Simply put, Georges Abdallah is a hostage of the terrorist French authorities. Of course, the esteemed justice system of the Fifth Republic – the birthplace of human rights – would never be described in such terms. But how should we describe it? Successive governments there have actively violated Georges Abdallah’s right to freedom. Their premise is that he refuses to stop his struggle and that he might once again return to his militant ways.
What French authorities really seem to be saying is that they are imprisoning Georges Abdallah simply because they can. They are showing that they have the power to hold a believer in a struggle who raised his voice and fought for the oppressed.
What they are saying is that they do not care about legal procedures, humanitarian appeals, or diplomatic letters and that they have decided unilaterally to hold Abdallah as long as they like.
The relative silence of the educated elite, the press, human rights organizations, and the public in France means that they too are complicit in this ongoing crime.
The actions of the French authorities tell us what the lawyers and activists have been saying all along about Georges’ case (much like the case of Ilich Ramirez Sanchez a.k.a. Carlos). They tell us that we who support Georges Abdallah and our compatriots imprisoned abroad in Europe and the United States must view what is taking place as nothing short of a terrorist act regardless of whether it is being carried out by an individual, a group, or a state.
In this case, France resembles Israel. They tell us, go ahead and do whatever you can to try to free your prisoners from our jails.
Since it appears that legal avenues are blocked, there is no longer any way to free Georges except to resort to the same methods used against Israel, methods where Georges’ comrades don’t beg the Lebanese state for permission to fulfill its obligations towards its own citizen.
After all, didn’t we once say that we never leave our captured in prison?
Ibrahim al-Amin is editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar.