PARIS, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- A French farmer has been fined a suspended 3,000 euros (3,188 U.S. dollars) for hosting and smuggling migrants.
A court in the southern city of Nice on Friday convicted Cedric Herrou for helping migrants illegally cross the Italian-French border. He would not have to pay the fine provided that he follows the rules and stays clean for five years.
Herrou, a 37-year-old olive grower, assisted nearly 200 migrants in 2016 in their illegal entry from Italy to France, as well as their temporary accommodation in France, the court heard.
But Herrou was defiant. "We will continue to act and neither the threats of officials nor one or two politicians will stop us," Herrou told supporters after the verdict.
"It will only be a victory when we don't have to do this anymore and I can go back to my normal life and my work," he was quoted by France24 as saying.
"It is an act of humanity, not a crime," Herrou has told French radio.
Herrou was not the only person who faces prosecution for helping immigrants. A French university researcher named Pierre-Alain Mannoni got a six-month suspended jail sentence on Jan. 7 for aiding Eritrean migrants.
Such cases reflected the hot-spot debate on immigration, as some worried that rampant migrant flows may pose risks to France's security and become a heavy economic burden.