PFLP: French refusal to release Georges Ibrahim Abdallah exposes French legal discrimination and hypocrisy
Comrade Emad Abu Rahma, member of the Central Committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, condemned France’s failure to release Lebanese fighter for Palestine Comrade Georges Ibrahim Abdallah. Abu Rahma said that the failure to release Abdallah on January 14 – and the postponement of the court’s order of parole until January 28, pending a deportation order from the interior ministry – reveals the hypocrisy of the French legal system, exposing its claims to be a cradle of respect for the law and judicial independence. Direct interference in judicial matters by the French government is clearly evident in cases relating to the Arab and Palestinian peoples; it is also clear the involvement and extent of U.S. intervention in French political decisions, noted Abu Rahma.
Abu Rahma said that Abdallah has maintained his convictions and commitment to the Arab cause and the Palestinian cause in particular, as represented by his struggle in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and has not hesitated to pay the price for his convictions for over 28 years in Frenh prisons; what is happening now, said Abu Rahma, is a battle of wills, as French authorities seek to break his will and force him to apologize for his convictions, which Abdallah has rejected entirely. He saluted Georges Abdallah with pride and appreciation, saying that he is a model for activists all over the world, and international pressure should be applied around the world to pressure the French government to release Abdallah.
Comrade Marwan Abdel Al, political bureau member of the PFLP and leader of its branch in Lebanon, also denounced the French postponement of Abdallah’s release, pointing out that this action shows the ugliness of discriminatory French justice.
Abdel Al said that despite the court decision that Abdallah would be freed and deported to Lebanon after 28 years in French prison, the refusal of the French interior minister to order deportation, thus preventing his release, confirms that his imprisonment is political, embarrassed the French judiciary, revealed the true face of France and demonstrated the role of America and its concern for freedom and democracy.
The US demanded that Abdallah’s parole, despite the court decision, not be granted.
Abdel Al said that the French authorities failed to pressure Abdallah to deny or denounce the Palestinian and Arab struggle. “His steadfastness makes clear that his values will remain his own, the same struggler who refused the concept of a truce with occupation in the 1970s. His struggle has taught us that no matter how the enemy restricts one’s freedom, steadfastness and confrontation will always be victorious.”
Abdel Al said that George Ibrahim Abdallah’s revolutionary beginnings came from the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, and aimed specifically at fighting for the victory of the Palestinian cause. “He was always resisting, focused on this idea, and he was a sharp and provocative intellectual and debater….his arrest became a political issue and a trial of the entire history of struggle against the occupation.”
Abdel Al said that many French intellectuals are also convinced of the fact the French judiciary is discriminatory, and continues to adhere to the ideas and framework of colonialism, adding that Arab governments’ relationships with the judiciary represent similar frameworks, having been built on the same composition and retaining their connection to former colonial powers. Abdel Al noted that control of the region is today maintained through proxy governments.
Commenting on what legal actions Georges Ibrahim Abdallah may take after his release, Abdel Al said that “Achieving his freedom first is the greatest achievement, it will mean that he has broken the false and counterfeit claims against him and stopped the bullies of the United States. Abdallah is a freedom fighter committed to his principles and will continue to struggle because resistance is part of his environment, and it is a collective responsibility to raising demands for compensation to the French authorities.”