By IWU-FI, 13 October 2021
24 October marks the 37th anniversary of his arrest and conviction in France. The IWU-FI joins this united and democratic demand by adhering to the new declaration of the many support groups and committees organised in his defence.
Here is the declaration for the release of George Abdallah
The release of Georges Abdallah: a demand for justice!
Georges Ibrahim Abdallah is a Lebanese communist of Maronite Christian origin who has been imprisoned in France for almost 37 years.
How is it that a Lebanese arrested in 1984 in Lyon is still in French prisons even though he was eligible for release 22 years ago?
A teacher in northern Lebanon in the 1970s, Georges Abdallah was committed to the Palestinian people and against colonisation. At a very young age, he left his region to join the mobilisation against the Israeli occupation, particularly at the time of the invasions of 1978 and 1982, in a Lebanon then amid war. These repeated military operations were devastating and deadly for the Palestinian and Lebanese populations.
The Israeli army’s bombardments caused thousands of civilian casualties and the barbarity reached its peak with the now infamous massacres of the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in September 1982.
In this context, Georges Abdallah co-founded the Lebanese Revolutionary Armed Fractions (FARL), which claimed responsibility for several operations on French soil, including the 1982 executions of Yacov Barsimentov and Charles Ray, active Mossad and CIA agents. Arrested in Lyon on 24 October 1984, Georges Abdallah was sentenced to life imprisonment for complicity in murder after a political trial riddled with irregularities. For example, his first lawyer, Jean-Paul Mazurier, revealed some time after the trial that he had worked for the French intelligence services. Or the absurd accusations (officially denied some time later) against the Abdallah brothers, allegedly responsible for the Rennes street bombings in Paris in 1986. These attacks made Georges Abdallah a scapegoat when the powers-that-be and the media were looking for someone to blame for the bloody attacks that made headlines. The prosecutor asked for 10 years in prison. Georges Abdallah was sentenced to life imprisonment. Exceptional justice was in full swing.
Under French law, he has been eligible for parole since 1999. However, Georges Abdallah has submitted eight applications for release without success. In 2013, the penalty enforcement court granted his release, but made it conditional on his deportation to Lebanon. Manuel Valls, then Minister of the Interior, refused to sign the deportation order because Georges Abdallah refused to repent. The French state continued its stubbornness. Georges Abdallah remained in prison.
In March 2020, Georges Abdallah was visited for the third time by Mr Rami Adwan, Lebanese Ambassador to France, this time accompanied by Mrs Marie-Claude Najm, Minister of Justice of the resigned Lebanese government. During this meeting, they reaffirmed the Lebanese state’s support for the release of Georges Abdallah. The mobilisation for his release has been going on in France for over 15 years, but also in Lebanon, where his family and many supporters are waiting for him; in Palestine, where he is one of the 4650 Palestinian prisoners, and in dozens of countries around the world.
On 24 October 2021, Georges Abdallah will have spent 37 years in French prisons. He has become the oldest political prisoner in Europe. The day before, on 23 October, several hundred of us will make our voices heard and demand his release in front of the Lannemezan prison where he is being held.
Today, demanding his release is a simple demand for justice.
Free Georges Abdallah!
Argentina: Juan Carlos Giordano, National Deputy in the Left Front-Unity (FIT-U) of Buenos Aires Province, a national leader Socialist Left (IS); Monica Schotthauer, railway delegate and National Deputy of IS/FIT; Ruben “Pollo” Sobrero, General Secretary of the Railway Union, Edgardo Reynoso a railway leader and rep of TBA-Sarmiento; Angelica Lagunas, General Secretary of ATEN Capital (Teachers), Liliana Olivero, former Deputy for Cordoba of IS/FIT; Mariana Scayola (General Secretary of the executive committee Ademys-teachers in Buenos Aires City (CABA) and Jorge Adaro (Deputy Secretary); Laura Marrone, teacher, a leader of CABA IS and former legislator of IS-FIT in CABA; Mercedes Trimarchi, a leader of the women’s group Isadora.
Bolivia: Humberto Balderrama, a member of the National Directorate of the Workers Party; Eliseo Mamani, former executive of the Rural Teachers Federation in La Paz.
Brazil: Joao Batista Araujo “Baba”, Rio de Janeiro CST-PSOL, Pedro Rosa, a leader of Sintuff and Fasubra (Federation of University Workers);
Chile: Ranier Rios Puebla, a leader of MST (Socialist Workers Movement).
Spain: Josep Lluis del Alcazar, trade union delegate for public education and a leader of Internationalist Fight (LI); Marga Olalla, trade union delegate for municipal workers in Barcelona, member of LI; Miquel Blanch, trade union delegate for teachers in adult education, member of the Trade Union Current of CCOO in Girona, member of LI; M. Esther del Alcazar, trade union delegate for public education and leader of LI;
United States: Emmanuel Santos, from Socialist Core.
Panama: Priscilla Vasquez, national leader of the Social Security workers; Virgilio Arauz, leader of Socialist Proposal.
Peru: Jorge Corzo, leader of the Workers Party-Uníos; Enrique Fernandez Chacón, former national deputy of Uníos in Peru.
Mexico: Enrique Gomez, Francisco Retama, leaders of the Movement towards Socialism (MAS); Jesus Torres Nuño, former president of the Administration Council of Democratic Western Workers (Tradoc).
Dominican Republic: Henri Morel, journalist and activist of the MST (Socialist Workers Movement).
Turkey: Sedat Durel, General Secretary of the Union of Revolutionary Telecommunication and Call Centre Workers; Atakan Çiftçi, delegate of the Union of Education and Science Workers; Oktay Çelik, President of the Workers’ Democracy Party (IDP), Gorkem Duru, IDP leader.
Venezuela: Jose Bodas, general secretary of the United Federation of Oil Workers of Venezuela (Futpv); Orlando Chirino, national leader of the Classist, Unitary, Revolutionary and Autonomous Current (C-cura); Armando Guerra, former union leader of Hidrocapital; Miguel Angel Hernandez, general secretary of the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSL). Simon Rodriguez Porras (PSL).