November 20, 2014
Dear Friends and Supporters,
We are all stunned by the news of Hassan Diab’s extradition to France. It is so deeply unfair. I cannot find words to describe it. See CONTEXT below for more information.
I come to you to tell that our Support Committee is not giving up and will continue the struggle for Hassan’s freedom. The work has started already, in making good contacts in France, working with Hassan’s French lawyer, getting French media on board so they are prepared to tell the facts of Hassan’s case, etc.
Many of our supporters have asked us: What can we do? Maybe you too have wondered in what way you can continue to help Hassan.
I would say that we need you more than ever before. Our Support Committee will keep you fully up to date (without overwhelming you with mailings) on developments in France, and how you can participate in supportive efforts.
One area for sure is for you to share with us the names of any progressive contacts in France, especially persons who live around Paris, but also human rights groups, unions, religious affiliations, and others.
Another thing we desperately need right now is Money! So sad that this seems to be always the bottom line.
We need to pay Mr. Stephane Bonifassi, the French lawyer who is representing Hassan in France. At this time, we need to raise $30,000 CAD which will have to be paid by the end of this year.
Many of you have given us such great financial support over the years. My hope is that we can count on you a bit longer. Therefore, I take the liberty to give you the information needed for making donations (see below).
Thank you again for all you have done – and hopefully will continue to do – for Hassan. This means so much to Hassan and his family!
With much appreciation,
For cheque donations, please make cheques payable to “Extradition Legal Defence Fund” and send to the following address (post-dated cheques are accepted):
c/o Ria Heynen
2849 Ahearn Ave.
Ottawa, Ontario K2B 6Z8
For Paypal or credit card donations, see information at:
In a very disappointing decision, the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear the appeal in Hassan Diab’s case. This is despite the fact that Hassan’s extradition was based solely on a widely discredited and condemned handwriting analysis report, and there is deep division among the provinces in how to interpret the extradition law.
In less than 20 hours after the Supreme Court decision, and on the eve of his daughter’s birthday, Hassan was whisked away from Ottawa before dawn with no chance to say farewell to his pregnant wife and daughter. This is despite the fact that the government had 45 days to enforce the extradition order.
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.”
Upon his arrival in France, a French investigating magistrate placed Hassan under judicial investigation (mis en examen) which is expected to last up to two years before the magistrate decides whether or not to put Hassan on trial. In the meantime, Hassan is languishing in jail while the French authorities continue their decades-long investigation of a crime he did not commit.
Gary Botting, Canada’s foremost expert on extradition commented: “There has rarely been a case that is so clearly unfair… How can you give any credence to anything that’s one sentence long and hang a guy with it?”
Professor Jacqueline Hodgson, a leading expert on the French legal system, 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 being represented by the 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.”
Ottawa Citizen article on Canada’s extradition law:
Statement by Professor Jacqueline Hodgson:
Statement by Independent Jewish Voices Canada, following the Supreme Court decision:
Hassan Diab Support Committee