Thursday, February 4, 2010

Americans Charged with Kidnapping 33 Children in Haiti

"U.S. missionaries charged with kidnapping in Haiti"
February 4, 2010
CNN's Karl Penhaul contributed to this report

"Ten Americans who were detained last week while trying to take 33 Haitian children out of the country were charged Thursday with kidnapping children and criminal association, a government official said.

The 10 were returned to jail in Port-au-Prince after their court hearing in the case Thursday, CNN's Karl Penhaul reported.

The Americans say they were just trying to help the children leave the earthquake-stricken country, but Haiti's prime minister has said that the group was kidnapping the children.

The Americans were turned back as they tried to take the children across the border into the Dominican Republic without proper documentation. They said they were going to house them in a converted hotel in that country and later move them to an orphanage they were building there...

Some of the detained Americans have said they thought they were helping orphans, but their interpreters told CNN Wednesday that they were present when group members spoke with the children's parents. Some parents in a village outside Port-au-Prince said they had willingly given their children over to the Americans, who promised them a better life, and who said they could see their children whenever they wanted to."

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