Lisa Bosia Mirra, a Socialist member of the Ticino parliament in southern Switzerland, was found guilty of the offences by a regional court and sentenced to a suspended fine, the ATS news agency reported.
She helped Eritreans and Syrians stuck at the train station in Como, near the Swiss border, in mid-2016.
“The facts have been admitted to by the defendant, who over a period of two weeks worked along with accomplices to organize a network to help accommodate the illegal entry of 24 illegal migrants,” the judge in charge of the case, Siro Quadri, told ATS.
He acknowledged that Bosia Mirra's intentions were good, but stressed that she had nonetheless broken Swiss law.
While their circumstances may have been tragic, the judge stressed that the migrants “were not in a country at risk but in Italy, and could have been helped there.”
He also pointed out that as a member of the Ticino parliament, Bosia Mirra was well aware that she was breaking the law.
Bosia Mirra told ATS she planned to appeal the verdict all the way up to the European Court of Human Rights if need be.
“According to international law, the State must enact all necessary measures to protect persons or associations that operate to defend human rights and denounce their violations,” commented Amnesty International Switzerland on Mirra's actions, reports Swiss regional daily Ticino.