After 38 years in prison, France refuses to deport the Lebanese, Georges Abdallah

Abdullah’s lawyers considered this expulsion decision a necessary stage for his release. George Ibrahim Abdullah was imprisoned nearly 38 years ago, and his nine requests for conditional release have so far been rejected.

In its decision, seen by AFP, the Paris Administrative Court made it clear that it was not authorized to instruct the Ministry of the Interior to issue such a decree.

The court said, “There is no legislative or organizational measure or any general principle that requires the Ministry of the Interior to take an expulsion decision against a foreign national who, while in detention, does not constitute any threat to public security.”

In 1987, a ruling was issued against the former head of the Lebanese armed revolutionary factions, who worked with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, after being convicted of complicity in the assassination of two diplomats, one of whom was an American and the other an Israeli. The man, who was one of the most prominent perpetrators of the wave of attacks that struck France in the early eighties, began his thirty-eighth year in prison, and today he is seventy years old.

It has been possible for him to be released since 1999, under French law, but his nine requests for conditional release have been rejected.

In 2013, the judiciary approved a request for release, on condition that it be subject to an expulsion decision from the French Ministry of the Interior, which was never issued.

In 2020, Abdullah repeated his attempt with the current Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, but his letters remained unanswered.

His lawyer, Jean-Louis Chalancet, said he was not surprised by the court’s decision, adding, “As long as there is no guarantee of expulsion, we cannot file a new request for his release.”

“Once again, the political and executive authority is preventing the conditional release of George Ibrahim Abdullah,” he added.

Lebanon was in the midst of the civil war (1975-1990) when Georges Abdallah co-founded the Lebanese Revolutionary Armed Factions, a pro-Syrian, anti-Israel Marxist group that claimed responsibility for five attacks, four of which were fatal, in 1981 and 1982 in France.

He was arrested in Lyon on October 24, 1984 and sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of complicity in the 1982 murders of US diplomats Charles Ray and Israeli Yakov Barsimantov in Paris in 1982, and the attempted assassination of US Consul General Robert Ohm in Strasbourg in 1984.

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