Georges Abdallah back in court requesting deportation from France
The case of Lebanese revolutionary Georges Abdallah is back in the spotlight as he is presenting to the French judiciary, demanding his release after serving 38 years in prison.
Lebanese revolutionary Georges Abdallah, 70, who is facing a life sentence, is going back to court in France to request his deportation in a step that comes ahead of his possible release.
Abdallah, sentenced to life in 1987, served 38 years in prison, which makes him one of the oldest prisoners in France. He was accused of assassinating US and Israeli diplomats and was sentenced based on these accusations.
It had been possible to release Abdallah in 1999, but French authorities denied his nine parole requests.
The judiciary agreed several times to these requests, given that the French Interior Ministry planned on deporting him, but that decision was never taken.
Seven years since his latest parole request, the Lebanese revolutionary changed his strategy and is now back before the judiciary requesting that he be deported from France.
Abdallah's lawyer, Jean-Louis Chalanset, told French media he had sent several letters to the minister of interior requesting deportation, but the ministry is yet to respond to the request that will be looked into on Thursday.
The expulsion of convicted foreigners facing "charges that amount to terrorism" is always "systematic," Chalanset clarified.
Chalanset recalled that the Lebanese authorities had repeatedly said they were ready to receive Georges Abdallah in Lebanon, where he is perceived as a political prisoner.
Victory before the administrative court would only be the first step that opens the door for parole, Chalanset explained.
The lawyer that took over defending Abdallah in 2013 following the death of Jacques Verges said a decision to release the defendant would be political before being judicial.
Chalanset condemns 'US relentlessness'
Abdallah's lawyer sees that keeping him, the oldest political prisoner in Europe, incarcerated is a "lack of courage" and "subservience" from Paris.
The United States systemically opposes the demands of freeing Abdallah, as said by their French lawyer Georges Kiejman.
Kiejman, however, acknowledges the length of the sentence, but he said he did not think the "hostile attitude of the US government is the determinant cause" behind Abdallah still being behind bars.
In 2015, a decision deemed "very regressive" by the defense, the Paris Court of Appeals rejected a demand for freeing Abdallah, arguing that there had been no official order to deport him from France.
Over the years, leftist MPs and human rights organizations such as the Human Rights League (LDH) and even the French intelligence chief called for his release.
As Abdallah prepared to go to court once again to demand his release, his supporters gathered before the Administrative Court in Paris, demanding his release and the signing of the order to deport him back to his country, Lebanon.
Un rassemblement à Paris pour réclamer la libération de Georges Abdallah, militant anti-impérialiste, engagé dans la résistance palestinienne. Il est le + ancien prisonnier politique d’Europe, détenu depuis 38 ans, libérable depuis 22 ans mais tjs incarcéré.#FreeGeorgesAbdallah pic.twitter.com/2JVrMTSikA— Sihame Assbague (@s_assbague) January 27, 2022
The French judiciary ended up postponing issuing any decision regarding Georges Abdallah's deportation from France until February 10.
The court has postponed issuing any decision regarding Georges Abdallah's deportation from #France till February 10.— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) January 27, 2022
Abdallah, sentenced to life in 1987, has been in prison for 38 years, making him one of the oldest prisoners in France. #FreeGeorgesAbdallah pic.twitter.com/hniKn96uDc