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French Courts Get Test Case on Right of Jewish Political Refugees to Asylum in Country

January 27, 1948
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A test case seeking to establish that laws concerning illegal entry to France shall not be invoked against Jewish refugees seeking political asylum is now in the Paris courts.

The prosecution of the two Jewish defendants, Abraham Sonnabend and Magdalen Reichenstein, came as a surprise to the Jewish community because of recent assurances by the Ministry of Justice that prosecution for illegal entry would be dropped in cases involving Jewish refugees. It is for this reason that the major Jewish organizations have decided to carry the case to a final decision and establish a precedent.

Previous to their arrest and prosecution the status of both of the defendants was legalized and they were issued labor permits. Among the prominent leaders of the Resistance who testified in behalf of the defense were Justin Godart, former cabinet member, and Charles Lederman, chairman of the Jewish Union for Resistance and Mutual Aid.

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