If Only Georges Abdallah’s Freedom were Contagious

They have realized that keeping Georges hostage has become more costly than to release him. (Photo: Alia Haju)
Published Monday, January 28, 2013
The French government decided to submit to US and Israeli pressure and extended the imprisonment of Georges Abdallah.
Neither the French state nor the government have the slightest sense that they are committing a terrible injustice. They simply don’t feel that anyone can make them pay the price for their 28-year-old crime against Abdallah.
The French today are imposing additional conditions to releasing Georges, in addition to just buying time. They want to do it secretly, so that their dirty work will not see the light of day.
They want the occasion of his welcome in Lebanon to be under the cover of night, at an unannounced time of their choosing. They want him to celebrate alone with his family, so that his victory over his terrorist jailers will pass unnoticed. The even want the pathetic Lebanese state to guarantee that Abdallah’s release will take place according to their wishes.
More than that, the French are asking for all expressions of solidarity to end, such as dismantling the sit-in at the French embassy in Beirut.
They want the Lebanese to be thankful to them for having decided to release Georges. They want his family to write the French authorities letters of gratitude for setting their son free. They want us to be like them, to admit that we are terrorists too, without morals or a sense of humanity.
They have realized that keeping Georges hostage has become more costly than to release him, for they are bound to pay the price of their crime sooner or later. They also understand that persisting in their kidnapping of Georges will open the gates of hell on them, something they have experienced before with every place they colonized.
Their intelligence sources in Lebanon and the region are warning them that the dangers stemming from the continued detention of Georges are increasing by the day. The threat is not just coming from a small group of angry men, or a wronged family.
More than that, the French are asking for all expressions of solidarity to end, such as dismantling the sit-in at the French embassy in Beirut.

One source recently informed anyone who was willing to listen in Paris that there is a generation of young people – some who even lived and studied in France – who are angry enough to commit acts that will cause the government big problems both internally and abroad. But we have to ask our own government a few questions.
It is true that Rafik Hariri – whether in government or outside it – never raised the issue with his friend former president Jacques Chirac. It is also true that successive Lebanese presidents and prime ministers have also failed to raise the matter of Georges’ imprisonment, not out of fear of the French, but of Georges himself, who they considered to be a terrorist worthy of punishment.
But to be fair, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and his government have dealt realistically with the issue, forcing Paris to take notice that high-level Lebanese officials are asking about their kidnapped citizen.
Despite this, there are those at the official level who “understand” the demands of the French government, which wants the release of Georges to resemble the return of a wanted criminal in Lebanon’s courts.
Others in the halls of power suggest that we must seriously take into account French and American concerns over the release, as they try to strike a deal behind the scenes that will put a limit to any public celebrations, or at least prevent the participation of any government officials in them.
There will also be those who will call for a dose of realism in dealing with this matter. They may even be members of Georges’ family or from among his close friends and supporters, who believe that we shouldn’t blow things out of proportion.
Some of them may not think it necessary, for example, that state officials be part of any welcoming ceremony. But the criminal behavior of the French state in dealing with the issue requires precisely the opposite.
Georges’ freedom should be celebrated by both citizens and the state – the way he is received in Lebanon is now as important as his release. The symbolism of the way he is welcomed here has one simple goal: the possibility that his freedom will infect those who have surrendered among us to imagine that they do love life.
Ibrahim al-Amin is editor-in-chief of Al-Akhbar.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

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Hezbollah Calls for Widest Campaign of Solidarity with Struggler George Abdallah


Local Editor
Hezbollah criticized Monday the French authorities’ repeated tardiness in releasing Lebanese struggler George Ibrahim Abdallah, and considered it a result of “the American Administration’s blackmail campaign in this case”.

In a statement it issued, Hezbollah Media Relations indicated that “this new French measure is excessiveness in the series of oppression which this struggling hero is being exposed to, and which began with his arrest and continued with his detention without any legal document.”

Hezbollah further considered that “the French authorities’ constant surrender to the American Administration and the Zionist entity’s desires and considering them orders that must be implemented, show the meagerness of all these authorities’ claims of sovereignty and freedom of decision.”

The party stressed that the “French stance reassures the falsity of all claims about judiciary’s independence and the value of justice’s supremacy in western countries whose leaders lecture on law, values, and equality before justice.”

From here, Hezbollah welcomed talks about releasing Abdallah, and assured that “if this release took place, it would be a victory for right, and recognition to the abusiveness in his arrest and jail.”
Moreover, as the statement expressed Hezbollah’s concern that “the American Administration and Zionist entity’s intervention in this case would lead to further tardiness,” it emphasized that “this requires high levels of alertness from the Lebanese official authorities”.

