The Charleroi-Palestine platform in a symbolic action for the release of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, “the oldest political prisoner in Europe”.

Georges Ibrahim Abdallah will celebrate his 71st birthday. This Lebanese has been imprisoned in France since 1984 for abuse during the Lebanese Civil War. In addition to possession of false documents, he was, among other things, found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment for complicity in the murder of two diplomats, an American and an Israeli … Mossad. Why these murders? As “resistance” to American-backed Israeli attacks in Lebanon and Palestine. Georges Ibrahim Abdallah was also involved in the creation of the pro-Syrian and anti-Israeli armed group FARL. The stated aim was to shift part of the war that was going on in the Middle East to the West.

For some, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah is a dangerous terrorist, radical communist and anti-Zionist to boot, and he should rot in prison. For others, it is “Monsieur Georges” who has been in prison for too long. He described himself in 1986 as “fighter, not criminal”.

“Terrorism is the persecution of senior officials of the FBI and Mossad in the context of war. Incredibly enough, because at the same time those responsible for war crimes committed in the Middle East were never brought to justice. It should be remembered that at the time when FARL was killed two members of the secret service, 20,000 Arabs have already died since the Israeli invasion.”outraged is Miriam De Ly of the Charleroi-Palestine platform, who is also 71 years old and has been a pro-Palestinian activist since she was 18.

For her and many activists of the association, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah is a “political prisoner”, the oldest in Europe. As his requests for release, to which he has been entitled since 1999, are systematically denied amid diplomatic pressure from the US and Israel, can we read regularly in the French press. “For many years, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah asked for his release. If French justice denied him several times, then during the last two cases this did not happen: justice considered that he was free, but set the condition that he would be expelled from the territory. The expulsion must be signed by the political leaders of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which they never wanted to do. So he stays behind bars.”regrets Miriam De Lee again.

The argument of those who want the release of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah is that the killings in France were political acts committed in a war. And denying his release today is a political act where “a sovereign state refuses to carry out the decision of its own justice” to please, apparently, the United States and Israel.

That’s the whole problem, it is in this alleged “political” aspect of the current situation: Georges Ibrahim Abdallah was found guilty and convicted. Some give him excuses or call for a conspiracy, but in the end it doesn’t matter. Because our legal states, in Europe, provide for the possibility of releasing even those sentenced to life imprisonment. In general, life in France is 22 years in prison. Which are increased to 30 years, in particular, for terrorism. It’s rare that these prison sentences are extended, even if it has already been seen (Patrick Henry, Tommy Recco, …) if the convicted person is convicted “always dangerous”. The same cannot be said about Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, at least officially.

On April 2, 2022, on the occasion of the 71st birthday of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, support actions will be held around the world, especially in the Middle East. But the day before, on Friday, the platform Charleroi-Palestine will arrive at 15:00 at Place Dig as part of a small committee – about ten people – to prepare for the next day. “This is not a call for a demonstration, we will be just a few participants for a symbolic action”Miriam De Lee explains. “But it seems important to us to remember that there is a man in France who has served his term and whose detention is maintained for political reasons that go beyond the law and the law. Particularly so that he would not be hailed as a hero in his country. A man who has been devoted all his life to his country, Lebanon, as well as to his Palestinian neighbors. Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, in addition, lived with Palestinian refugees, he always brought them support and support, in particular for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. It continues today, this is the struggle of a lifetime. And it’s annoying, it’s annoying. I remind you: Nelson Mandela too spent years in prison for taking up arms for his country, whereas today he is considered a hero.”

Recall, however, that Georges Ibrahim Abdallah in the eyes of the law is a criminal serving a life sentence. His release, which has been possible since 1999 but has never taken place, raises questions. In early 2022, the Paris administrative court said it could not order the Interior Ministry to issue an expulsion order. The current Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin (LREM) does not appear to have made any public comment about his lack of response to Abdullah’s lawyer, who urged him to sign the said decree.

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