BEIRUT: Supporters of leftist militant George Abdallah held a sit-in Wednesday amid an international judicial conference in Beirut to protest the 61-year-old continued imprisonment in France.
“Our sit-in today ... is to say that the French authorities are detaining George Abdallah against all legal frameworks,” Abdallah’s brother, Joseph, said outside the Beirut Bar Association.
He said Wednesday’s rally comes 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.
The March 13-15 conference is being held in Beirut.
“We hope that the participants, heads of associations and lawyers will raise the issue of prisoner George Abdallah during this conference,” Joseph added.
He said the protesters distributed a statement summing up his brother’s case in terms of the accusations brought forward against him.
“George Abdallah has been unjustly sentenced. He has been sentenced for acts he did not do,” Joseph argued.
While he thanked Lebanon for stepping in to resolve his brother’s case, Joseph said the Lebanese government’s efforts were “slow.”
He said supporters and friends of Abdallah are organizing a mass rally outside the French Embassy in Beirut Sunday.
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.