Daily star : Georges Abdallah ‘flash mob’ hits French mission in Beirut


BEIRUT: Dozens of supporters and relatives of leftist militant prisoner Georges Ibrahim Abdallah held an unannounced protest outside the French Embassy in Beirut Friday to demand his release.

The protest came six days before the French judiciary is expected to make a decision on whether to accept Abdallah’s ninth appeal for release.

2015-02-20 amb fr beyrouth - daily star


“From now till February 26, we will be holding many other flash mobs in various locations to pressure both [the Lebanese and French] governments into taking action,” Bassam Kantar, a spokesperson for the campaign defending Abdallah, told The Daily Star over the phone.

“The French government is conspiring to prevent George’s release, and the Lebanese government is acting indifferently.”

Protesters brandished pictures of Abdallah, who was arrested in Lyon in October 1984 and condemned three years later to life in prison for alleged involvement in the killing of an Israeli diplomat and an American military attaché in Paris in 1982.

Abdallah, who has maintained his innocence, should have been freed in 1999 by virtue of France’s penal code, but Paris has rejected nine appeals for his release.

His ninth appeal was rejected in November, but it was put up for review, and the judiciary is set to make a final decision on Feb. 26.

His supporters have accused Washington and Israel of lobbying to keep Abdallah behind bars.

Under the French judicial system, a life sentence is 15 years in prison, after which the prisoner has the right to demand his release.

In 2013, French courts accepted Abdallah’s eighth appeal request, and within the 24-hour deadline, no objections were filed. His supporters in Lebanon were preparing his reception, and the date of his return was set.

But then-Interior Minister of France Manuel Valls denied the deportation order after U.S. officials, including then-State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, publicly urged France to keep Abdallah locked up.

The development reinforced the belief that Abdallah’s release is tied to political rather than judicial factors.

– See more at: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2015/Feb-20/288148-georges-abdallah-supporters-protest-outside-french-mission-in-beirut.ashx#sthash.NsvhmSsL.JQVDgGmu.dpuf

source : Daily-star

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