It assured that the latter should follow up this topic and its developments, and take the right actions to confront the American and Zionist blatant absolutism, and the French droop.

Hezbollah also called for “the widest political and public campaign of solidarity with struggler Abdallah during the coming decisive period in his case.”

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Lebanese Freedom Fighter George Ibrahim Abdallah was expected to be released today from his French prison and heading to his homeland Lebanon , but the French minister of Interior did not sign the decree of his release that was granted by the French court . French Ministers do not respect the authority of their own court let alone the rights of other people . The US administration exerted great efforts and great pressures over the French administration to prevent the release of Comrade Abdallah and one would wonder how US, with all its economical political problem, has found time to dedicate to a Freedom fighter who has been incarcerated for 29 years without evidence that he is implicated in any crimes he is accused of . This whole story is that of oppression and injustice , and what is meant is not George Abdallah since he was not guilty of anything he is accused of and did not commit any crime . What is meant is suppressing the Spirit of the Resistance that was manifest in George Abdallah which is the reason why he has not been released today .There is a message here that should be decoded and a lesson that we are supposed to learn as Lebanese, as Arabs , as freedom fighters , we should learn that this is an unforgivable crime to seek liberation and freedom and maybe George Abdallah is being punished for the so called crime committed by the Lebanese Resistance which is to have overcome Israel and its US and European allies and liberated the land and taught Israel and its allies an unforgettable lesson . Anything that represents Resistance and speaks in the name of such Resistance is to be suppressed, anything that is not recognition and normalization and surrender is to be punished. George Abdallah is one of the symbols of such an active Resistance that started with the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and was resumed on the international scale trying to target the enemy wherever he is found .

Abdallah’s actual illegal detention against the court decision is another aspect of the war between Lebanon and the world order and France in this particular instance. This war has for core the independence and autonomy and integrity of our land and of our people and for goal the will of Lebanon in not leaving any Freedom fighters incarcerated and detained by the enemy. We want Lebanon to be up to the challenge again and we want freedom for George Abdallah .

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Lebanese egg French embassy for delaying prisoner’s release

Georges Ibrahim Abdallah was expected to arrive back in Lebanon Monday following a 28-year incarceration in French prison, but the interior minister refused to sign his release order. (Photo: Reuters – Robert Pratta)
Published Monday, January 14, 2013
Updated 5:48pm: Several hundred protesters gathered outside the French embassy in Beirut Monday to demonstrate against the postponed release of former Marxist rebel Georges Ibrahim Abdallah.
Some demonstrators began hurling eggs and rocks at the embassy after shutting down traffic to demand the political prisoner’s immediate release following his 28-year imprisonment in France.
“O France, you son of a bitch! Georges Abdallah is in our hearts!” the crowd chanted in Arabic.
Graffiti sprayed on walls facing the embassy read: “France = American whore,” and “Freedom to Georges Abdallah.”

Georges’ brother, Joseph, urged the demonstrators not to resort to violence, and called for them to respect the law.

Lebanese security forces later barricaded the embassy and confined the protesters to a rectangular area inside metal barriers.

The protesters have also begun setting up tents, vowing to launch an open-ended sit-in.

Demonstrators outside the French embassy in Beirut Monday demanded Abdallah’s immediate release.
France’s interior minister refused to sign an expulsion order Monday to repatriate Abdallah to Lebanon where thousands of his supporters had expected to welcome him home.

French officials are now scheduled to meet on January 28 to formalize Abdallah’s parole, but his supporters fear the postponement is a first step to renew his detention.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati reportedly told the French ambassador in a telephone call Monday that the postponement was “unjustified.”

Lebanon’s foreign minister Adnan Mansour summoned French envoy Patrice Paoli for a Tuesday meeting over the issue.

Abdallah was granted parole on 21 November 2012. Prosecutors in December appealed the decision, but the ruling was upheld in court on Thursday despite US and Israeli pressure to keep him locked up.
He has remained in prison since 1984 over complicity in the killings two years earlier of an American military officer and an Israeli diplomat.

He was handed a life sentence in 1987 despite the absence of concrete evidence to implicate him in the murders.

Demonstrators condemned a statement earlier Monday by Samir al-Jisr, a senior official from the Western-backed Future Movement and former justice minister, describing Abdallah as a “criminal.”

Several hundred demonstrators stand outside the French embassy.

Security forces guard the embassy.

Demonstrators pitched tents and called for an open-ended sit in.

Abdallah was last granted parole in 2003, but a similar appeal struck down the decision.
The United States as recently as Friday renewed its calls for France to block the release, saying that Abdallah continues to pose a threat.

Lebanese Rally at French Embassy to Protest Delay in Freeing Abdallah

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