Friday, July 21, 2023

Communist and Workers' Parties denounce detention and expulsion of Soha Bechara by Greek authorities

On Wednesday 12 July 2023,  Lebanese militant Soha Bechara, who has spent 10 years in Israeli prisons and considered a heroine of the liberation of South Lebanon from the Israeli occupation, was detained by the Greek authorities at Athens' International Airport and denied entry to Greece. She currently holds Lebanese and Swiss nationality.

Thanasis Pafilis, member of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and parliamentary spokesperson, protested to the Ministry of Citizen Protection against the detention of Bechara. 

Pafilis stressed that the KKE opposes this unacceptable action of the Greek authorities, asking the competent ministry for the specific reasons Bechara was detained at Athens airport, denied entry to Greece, and is “considered to be a threat to public policy and internal security”, as stated in the document denying her entry.

After long hours of suffering at the airport, Soha Bechara was forced by the Greek authorities to leave Athens and return home.

Joint statement by Communist and Workers' Parties

In a joint statement, Communist and Workers' Parties from across the world condemn the detention and expulsion of Bechara by Greece's authorities. More specifically, the statement reads:

Soha Bechara, an icon of the resistance against Israeli occupation as a member of the Lebanese Communist Party and the Lebanese National Resistance Front, was held at Athens airport for approximately 12 hours during her transit from Lebanon to Switzerland, where she currently resides with her family. Subsequently, the Greek police forced her back to Lebanon, citing a "refusal of entry decree" that alleges she poses a security threat to European countries, despite her being a Swiss passport holder and a European citizen herself.

This forceful action against a national hero, who endured a 10-year imprisonment by Zionist forces in southern Lebanon from 1988 to 1998, including torture and harsh detention conditions, signifies a concerning shift in Greece's security policy. It also raises questions about the potential involvement of other European countries that comply with the requests of Israeli security forces, actively participating in aggressive actions against the peoples of Lebanon and the wider region, particularly Palestine.

The Communist Party of Greece has raised inquiries through its parliamentary group, seeking clarifications regarding how this national liberation icon poses a threat to Greek security.

We strongly condemn the decisions made by the Greek authorities, the security agreements endorsed by successive Greek governments, the explicit support for the Israeli occupation, and the growing involvement of the European Union in endorsing these actions.

We express our unwavering solidarity with the Lebanese Communist Party and with Soha Bechara as a symbol of freedom and resistance. We demand the immediate removal of her name, along with any other names associated with liberation movements, from Greek national records and similar records across Europe.

July 17th, 2023

SolidNet Parties

  1. Party of Labour of Austria
  2. Democratic Tribune Bahrain
  3. Communist Party of Canada
  4. AKEL, Cyprus
  5. Egyptian Communist Party
  6. German Communist Party
  7. Communist Party of Greece
  8. Iraqi Communist Party
  9. Tudeh Party of Iran
  10. Jordanian Communist Party
  11. Lebanese Communist Party
  12. Communist Party of Pakistan
  13. Palestinian Communist Party
  14. Palestinian People's Party
  15. Portuguese Communist Party
  16. Communist Party of Poland
  17. Communists of Serbia
  18. Communist Party of Spain
  19. Communist Party of the Workers of Spain
  20. Communists of Catalonia
  21. Communist Party of Swaziland
  22. Syrian Communist Party Unified
  23. Communist Party of Türkiye
  24. Communist Party of Venezuela

Other Parties

  1. Party of Popular Coalition Egypt
  2. Kuwaiti Progressive Movement
  3. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
  4. Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
  5. Socialist Refoundation Party Turkey
  6. Party of Popular Will Syria
  7. Arab Left Forum
  8. Party of Progress and Socialism Morocco
  9. The Labor Democratic Way Morocco        
  10. Unified Party of Patriotic Democrats Tunisia /