expected next month on May 27th.

The hearing comes just a week after a 42-year-old Congolese refugee was given a 10-month suspended sentence for aiding illegal migration in the Montgenèvre area after being arrested in February of this year with two illegal migrants in his vehicle.

The African migrant, who lives in Italy but often travels from Turin to Lyon to see family members, had claimed that he did not know the situation of the migrants and that he had not asked for their papers as they were family to one of his friends.

Earlier this month, two French journalists were also arrested in Montgenèvre after police mistook the pair for people -mugglers as they were following a group of migrants crossing the French border from Italy. The pair were released the following day.

While activists and people-smugglers continue to operate at the French-Italian border, activists of the now-disbanded anti-mass migration group Generation Identitaire face investigation for attempts to block illegal migration there.

In February, the prosecutor’s office in Saint-Gaudens in the French Pyrenees launched an investigation into an action by the group along the Spanish border that was later handed over to the Central Office for Combating Crimes Against Humanity, Genocide, and War Crimes (OCLCH).

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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