Independent Jewish Voices Demands Justice for Hassan Diab

Independent Jewish Voices – Canada (IJV Canada) is outraged by the extradition of fellow citizen and human rights advocate, Dr. Hassan Diab, and is demanding for his release from French custody. Dr. Diab has been wrongfully accused of playing a role in the 1980 Paris synagogue bombing.

The evidence levelled against Dr. Diab is “confusing,” “weak,” and “suspect” according to the Canadian extradition judge. His fingerprints do not match those of the suspect, and the evidence brought forth by the French authorities on this matter was even withdrawn, after several internationally-renowned hand-writing experts testified that the handwriting analysis submitted by France is flawed and unreliable.

It is disturbing that Canada has permitted the extradition of a Canadian citizen on very unsuitable grounds, and without providing him with a fair trial under due process of the law. The intelligence evidence being used against Dr. Diab has not been made available to his defence, and it was likely obtained under torture. France does not extradite its own citizens, yet Canada has extradited Dr. Diab without a shred of credible evidence being presented against him.

IJV Canada is very concerned that Dr. Diab will not be granted a fair trial in France. It appears that France’s anti-terrorism laws and use of secret evidence will be used unjustly against Dr. Diab to push for a conviction.

We call on the government of France to abandon its case against Dr. Diab so that he can avoid being the victim of a wrongful conviction. Dr. Diab is being detained in a foreign state on charges for which he has no connection.

Alfred Dreyfus, a French-Jewish citizen, was wrongfully convicted of treason based on faulty evidence. In a climate of anti-Semitism, this blatant injustice was able to take place. Thankfully, strong public opposition within segments of French society pressured the government to re-open the case, which led to the acquittal of Dreyfus on all charges.

It is incumbent upon people and organizations of conscience in France to demand from their government that Dr. Diab be immediately granted his freedom. Much like Dreyfus, Dr. Diab is a victim of faulty evidence, which has led to an enormous injustice against him within today’s climate of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment.

IJV Canada calls upon the people and civil society organizations of France to join us and our allies in Canada, including Amnesty International Canada, the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, and the Canadian Association of University Teachers, to demand from the French government that the case against Dr. Diab be withdrawn, and allow him to return home to his family and friends.

April 2015

For more information contact: Tyler Levitan, Campaigns Coordinator for Independent Jewish Voices – Canada,

Join the “Bring Hassan Home” Campaign

On November 14, 2015, Dr. Hassan Diab was extradited from Canada to France, torn from his family and community, and incarcerated for a crime he did not commit. Hassan was not in France at the time of the 1980 rue Copernic bombing. His palm prints and fingerprints do not match those of the suspect. Yet he can expect to remain in prison for up to two years while the examining magistrate decides whether to bring him to trial. (See below for a recent article about Hassan.)

Join the Bring Hassan Home Campaign and make a statement of support for Dr. Hassan Diab by making a financial contribution to help cover the costs of his legal defence in France.

How to Join

To join the Bring Hassan Home Campaign, please visit the following page:

We also invite you to add your name to the following Campaign statement:

“Dr. Hassan Diab was extradited from Canada to France based on a handwriting analysis report that the Canadian extradition judge described as “convoluted, very confusing, with conclusions that are suspect”. Hassan is now incarcerated in a French prison where he may remain up to two years while the examining magistrate decides whether to bring him to trial. I am deeply concerned that Hassan may be wrongfully convicted under France’s anti-terrorism laws based on deeply flawed handwriting analysis and the use of secret intelligence. I pledge a financial contribution to support Hassan’s legal defence in France, so he has a real chance to fight for justice and return to his home in Canada. We must make sure that the real perpetrators of the rue Copernic crime are brought to justice. Making an innocent man pay for a crime he did not commit will only further the tragedy.”

To sign the above statement, send email to indicating that you wish to add your name to the Bring Hassan Home Campaign statement.

Click here to see current signatures on the above Statement.

Your ongoing support is vital to protect Hassan’s rights, to give Hassan a real chance to regain his freedom, and to bring him back to his home in Canada.

Hassan extends his deepest gratitude to his supporters for their steadfast support. It means so much to him and his family to know that supporters like you are still pulling for him.

