Beirut protest over France parole delay for militant
Scores of protesters demonstrated outside the French embassy in Beirut on Monday as Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati called "unjustified" a delay by Paris in releasing a Lebanese militant granted parole on a life sentence handed down in 1987.
Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, 61, the former head of the Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Faction (LARF), was convicted for his part in the 1982 murders in Paris of US military attache Charles Robert Ray and Israeli diplomat Yacov Barsimantov.
A French court granted Abdallah parole in November on condition he be deported but a judicial source said on Monday the interior ministry had yet to issue the deportation order. The court postponed its decision on his release until January 28.
Abdallah has been eligible for parole since 1999 but seven previous applications were all rejected.
Protesters in Beirut cut off the road outside the French embassy. "France is an American whore," they sprayed on the mission's walls in French and in Arabic.
Police deployed reinforcements around the compound but Abdallah's supporters vowed to maintain a vigil until he is released.
The US ambassador to France, Charles Rivkin, criticised the decision to grant him parole, arguing that Abdallah had never expressed remorse and could yet be a threat if released.
© 2013 AFP