Beirut gathering unveils plaque to free Georges Abdallah, launches month of action for his liberation

On Thursday, 21 September, the Lebanese Campaign to Free Georges Abdallah held a solidarity gathering in front of Al-Madina Theater on Hamra Street in Beirut, Lebanon, to demand freedom for the Lebanese Arab struggler for Palestine, Georges Abdallah, jailed in France for the past 39 years. The event came to unveil a plaque drawing public attention to the case of the imprisoned struggler, launching the month of action to free Georges Abdallah, with events between 21 September and 21 October.

The month will culminate on 21 October with the mass march to Lannemezan prison, where Georges Abdallah is being held. Prior to the march, the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement (Masar Badil) will hold two days of meetings in Toulouse, France, in conjunction with the Collectif Palestine Vaincra and Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network. 21 October will also see a central demonstration outside the French embassy in Beirut.

Samidoun and the Masar Badil participated in the Beirut event, with Mohammed Khatib, Europe coordinator of Samidoun and a member of the executive committee of the Masar, delivering a solidarity speech at the unveiling of the plaque.

He emphasized that Georges Abdallah is one of the leaders of the prisoners’ movement in the prisons of the enemy, like his comrades Ahmad Sa’adat and Marwan Barghouthi, and he must be liberated to resume his struggle and leading role in the movement. He noted that the racist French colonialist state that continues to detain Georges Abdallah has shown its complete disregard for appeals to human rights.

Khatib noted, “Georges Abdallah always asks us about our people and their conditions in Ein el-Hilweh, Beddawi and Shatila. He asks about Gaza. He is haunted by the concerns and issues of our people in Palestine and Lebanon. The Palestinian resistance in Jenin, Gaza and all of Palestine, and all factions of the prisoners’ movement in the occupation prisons, consider him a Palestinian, Lebanese and international freedom fighter.”

He concluded by calling upon all to assume their responsibilities in the liberation of Georges Abdallah, because his cause as a leader and a symbol is also an issue of the liberation of Palestine and Lebanon, and the cause of liberation and return.

Dr. Joseph Abdallah, Georges’ brother, spoke on behalf of the family, saluting those supporting the Palestinian prisoners and highlighting Georges’ case and calling for intensified action to free the prisoners, including Georges Abdallah.

Maysaloun Tufaili delivered a speech on behalf of the Lebanese National Campaign to Free Georges Abdallah:

Salute to your struggle: This is how Comrade Georges Abdallah would have opened when speaking and meeting with you.

This is his greeting in all of his letters, since nearly forty years ago.

“Salute to your struggle.”

This is how he would have addressed you if the jailer had allowed him. Every time he sent an open letter, he received punishment as a result. The internationalist activist Georges Ibrahim Abdallah has always spoken clearly about the struggle of Palestinian prisoners, and how the balance of power alone liberates them.

This is what you are doing now, and you have done it in every situation in which you confronted the reactionary Arab regimes, and what you have done in every arena in which you confronted the criminal capitalist colonialist Western regimes.

We address the Lebanese government with a question to those in the Lebanese government who still believe that the issue of his release is confined to the hands of the French judiciary: Why did the struggler Georges Abdallah not return to Beirut despite the judge’s decision to release him in 2012? Note that the judicial release decision was confirmed by the Court of Appeal in 2013, which is the highest French judicial authority.

And so he is kidnapped.
And so he is a political prisoner.

Accordingly, the National Campaign to Free Prisoner Georges Abdallah reiterates its call to all resistance factions in Lebanon and Palestine, to include the name of the internationalist struggler and resistance fighter Georges Ibrahim Abdallah on the list of the upcoming prisoner exchange.

As for the new appeal for release submitted by the prisoner Georges Abdallah, it is a necessary measure that may save face for the Lebanese government, to put pressure as it should this time, to consider the freedom fighter Abdallah as a political prisoner, with all the consequences of that for the diplomatic relations between the two countries.

We consider the invitation of Lebanese statesmen to French representative Jean-Yves Le Drian to interfere in our economic and political affairs to be a national betrayal. We expected those who called for national action to demand that the resistor, George Abdullah, be returned, free, to Beirut, and to refuse to receive the French representative until this was achieved.

In the diplomatic logic of the French, there was nothing wrong with it if 30,000 Palestinians, Lebanese, and Arabs died in the summer of 1982. But if someone dared to touch the West’s supply of heavy weapons to the Zionist occupation in order to kill, abuse, and displace, he would be punished with forty years in prison, and perhaps more.

Isn’t it time for French civilization, democracy, and technological development to stop the blood being shed in the Jenin camp, in Gaza, in Jerusalem, and in Africa?

From here, Hamra Street in Beirut pulses with the strength of your presence, the glory of Khaled Alwan and his comrades, and the heroism of Mazen Abboud and his comrades.
From here too, we chant freedom for the captured leaders:
* Freedom by Ahmed Sa’adat
* Freedom for Marwan Barghouti
* Freedom for Walid Daqqah
* Freedom for Georges Abdallah
* Freedom for all Palestinian prisoners.

In conclusion, with the strugglers in France and all over the world, side by side, we will activate all avenues to expose the French regime for its  kidnapping of the prisoner Georges Abdallah.

On the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the arrest
* We invite you all to participate in the central activity on 21 October 2023 in front of the French Embassy in Beirut.
* We also call on the media to accompany the massive demonstration being prepared by solidarity campaigns in France in front of Lannemezan prison in the Pyrénées region.
Freedom for all the oppressed peoples of the world, freedom for Palestine, freedom for Georges Abdallah.