“A Canadian in Paris: Hassan Diab’s Indefinite Jail Journey”
Article by Matthew Behrens in

“[Hassan] Diab now sits in a cell in the largest prison in Europe for 20 hours a day. This is directly due to the fact that in 2011, Ontario Court judge Robert Maranger upheld the extradition order, despite his conclusion that the case against Diab was ‘weak,’ ‘suspect,’ and ‘confusing,’ concluding ‘the case presented by the Republic of France against Mr. Diab is a weak case; the prospects of conviction in the context of a fair trial, seem unlikely’…

His supporters fear that he will not receive a fair trial in France’s much-criticized anti-terrorism courts. Indeed, Human Rights Watch noted that French ‘decisions to arrest suspects and place them under formal investigation are based on a low standard of proof’…”

Read the full article:

“The Nightmare”
A poem by Hassan Diab

It is dark; it is night
I lay awake waiting
For the nightmare to end
It is light; it is day
The nightmare is still there
Always there; at all times
I eat; I read; I sleep and
The nightmare is my companion
It never leaves me
I beg; I plead, but it never goes away
Sometimes I see light glimpses of my old life
So much has changed; so much has been lost
I wonder how and why
I wonder when the truth will shine
I wonder when I will be free

False Accusations,
Questionable Forensic Evidence,
Wrongful Conviction

Event : “False Accusations, Questionable Forensic Evidence, Wrongful Conviction”
Date : Saturday, February 7, 2015
Time : 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Place : River Building 2200, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – Map

Guest Speakers :
•   Jamie Nelson (Wrongfully Convicted)
•   Don Bayne (Lawyer Representing Hassan Diab)
•   Peter Gose (Hassan Diab Support Committee)

Sponsored By: Department of Law & Legal Studies Criminalization and Punishment Education Project (CPEP)

ADMISSION IS FREE (Donations are welcome for the Wrongful Convictions and Injustice Association of Carleton)

“We will fight the accusations”

Whisked away from Ottawa before dawn with no chance to say farewell to his pregnant wife and 2-year old daughter, Dr. Hassan Diab remains in detention in the Paris vicinity. A French investigating magistrate placed Dr. Diab under judicial investigation (mis en examen) upon Hassan’s arrival in France. Dr. Diab can expect to be held in detention for nearly 2 years while waiting for the magistrate to conclude his investigation and decide whether or not to put him on trial.

Upon learning of the Canadian Supreme Court’s decision not to hear Hassan’s final appeal, Diab’s lawyer Donald Bayne, said “We now have the classic recipe for the wrongful conviction of a Canadian citizen.”


Speaking of the unexpected swiftness with which Canada removed Dr. Diab, supporter Donald Pratt said, “This action by the Canadian government is inhumane to the point of cruel and unusual. This is not about Canada’s authority to do what it has done. This is about failing to respect standards of human decency.”

Hassan was extradited based on a discredited handwriting analysis report that was described by the Canadian extradition judge as “convoluted, very confusing, with conclusions that are suspect.” Extradition legal expert Dr. Gary Botting asked “How can you give any credence to anything that’s one sentence long and hang a guy with it?”

Jacqueline Hodgson, a law professor at the University of Warwick, said: “The case of Hassan Diab, a 60-year-old sociology professor who has been extradited to France, is a troubling one… The evidence against him hinges firstly on unsourced intelligence that would be inadmissible in a criminal court in England and Wales (reliability cannot be tested if the source of information and the manner in which it was obtained are unknown); and secondly on the opinion of a handwriting expert described as wholly unreliable by five of the world’s leading handwriting analysts.”

Hassan Diab is represented by French lawyer Stéphane Bonifassi. Speaking to the Canadian press, Mr. Bonifassi said, “Hassan is in good spirits and I would say in combative spirits. We will fight the accusations, and hopefully the fact that there is no evidence against my client will prevail and he will be set free.”

Hassan Diab Support Committee

Profoundly Disappointing Supreme Court Decision

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed Dr. Hassan Diab’s application for Leave to Appeal. Hassan, his family, and supporters are disappointed and dismayed by the Supreme Court’s refusal to hear his case, and to address the issues of serious public importance at stake. In response to the Supreme Court’s decision, Dr. Diab issued the following statement.

Statement by Hassan Diab
November 13, 2014

I am deeply shocked that the Supreme Court of Canada refused to even hear the appeal in my case. This is a very sad day for me, my family and supporters, and the state of extradition law in Canada. I had hoped for justice from the Canadian legal system.

I have been living a Kafkaesque nightmare for over six years, fighting false allegations against me, enduring detention, strict bail conditions, the loss of my employment, and enormous stress on my family. It is beyond devastating that the Supreme Court of Canada would allow my extradition for a crime that I did not commit and based on a handwriting analysis report that was shown by world-renowned handwriting experts to be wholly unreliable, totally erroneous, and biased.

It is shocking that this would happen in Canada, despite the numerous commissions on wrongful convictions based on faulty forensic evidence and the Court’s vow to never let this happen again.

I, my family, friends, and supporters, will continue to fight the false allegations that have been imposed on me, a Canadian citizen who is law-abiding, peaceful, compassionate, and who abhors violence.

I am grateful and heartened by the outpouring of support from thousands of individuals and organizations that recognize the injustice that I have experienced and the unfairness of Canada’s extradition law. I am also deeply thankful to my devoted lawyers who tirelessly worked on my behalf for years.

I vow to never give up, and I will always remain hopeful that I will eventually return to my home in Canada and be reunited with my wife and children.