Eight-year-old boy held for more than a week in French airport
REUTERS photoAn unaccompanied 8-year-old boy has spent more than a week at a holding area of a Paris airport after trying to enter France on a false passport, with rights groups accusing the government of breaking international law by keeping him detained.
The boy arrived at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport on March 21, having been put on a flight from the Comoros Islands, nearly 8,000km away off the east coast of Africa, by his mother.
The boy, carrying just a Spider-Man backpack and a French passport in his cousin’s name, had been due to meet a family member already living in France upon his arrival.
His mother wanted him to have a chance of a better life in France, according to reports in the French press.
But when authorities noticed the false passport, he was detained in one of the airport’s holding areas – the same used for adult passengers suspected of trying to enter France illegally.
On Friday, the Paris appeals court ruled that the boy’s detention at the airport should be extended “in the interests of his own protection” until a decision is made on his future.
Under French law, both adults and children who arrive in the country without papers can be held for up to 20 days before being either admitted or deported.
Read more on France 24.