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Chad president considering pardon of 'Darfur orphan' airlift workers

[JURIST] Chadian President Idriss Deby said Thursday that he is prepared to pardon [recorded audio, in French] six aid workers convicted in Chad in December of attempting to kidnap [JURIST reports] 103 African children. In an interview with Europe-1 radio, Deby said that he was willing to issue a pardon but could only do so if he received a request from France. A French court sentenced the workers to eight years in prison in January after Chadian authorities allowed them to return to France [JURIST reports] in late December.

The aid workers, affiliated with Zoe's Ark [advocacy website], said they were attempting to airlift orphaned children [JURIST news archive] from the war-torn Sudanese region of Darfur, but investigations revealed that most of the children were not Sudanese or orphans. In January, another aid worker was charged in French court [JURIST report] with conspiring to allow illegal residents into the country in connection with the foiled airlift. AP has more.

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