We recently reported the situation of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, a Lebanese Communist who has been in jail for more than 28 years in France. Arrested in 1984, Comrade Abdallah was sentenced to life imprisonment after being indirectly associated with an assassination attempt against a U.S. military attaché and an Israeli diplomat.
Though he has been eligible for parole for a decade and despite a clean prison record, it was not until last November that Georges Ibrahim Abdallah finally got a favourable decision from the Sentencing Court. However, the prosecution decided to appeal that ruling, under heavy pressure from the U.S. authorities who oppose to any release in this case.
In a new development, on January 10, the Court of Appeal upheld the Sentencing Court decision and ordered the release of Comrade Abdallah, conditionally to the issuance of a notice of deportation by the French Ministry of the Interior (arrangements were already made for Abdallah to be allowed in Lebanon).
This eviction notice was supposed to be issued on January 14, after which, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah should have been released and taken to a plane for Lebanon. But once again, the French government —led, it must be remembered, by a “Socialist” Prime Minister— complied with the demand of the United States and refused to issue this famous notice. So Comrade Abdullah still remains incarcerated, despite the court’s decision… Theoretically, this situation could persist indefinitely, unless the court decides otherwise (at the time of going to press, a new hearing was scheduled for January 28). This administrative fury is clearly motivated by political reasons.
Meanwhile, protests for Georges Ibrahim Abdallah’s release are spreading. In Palestine, rallies were held in front of French representations in Jerusalem and Ramallah. Rallies also took place in Lebanon (in Beirut, Kobayat, Saida, Tyre and the Bekaa), as well as in Germany and Jordan.
In France, after Bordeaux, Lille and Pau, there was a rally outside the Tarbes courthouse and another one in Paris on January 19, near the Ministry of the Interior’s office, where the police arrested 46 people. Other rallies are planned in Rennes, Bruay-Buissière, Lyon, Toulouse, Marseille and again in Lille.
In Canada, letters protesting Abdallah’s unfair treatment can be sent to: 1) Mr. Philippe Zeller, Ambassador of France to Canada, 42 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, ON K1M 2C9 (Fax: 613 562-3735), and 2) Manuel Valls, Minister of the Interior, Place Beauvau, 75008 Paris, France (Fax: +33 1 49 27 35 75).