Europe

Portuguese teens who left names on Auschwitz gate sentenced

  • FILE - This Jan. 27, 2015 file picture shows the Nazi  German death camp in Brzezinka or Birkenau  near Oswiecim, Poland  when  survivors and officials sitting in a tent put up at the red brick gate of the former Nazi German death camp of Birkenau, part of Auschwitz -Birkenau during ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the camp's liberation. On Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017 a local Polish court handed one-year suspended prison terms and fined two Portuguese teenagers who wrote their names on the gate. Their lawyer is planning to appeal the verdict. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, File)

    FILE - This Jan. 27, 2015 file picture shows the Nazi German death camp in Brzezinka or Birkenau near Oswiecim, Poland when survivors and officials sitting in a tent put up at the red brick gate of the former Nazi German death camp of Birkenau, part of Auschwitz -Birkenau during ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the camp's liberation. On Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017 a local Polish court handed one-year suspended prison terms and fined two Portuguese teenagers who wrote their names on the gate. Their lawyer is planning to appeal the verdict. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE-  This  June 25, 2015 file picture  shows  Brzezinka or Birkenau  nazi death camp  near Oswieciem,  Poland, June 25, 2015,  when young visitors with Israeli flags walk on railway tracks on the grounds of the former German Nazi death camp of Birkenau, part of Auschwitz-Birkenau, during a remembrance visit. On Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017 a local Polish court handed one-year suspended prison terms and fined two Portuguese teenagers who wrote their names on the gate. Their lawyer is planning to appeal the verdict. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

    FILE- This June 25, 2015 file picture shows Brzezinka or Birkenau nazi death camp near Oswieciem, Poland, June 25, 2015, when young visitors with Israeli flags walk on railway tracks on the grounds of the former German Nazi death camp of Birkenau, part of Auschwitz-Birkenau, during a remembrance visit. On Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017 a local Polish court handed one-year suspended prison terms and fined two Portuguese teenagers who wrote their names on the gate. Their lawyer is planning to appeal the verdict. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)  (The Associated Press)

A Polish court has handed one-year suspended prison terms and fined two Portuguese teenagers who wrote their names on a gate of the former Nazi German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The lawyer for the 17- and 18-year-old says they regret and have apologized for putting their names and the date on the red brick gate of Birkenau, part of the Auschwitz complex. The teens were there on July 28, while attending a world youths' meeting with Pope Francis in Poland.

Under Polish law any damage to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial is a crime. One of the teens used a pen to inscribe his name, the other a stone.

Defense lawyer Marcin Surowiec told The Associated Press he plans to appeal the sentences issued Wednesday because his clients did not damage the gate.