“Stop Unjust Extradition Proceedings”
In this issue:
- Court of Appeal for Ontario Hears Hassan Diab’s appeal
- Recent Articles on Hassan’s Case Highlighting Unfairness of Canada’s Extradition Law
- Hundred for Hassan Campaign Update
- How You Can Help
On November 4 and 5, 2013, a three-judge panel for the Court of Appeal for Ontario heard Dr. Hassan Diab’s appeal of the unjust extradition committal decision and surrender order. Supporters packed the courtroom at Osgoode Hall in Toronto to show their support for Hassan and their deep concerns about Canada’s unjust extradition law.
Dr. Diab’s lawyers, Marlys Edwardh and Danial Sheppard, addressed the following issues:
That the extradition judge erred by ordering committal on the basis of a shoddy handwriting report by French analyst Anne Bisotti. The report claimed that Hassan’s handwriting resembles five words written on a hotel registration card in 1980. Ms. Bisotti utterly failed to follow proper methodology as recognized in the field of handwriting analysis.
That the Minister of Justice erred in ordering surrender when France is only seeking Hassan for questioning and has not made a decision to send his case to trial. According to Canada’s extradition law, the Minister of Justice should not order surrender for a purpose other than to stand trial.
That it would be unjust and contrary to the Charter to order the surrender of Hassan to be tried on the basis of unsourced and uncircumstanced intelligence that may be the product of torture, and that the Minister declined to conduct an inquiry into this connection.
That it would be unjust and contrary to the Charter to order the surrender of Hassan to be tried on the basis of two previous handwriting reports that France had withdrawn after it was revealed that they relied on samples not written by Hassan.
The Court also heard from three interveners – Amnesty International, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association – regarding the constitutionality of surrender for a purpose other than trial, and the obligation of the Minister of Justice to investigate whether unsourced, uncircumstanced intelligence may be the product of torture.
Amnesty noted that the “Minister of Justice should refuse extradition where there is a real risk that torture-derived evidence would be used at trial.” BCCLA observed that the global “war on terror” has impacted the security and intelligence practices of many states, including Western democracies. The result has been a “dangerous dynamic whereby all too often individuals get lost in the state machinery of suspicion and guilt by association”, rather than being properly charged based on reliable evidence. In commenting on the handwriting evidence, CCLA noted that Hassan’s case “rests on problematic handwriting analysis, and bitter experience has demonstrated that unreliable evidence can take many forms and occasion much injustice. Over the past twenty-five years, ‘Canada’s growing platoon of the wrongfully convicted’ has exposed the risk of unreliable evidence occasioning miscarriages of justice.”
The appeal decision is not expected for several weeks or months.
We sincerely thank all supporters who came to the Court of Appeal and have steadfastly supported Hassan over the years!
Factum presented by Hassan’s lawyers to the Court of Appeal:
Reports from renowned handwriting experts who reviewed the Bisotti handwriting report and found it to be utterly unreliable:
- Brian Lindblom:
- John Paul Osborn:
- Robert Radley:
- An additional report was submitted by two European handwriting experts and filed with the Court of Appeal as fresh evidence.
Hassan’s case points to glaring problems with Canada’s extradition law. In extradition cases, the Charter rights of the person sought are severely compromised. Canadian standards of evidence do not apply. The standard for extradition is so low that Canada hands people over to other countries based on evidence that is not acceptable in Canadian courts. Evidence submitted by the foreign country is presumed reliable, and the ability of the person sought to challenge the case is severely curtailed. Canada has extradition treaties with countries that allow secret intelligence, including intelligence that may have been the product of torture, to be used as evidence at trial. Moreover, Canada’s extradition law is unbalanced, as Canada extradites its citizens to countries that do not extradite their own citizens (France, in this case).
Read the latest articles on Dr. Hassan Diab’s case highlighting the unfairness of Canada’s extradition law.
