French activist Jose Bove denied entry into US

9th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 9, 2006 (AFP) - French anti-globalisation icon Jose Bové arrived back in Paris on Thursday after being turned away at the US border due to his past convictions for trashing a McDonalds restaurant and GM crops.

PARIS, Feb 9, 2006 (AFP) -  French anti-globalisation icon Jose Bové arrived back in Paris on Thursday after being turned away at the US border due to his past convictions for trashing a McDonalds restaurant and GM crops.

A smiling Bové told reporters at Paris' Charles De Gaulle airport that he had been caught up in a "senseless" and "grotesque" incident.

"I was turned back by the American authorities when I handed over my passport," the farmer activist, who was jailed for wrecking a fast-food outlet in southern France in 1999, told AFP.

Bové said the authorities in New York had declared him in violation of immigration rules due to past convictions over the McDonalds incident and for ripping out genetically-modified (GM) crops.

The French embassy in Washington said there had been a "misunderstanding", and that Bové had failed to report the convictions on his immigration form because he believed the question related only to convictions on US soil.

The anti-globalisation leader had been due to speak at a conference at Cornell University in New York state.

Bové said he had freely entered the United States on several occasions since his convictions, and questioned whether the incident revealed a "hardening of the administration" of President George W. Bush.

The activist — who has campaigned fiercely against genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in Europe — also noted that the decision coincided with a World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling on GMOs in favour of the United States.

Last December, Bové briefly faced expulsion from Hong Kong on the eve of WTO talks, but was finally allowed to enter the territory after the French government intervened.

In 2003, he was prevented from travelling to a WTO summit in Mexico.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

 

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