A nice teacher convicted of helping migrants
November 24, 2016 by lagazettedeputeaux | Change
Arrested in October with three illegal in his car, Pierre-Alain Mannoni denies having acted in militant or passer. He risks five years imprisonment and 30,000 euro fine.
figarofr: Manifestation of support to Pierre – Alain Mannoni, pursued for having facilitated the illegal stay of migrants in the Valley of Roya. YANN COATSALIOU/AFP Manifestation of support to Pierre – Alain Mannoni, pursued for having facilitated the illegal stay of migrants in the Roya Valley.
Pierre-Alain Mannoni appeared, on Wednesday, before the correctional tribunal of Nice for facilitating the stay of irregular migrants in the Roya Valley, on the border with the Italy. On October 17, the Professor of the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis was arrested by gendarmes in the toll of the Turbie with three young Eritrean in his car. He wanted them to take a train to Marseille. ‘They were afraid, they were cold, they were exhausted, they had band-AIDS on the hands, legs, one limping by faces of pain and the other couldn’t carry his bag with his injured hand’, he says in his article published on Mediapart. After 36 hours of police custody, the Niçois is released under judicial control. His car is seized and he is forbidden to leave Nice.
The teacher had already helped another group of migrants before, but unmolested. With his daughter, he returned from the Festival of the sheep in the Brig, a small village near Ventimiglia, main crossing point used by migrants to cross the French-Italian border. On the road, he comes across a group of Sudanese who lined the road. « These four young people were completely lost and were heading on foot, some in shorts, the snowy mountains, » says Pierre-Alain Mannoni on Mediapart. He takes them in his car and welcomes them into his apartment for the night. The next morning, he deposits them in a « small little monitored by the police station » and pays them a ticket to the first part of the trip which should take them to Marseilles, where they have family.
For having facilitated the illegal stay of three Eritrean women in France, the Nice teacher risk five years imprisonment and 30,000 euro fine. The same day, a community activist, Cédric Hérrou, appeared on the same grounds. But Pierre – Alain Mannoni, him, defends to have acted in an activist, and even less in passer. « My gesture is neither political or militant, it is simply human and any average citizen could have done », he wrote in a letter filed in court. «This hearing is crucial, believes his lawyer, Me Maeva Binimelis.» Condemn him for what he did, to ban to rescue people in danger of death. »
Cécile Duflot denounces an « absurd » situation
The case involves many supporters around the accused. Pierre-Alain Mannoni has the support of the education Union superior Snesup-FSU, nearly 700 teachers-researchers in majority of Provence-Côte d’Azur, several inhabitants of the French-Italian Valley of the Roya and members of Europe ecology the Greens (EELV). In total, between 100 and 200 people gathered outside the Court before the commencement of the hearing. A petition launched by his mother online has raised nearly 60,000 signatures. A collection to pay for legal costs raised 6300 euros.
His supporters denounced a criminalisation of assistance to migrants. Cécile Duflot present before the tribunal prior to the hearing, denounced an « absurd » situation « I am shocked by what happens on the judicial level. «I hope that the tribunal will be wise and respectful of the fact that this man is simply a human who demonstrates humanity.» David Nakache, a former Socialist politician from Nice, also came to the Court to mark his support: « Today, we have citizens forced to break the law, because the State does not meet its obligations, » he told AFP. The case was made under advisement