Europe

French farmer faces risk of prison for helping migrants

  • Cedric Herrou, center, a French activist farmer who faces up to five years in prison as he goes on trial accused of helping African migrants cross the border from Italy, arrives at the Nice courthouse, southern France, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. Herrou is charged of helping illegal migrants enter France, travel in France and stay in France. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

    Cedric Herrou, center, a French activist farmer who faces up to five years in prison as he goes on trial accused of helping African migrants cross the border from Italy, arrives at the Nice courthouse, southern France, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. Herrou is charged of helping illegal migrants enter France, travel in France and stay in France. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)  (The Associated Press)

  • A crowd supports Cedric Herrou, a French activist farmer who faces up to five years in prison as he goes on trial accused of helping African migrants cross the border from Italy, with a banner reading "Yes to solidarity and Welcome migrants and refugees", outside the Nice courthouse, southern France, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. Herrou is charged of helping illegal migrants enter France, travel in France and stay in France. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

    A crowd supports Cedric Herrou, a French activist farmer who faces up to five years in prison as he goes on trial accused of helping African migrants cross the border from Italy, with a banner reading "Yes to solidarity and Welcome migrants and refugees", outside the Nice courthouse, southern France, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. Herrou is charged of helping illegal migrants enter France, travel in France and stay in France. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)  (The Associated Press)

  • Supporters of Cedric Herrou, a French activist farmer who faces up to five years in prison as he goes on trial accused of helping African migrants cross the border from Italy, with posters reading "I am Cedric", outside the Nice courthouse, southern France, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. Herrou is charged of helping illegal migrants enter France, travel in France and stay in France. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

    Supporters of Cedric Herrou, a French activist farmer who faces up to five years in prison as he goes on trial accused of helping African migrants cross the border from Italy, with posters reading "I am Cedric", outside the Nice courthouse, southern France, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. Herrou is charged of helping illegal migrants enter France, travel in France and stay in France. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)  (The Associated Press)

A French activist farmer faces up to five years in prison as he goes on trial accused of helping African migrants cross the border from Italy.

The case has called attention to residents of the Roya valley in the Alps and others who have resisted anti-migrant sentiment and are offering food, lodging or other aid to people from impoverished or war-torn countries coming to Europe illegally.

Cedric Herrou is slated to go on trial Wednesday in Nice on charges of helping illegal migrants enter France, travel in France and stay in France. Activists plan a rally nearby.

In addition to potential prison time, he faces 30,000 euros in possible fines.

Herrou says he's doing his civic duty and will keep helping the migrants, who are mainly from Eritrea and Sudan.