“Stop Unjust Extradition Proceedings”
In this issue:
- Hassan Diab’s Kafkaesque Situation Continues
- CCLA Report to the UN Committee Against Torture Cites the Case of Hassan Diab
- Memorandum by Dr. Maeve McMahon Highlights Issues Raised by the Diab Case
- How You Can Help
1. Hassan Diab’s Kafkaesque Situation Continues
Hassan’s Kafkaesque situation continues following the decision by an Ontario judge to commit him to extradition (June 2011), and the order by Minister Nicholson to surrender him to France (April 2012). This is despite the fact that Hassan is not charged with any crime, and French investigators have informed Minister Nicholson that they are seeking Dr. Diab’s extradition only for questioning. Hassan has repeatedly affirmed that he is willing to answer questions from French authorities here in Canada. He has also agreed to submit to a lie-detector test. Hassan’s lawyers are preparing an appeal of both the Judge’s decision and the Minister’s order. The appeal is expected to be heard in 2013.
It is tragic that Hassan, who has always opposed bigotry and violence, is being subjected to grave injustices in the name of extradition. There is no evidence to support the case against Hassan. His palm prints and finger prints do not match those of the suspect. The case against him is rife with contradictions and inaccuracies. The decision to extradite Hassan is based on a handwriting analysis report submitted by France that claims similarity between Hassan’s handwriting and five words written by the suspect. This report was denounced by internationally renowned experts as deeply flawed, biased, and unreliable. The extradition judge himself found the report to be “convoluted”, “very confusing”, and “with conclusions that are suspect”. He declared that “the prospects of conviction in the context of a fair trial seem unlikely”, but said his interpretation of Canada’s extradition law left him no choice but to commit Hassan to extradition. If Hassan’s case were tried in Canada, the case would be thrown out of court.
In the meantime, Hassan continues to live under very strict bail conditions that include paying about $2,000 per month for a GPS device that he must wear at all times. In effect, Hassan must pay for his own house arrest or he will be placed in detention while he is appealing his case.
2. CCLA Report to the UN Committee Against Torture Cites the Case of Hassan Diab
Earlier this year, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) submitted a report to the United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT), expressing serious concerns that Canada is extraditing or deporting individuals to the risk of torture, to the risk of manifestly unfair trial, and to face charges potentially based upon secret evidence procured from torture. The report highlighted several cases in Canada, including the case of Hassan Diab. Here are excerpts from the report.
“On June 6th, 2011, the Justice Maranger of the Ontario Superior Court ordered Ottawa professor Hassan Diab, committed for extradition to France. France requested Professor Diab’s extradition in connection with the bombing of a Paris synagogue in October 1980…
In his decision, Justice Maranger noted that France had put forward a “weak case”, and that the “prospects of conviction in the context of a fair trial seem unlikely.” At paragraph 121 of his decision, Justice Maranger states “I found the French [handwriting] report convoluted, very confusing, with conclusions that are suspect. Despite this view, I cannot say that it is evidence that should be completely rejected as ‘manifestly unreliable’”. As such, Justice Maranger found that he was required to order Professor Diab’s committal…
CCLA is concerned that an individual could be ordered for committal on the basis of evidence characterized as “weak”, “confusing”, “convoluted”, and “unlikely” to result in conviction in a fair trial. How is committal based on such evidence reconciled with the rights to liberty, due process and fair trial – protected in our Charter and in international law?
Furthermore, allegations that the French judicial process may not permit the individual sought to challenge this evidence in a trial, and may permit reliance on ‘secret evidence’ that will not be disclosed or permit a full answer and defence or challenge, raise concerns about due process and fair trial. We reiterate that the right to fair trial is protected in Canadian law and in international law…
The CCLA remains concerned that if the test for extradition in Ferras is undermined, it may lead to unfair processes and injustices for persons suspected of crimes by foreign states.”
Read the full CCLA report at:
3. Memorandum by Dr. Maeve McMahon Highlights Issues Raised by the Diab Case
Dr. Maeve McMahon, an Associate Professor of Law and Criminology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, wrote a memorandum to members of The European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control. The memorandum details the due process violations and human rights issues raised by Hassan Diab’s case.
“As a social scientist and criminologist with knowledge about certain areas of the Canadian criminal justice system (notably with respect to issues of imprisonment and policing), I have been astounded by what I have learned about the extradition process in Canada since I began to pay closer attention to the case of Dr. Hassan Diab as of the spring of 2011…
A multitude of legal, ethical, and socio-political issues arise concerning the case of Dr. Hassan Diab. Fundamental among these is the law of extradition in Canada and the extent to which it does, and does not, comply with Canada’s Constitution and especially the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Also fundamental is the extent to which Canadian legislation concerning extradition does and does not comply with international conventions concerning human rights, as well as progressive norms concerning due process and the rule of law…
Supporters of Dr. Hassan Diab are already numerous. However it is hoped that, as people learn more about the details of this case, they will consider taking action…”
4. How You Can Help
DONATE to Hassan’s legal defence or to help defray the cost of the GPS device he is required to wear. To donate, go to the web page http://www.justiceforhassandiab.org/donate. Several options are available including a one-time donation using a credit card or paypal account, and an option to donate on a monthly basis.
ORGANIZE an event or fundraiser around Hassan’s case. You can contact the Hassan Diab Support Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
WRITE to your Member of Parliament (MP) about Hassan’s plight and urge him/her to reform Canada’s unfair extradition law. Send a copy of your letter to Mr. Paul Dewar of the New Democratic Party (who is Hassan Diab’s member of Parliament, and is also opposition critic for Foreign Affairs).
Mr. Paul Dewar
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0A6
Please send a copy of your correspondence to email@example.com.
Hassan Diab Support Committee