French aid workers were sentenced to 8 years hard labor in Darfur 'orphans' case

On December 26, 2007, six French aid workers were sentenced to eight years of hard labor after being convicted in a Chadian court for attempting to kidnap 103 African children. The six claimed that they were attempting to airlift orphaned children from the war-torn Sudanese region of Darfur to safety in Europe, but investigations revealed that most of the children were not actually orphans. A bilateral agreement between France and Chad allowed the six convicted workers to serve their sentences in France. French prosecutors urged a criminal court in a suburb of Paris to convert the sentences of the French aid workers from eight years of hard labor to eight years in prison. On January 28, 2008, the sentences were converted. In March 2008, Chadian President Idriss Deby officially pardoned all six French aid workers, and the workers were released from French detention a few hours later.


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