- “Justice Maranger decided against Diab on the basis of handwriting evidence. He ruled that he could not conclude that the evidence was manifestly unreliable, although he added ’it was nonetheless highly susceptible to criticism and impeachment.’… If the bar approaches that low level as a test for ‘manifest unreliability’ … the civil liberties of Canadians are in a perilous state.”
“Civil Liberties in Peril”, by Randal Marlin, Ottawa Citizen
- “If a trial is held in France, Diab will be tried on the basis of the faulty handwriting analysis report, and the anonymous and unsourced intelligence. Human Rights Watch has documented the use of intelligence — including that derived from countries with appalling records on torture — in terrorism trials in France. The use of such intelligence would be inconceivable in a criminal trial in Canada. The Supreme Court held that the use of such intelligence renders a trial unfair.”
“Diplomacy must not trump justice”, by Jo Wood, Op-Ed, Ottawa Citizen
- “Our courts must insist that extradition requires real evidence and defend our citizens from the kind of abusive prosecution Dr. Diab faces. France does not extradite its citizens to Canada, so why should we extradite our citizens to them? Why do we allow our extradition laws to favour foreign states so systematically at the expense of our own citizens? Against these absurdly inverted priorities, Dr. Diab’s case asserts that our courts and governments have a duty to protect our rights. We all have a stake in that!”
“Hassan Diab and the Sorry State of Canada’s Extradition Law”, by Peter Gose
- “The issues at stake are not just about Hassan, but about everyone, especially people of Middle-Eastern origin who are often victims of unjust suspicion and discrimination under the so-called ‘war on terror‘. There are important similarities between Hassan’s case and those of other Arab and Muslim persons falsely accused of terrorism-related offences, particularly with regard to the use of secret evidence and profiling of individuals on the bases of their ethnic or religious background. Everyone needs to be reminded of cases like these and the dangers inherent in targeting individuals based on their background.”
“Hassan Diab is innocent and the case against him is without foundation”, Interview by Ahmad Hreiche with Don Pratt, member of the Hassan Diab Support Committee, Sada Al Mashrek, 11-26-2013 (Arabic version of interview starts on p. 2; English version starts on p. 20.)
Dr. Hassan Diab is not charged with any crime, yet since 2009 he has been forced to pay $2,000 per month for the cost of his own surveillance – a GPS device he is required to wear at all times – or be imprisoned.
We invite you to show your support for Hassan by signing a statement and pledging a monthly contribution of $20 or more to help cover the cost of his GPS monitoring. This is our way of taking a public stand and saying it is just wrong to make Hassan pay for his own surveillance.
To make a contribution to the Hundred for Hassan campaign, please visit:
To view the Hundred for Hassan Campaign statement, please visit:
We are pleased to announce the recent addition of the 108th signatory to the Hundred for Hassan Campaign statement! The five-year legal battle and monthly GPS monitoring have drained the financial resources of Hassan and his family. He urgently needs donations to succeed in his struggle for justice — a struggle we all have a stake in! The Hassan Diab Support Committee continues to look for new signatories to the Hundred for Hassan campaign statement.
Hundred for Hassan Photo Wall
Hundred for Hassan Campaign member Alroy Fonseca has started a Photo Wall that can be viewed here:
Click each photo to enlarge and to see a statement from the supporter.
We invite Hundred for Hassan campaign members to email their photo to and statement to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion on the Photo Wall. Once again, we thank you for your generous support and for showing solidarity with Hassan.
WRITE letters to newspapers voicing your concern about the injustices in Hassan’s case.
(Please share any letters you send with email@example.com)
CONTACT your Canadian Member of Parliament (MP) about Hassan’s plight and urge him/her to reform Canada’s unfair extradition law. (Please share any letters you send with firstname.lastname@example.org). The following page helps you find your MP using your postal code.
DONATE to Hassan’s defence to help defray the cost of the GPS monitoring device he is required to wear and the legal fees he is saddled with. For information on how to donate, please visit http://www.justiceforhassandiab.org/donate
Hassan Diab Support Committee