Letter to the President of the Republic for the release of the oldest political prisoner in France: Georges Ibrahim Abdallah

Letter to the President of the Republic for the release of the oldest political prisoner in France: Georges Ibrahim Abdallah

Georges Ibrahim Abdallah is the oldest political prisoner to languish in a French prison. Since 1984, 39 years, he has been behind bars, while the sentence enforcement court requested his release in 2012.

This court decision had not been applied due to the government’s refusal to sign his deportation order to Lebanon.

Faced with this situation, which is shameful for France, and on the strict basis of the law and respect for the principle of the separation of powers, 14 organisations, including the AFPS, wrote to the President of the Republic on 30 June: the French executive power issues without delay the order for the expulsion to Lebanon of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah.

On June 8, he filed a new request for release, in which he himself asks to be sent back to Lebanon, which will allow the sentence enforcement court to finally rule, in a fully effective manner, on his release.

The signatory organizations (see list below) asked to be received at the Élysée to make and explain this request.

George Ibrahim Abdallah, during his trial at the Assizes in 1987, defended by the late Master Vergès

The letter addressed to Emmanuel Macron pleading
for the release of George Ibrahim Abdallah

Object : breaking the deadlock for the release of Georges Abdallah – request for a meeting

Mr. President of the Republic,

We would like to draw your attention to the case of Mr. Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, sentenced in 1987, releasable since 1999, and still in prison, although the sentence enforcement court has ruled twice for his release. By addressing you, we place ourselves on the strict ground of the Law.

In the absence of a deportation decision by the French government, the decisions of Justice for his conditional release could not be applied, and he is today the longest serving political prisoner in a French prison, and one of the oldest in Europe. This situation is totally contrary to France’s tradition of human rights.

Recall that in 2012 the sentence enforcement court ruled for the release of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, subject to his expulsion. Through the voice of the Minister of the Interior at the time, the French executive, under strong international pressure, had refused to sign the expulsion order. It is therefore the executive power which, in the last resort, has made it impossible to release a prisoner decided by the courts, a totally abnormal situation in a democratic system of separation of powers.

The legal specificities of the file of George Ibrahim Abdallah, whose sentence had not been accompanied by a ban on territory on the whole of French territory, mean that his release can only take place if a deportation order (in l occurrence to Lebanon as he requests) is taken about him.

On June 8, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah formulated a new request for conditional release. Under these conditions, we ask you to have the minister concerned issue his order of expulsion to Lebanon without delay.

By taking this decision well before the judgment of the sentence enforcement court, by sheltering it from any pressure, you will restore its purely technical nature. Once these conditions have been met, it will be up to the judiciary, in all responsibility, in all independence and in a fully effective manner, to decide on his release.

Mr. President of the Republic, we solemnly ask you not to miss this opportunity to put an end to a detention whose length is a shame for France. By quickly signing an expulsion order, the executive power does not have to decide on the merits of the release of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, it will simply put the decision in the hands of Justice.

We are asking you for an appointment to discuss this matter with you in more detail, and how to finally get out of an impasse which is a denial of justice and which is tarnishing the image of France.

Please accept, Mr. President of the Republic, the expression of our highest consideration.

The petitioners :

Bertrand Heilbronn, President of the France Palestine Solidarity Association
– Patrick Baudouin, President of the League for Human Rights
– François Sauterey, co-president of the Movement against Racism and for Friendship between peoples
– Peace Movement
– French Jewish Union for Peace
– Another Jewish Voice
– General Confederation of Labor
– Unitary Trade Union Federation
– Solidarity Trade Union
– National Union of Secondary Education
– Peasant confederation
– French Communist Party
– Left Party
– Together ! Movement for a leftist, ecologist and solidarity alternative

>> Read the letter on the website of the Association France Palestine Solidarité