Anti-France protest goes off in Beirut

Pro-Palestine activist Georges Ibrahim Abdallah (R) is being escorted by French police into court. (File photo)

Supporters of Lebanese activist Georges Ibrahim Abdallah have gathered outside the French embassy in Beirut, throwing eggs and stones at the building in protest against France’s decision not to approve his extradition.

The protest comes after the French Interior Ministry refused on Monday to sign documents for the extradition of Abdallah, which was requested by a French court as a condition for his release.

The protesters in Beirut demanded the immediate release of the 61-year-old Lebanese national.

He was also granted parole in November 2012. However, Abdallah was not released, pending a decision on an appeal by prosecutors.

On January 10, the court in Paris confirmed the parole decision and gave the interior ministry until January 14 to issue an expulsion order.

Abdallah, who has spent 28 years in jail and is a former member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was arrested in 1984 and sentenced to life in prison three years later over allegations of involvement in the 1982 killings of US military attache Charles Robert Ray and Israeli diplomat Yacov Barsimantov.

Abdallah had been denied release on seven previous occasions since he became eligible for parole in 1999.

During a visit to France last year, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Miqati called for the release of Abdallah, naming him a “political prisoner.”