BEIRUT: Supporters of leftist militant Georges Abdallah held a brief sit-in Sunday in Beirut to protest his continued incarceration in France. Around 150 activists and family members of Abdallah gathered outside the French Embassy in Mathaf at around noon to protest France’s delay in releasing the man, who has been behind prison bars since 1984.
Protesters held banners calling for the “immediate release of Abdallah.”
Earlier this week, activists urged people to join their sit-in to protest the “French government’s procrastination over Georges Abdallah’s release.”
Abdallah was scheduled to be released and sent back to Lebanon in January after spending 29 years in prison for killing an Israeli diplomat and an American military attaché, but the French Interior Ministry has twice denied the deportation order. A new hearing has been set for March 21.
Judge Omar al-Natour, the director-general of the Justice Ministry, headed to Paris Saturday to follow up on Abdallah’s case, the state-run National News Agency reported.
Natour, at the behest of the Cabinet, will be meeting with a number of French officials to follow up on the case of Abdallah and call for his release, the state-run agency added.
Abdallah supporters have continuously taken down to the streets to call for his release. Their latest sit-in was Wednesday when they gathered outside the Beirut Bad Association.
The rally Wednesday came in conjunction with an international conference on the judicial code of ethics in partnership with the International Francophone Organization and the Lebanese Court of Cassation.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 18, 2013, on page 4.