Statements of Hassan Diab and Don Bayne at Press Conference, Ottawa, October 26, 2018
On Friday October 26, the French Court of Appeal prolonged the decade-long ordeal of Dr. Hassan Diab and his family. Instead of upholding the decision of the French investigating judges who found powerful evidence of Hassan’s innocence and dismissed all allegations against him, the Court of Appeal ordered a review of handwriting analysis that was used to extradite Hassan in 2014. This is the same handwriting analysis that was described as “totally flawed” by four internationally-renowned handwriting experts, and described as “very problematic”, “convoluted”, “illogical”, and “suspect” by the Canadian extradition judge.
Hassan’s lawyers in France remarked that after 38 years and “since no one was indicted, the Court of Appeal is clinging on to Hassan Diab… because of the judges’ fear to be accused of laxity in the context of today’s fight against terrorism in France.
Don Bayne, Hassan’s lawyer in Canada, said, “There are pressures in France, obviously some of them political, to keep this case going to satisfy some of the public outrage that has been generated.”
Hassan Diab, as well as numerous human rights and civil society groups, are renewing their calls on the Canadian government to conduct an independent public inquiry into Hassan’s extradition and review Canada’s Extradition Act, so no other Canadian would go through what Hassan and his family had to endure.
- Diab’s appeal unexpectedly delayed for new handwriting analysis, Ottawa Citizen, October 26, 2018
- Renewed calls for public inquiry as France pushes appeal decision in Hassan Diab case to next year, CBC News, October 26, 1018
- French court delays appeal decision in Hassan Diab case, orders new handwriting analysis, Globe and Mail, October 26, 2018
Photo Credit: CBC News, May 2018
On Friday October 26, 2018, the French court of appeal will rule to uphold or overturn a decision by two French investigating judges in January of this year to dismiss the case against Dr. Hassan Diab, allowing him to return to his home in Canada.
The investigating judges have found that there is consistent evidence that Hassan was in Lebanon at the time of the 1980 bombing that tragically killed four people and injured dozens. They also notably underlined the numerous contradictions and misstatements contained in the anonymous intelligence, and cast serious doubts about its reliability. The investigating judges also stressed that all fingerprint and palm print analysis excluded Hassan. However, despite conceding that there is credible evidence excluding Hassan, the French prosecutor appealed the dismissal decision and asked the Court of Appeal to put Diab on trial.
On the day of the decision (October 26), at 11:00 am Eastern, the Hassan Diab Support Committee will hold a press conference to comment on the decision and respond to questions from the media. Don Bayne (Diab’s Canadian lawyer), Alex Neve (Secretary General of Amnesty International, Canada), and Hassan Diab will speak at the press conference.
What: Press conference on the French Court of Appeal decision in Hassan Diab’s case
Where: Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Ontario
When: Friday October 26, 2018, 11:00 am Eastern Time
You can watch the press conference live via a live-steam provided by the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG). To watch the live-stream, go to the ICLMG Facebook page:
The live-stream will be the top post on the page. Alternatively, you may access the live-stream by clicking on the “videos” link on the left side of the page.
Many thanks to everyone who signed our petition calling on the Government of Canada to conduct a thorough and independent public inquiry into Dr. Hassan Diab’s extradition case! The petition will be presented in Parliament soon after the House returns from summer break.
Let’s reform Canada’s Extradition Act to make sure that no other Canadian would go through the unjust extradition process that Hassan and his family have endured!
Please sign our petition calling on the Government of Canada to conduct a thorough and independent public inquiry into Dr. Hassan Diab’s extradition case.
The petition closes on September 13, 2018, at 2:41 pm (EDT).
We would greatly appreciate if you would sign the petition and encourage people you know to sign before the deadline. Please help us make sure that no other Canadian would go through the unjust extradition process that Hassan and his family have endured.
Many thanks to everyone who already signed!
If you are not sure whether you already signed this petition, please take a minute and try signing it again. The petition will inform you if you’ve already signed.
Read related letters and articles:
- “My Declaration of Contrition”, by Benjamin Shinewald, The Canadian Jewish News, September 6, 2018
- “Government stonewalling on Hassan Diab shows why we need a full inquiry”, by Ken Rubin, Ottawa Citizen, August 15, 2018
- Letter from International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, August 1, 2018
- Letter from Amnesty International Canada and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association to Ms. Jody Wilson, Minister of Justice, July 16, 2018
- “There should be a fully independent public inquiry to prevent any repeat of the injustice done to Hassan Diab”, by Joe Clark, Monique Bégin, and Ed Broadbent, The Globe and Mail, July 3, 2018
Photo Credit: CBC News, May 2018
Opinion piece in the Globe and Mail by Joe Clark, former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister of Canada; Monique Bégin, former Liberal Minister of Health; and Ed Broadbent, former leader of the New Democratic Party.
“Dr. Hassan Diab, a Canadian citizen, was extradited to France in 2014. He was then held without charge in solitary confinement for more than three years… [O]n January 12 of this year, the two French investigative judges responsible for his case issued their decision confirming that there was insufficient evidence for laying charges. Most important, the same two judges had found solid evidence that Dr. Diab was studying in Beirut at the time of the 1980 Paris bomb attack. Dr. Diab was immediately released from prison and was able to return to Canada and his family a few days later…
On May 30, the Minister [of Justice in Canada] announced ‘an external independent review.’ By its nature, a review looks backward. Clearly that is necessary to know what happened in the Diab case. But it is equally essential to look forward and identify what changes are needed in the practices of the Department of Justice or other agencies, to ensure adequate legal protection of Canadians who may find themselves in a similar situation in the future. Canadians facing extradition deserve the full protection afforded by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That would be best achieved by a fully independent public inquiry, able to ensure full transparency and accountability, and provide objective and considered recommendations for reform.
Dr. Diab’s torment should never have happened. Nor should it be repeated.”
Read the full opinion piece: