Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Competing narratives in Malaysia Airlines disaster coverage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

  • Israel hits targets in Gaza despite diplomatic efforts for ceasefire

    Read more

  • Flight MH17 shot down ‘by mistake,' US intelligence indicates

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with sale of warship to Russia

    Read more

  • Conflicting rulings by two US courts cast shadow on future of Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv over Israel-Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Children killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

Americas

American missionaries charged with child kidnapping

Video by FRANCE 2

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-02-05

Ten US missionaries were charged Thursday, with kidnapping and criminal association for allegedly trying to take 33 children illegally out of the earthquake-hit country. The Haitian justice minister said they should be tried in Haiti, not the US.

AFP - Ten American Christians were Thursday charged in quake-hit Haiti with child abduction and criminal conspiracy, but should not be sent for trial in the United States, officials said.
   
"It is Haitian law that has been violated," Justice Minister Paul Denis told AFP. "It is up to the Haitian authorities to hear and judge the case. I don't see any reason why they should be tried in the United States."
   


The group of five men and five women from an Idaho-based charity were detained on Friday after trying to drive a bus-load of 33 children over the border into the Dominican Republic.
   
They were formally charged with "kidnapping minors and criminal association" on Thursday according to their lawyer Edwin Coq.
   
The group could now face nine years in prison on child kidnapping charges and further jail time for conspiracy.
   
The group has denied any ill intentions, saying they merely trying to help children orphaned and abandoned by the January 12 quake.
   
But amid continued chaos in the Haitian capital the head of Port-au-Prince lawyers' association, Gervais Charles, said any trial would be impossible in the country any time soon.
   
"It is absolutely impossible to carry out the trial for the Americans in Haiti right now. Judicial proceedings have not officially restarted in Port-au-Prince," he said.
   
Earlier government prosecutor Mazan Fortil said it was not yet clear if the 10 could be tried in the Haiti.
   
"We cannot say right now. We have to apply Haitian law. The case will be sent before a judicial panel, to open the investigation," he said.
   
"Everyone who is accused should have the right to a hearing within a reasonable period. I don't see how the Haitian judicial system could guarantee that, especially in such a complex case."
   
But with tens of thousands of children still homeless on the streets of Port-au-Prince, the government is under pressure to clamp down on potential abuse.
   
The UN Children's fund has warned that displaced children are in "significant" danger of being sold into slave-like conditions, trafficked or illegally adopted.
   
UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Hilde Frafjord Johnson also said the 7.0-magnitude quake had presented the agency with its biggest challenge.
   
"The risks of child trafficking, children being sold to slavery-like conditions or illegally adopted... are significant," she said.
   
"As for the number of unaccompanied children, as the situation is unfolding this is the biggest... child protection crisis we've seen," she added.
   
About 40 percent of children were already living in great poverty and some 300,000 were living in orphanages before last month's quake crippled life in the capital Port-au-Prince and surrounding area, UNICEF said.
   
 

Date created : 2010-02-04

  • HAITI EARTHQUAKE

    A homegrown website to help Haitians rebuild

    Read more

  • HAITI EARTHQUAKE

    Haiti: The long road to recovery

    Read more

COMMENT(S)