June 28, 2017
(Excerpt from Hassan Diab’s letter to his wife Rania commenting on the French Court of Appeal decision to overturn his release order.)
We Need Your Help
Canadian citizen Hassan Diab has spent the last nine years of his life either in jail or under draconian bail conditions despite evidence of his innocence.
As you may know, three different French judges have ordered the conditional release of Hassan SIX times in the past 13 months because of “consistent evidence” that he was in Lebanon at the time of the 1980 Paris bombing, for which he is under investigation. Several witnesses have independently corroborated that Hassan was studying and taking exams with them at that time. This was confirmed by official documents from the university where Hassan studied.
Despite overwhelming evidence pointing to Hassan’s innocence (including fingerprints and palm prints that do not match those of the suspect), the French Court of Appeal has summarily dismissed all six conditional release orders at the prosecutor’s behest.
Given the “unprecedented” nature of this case and the fact that Hassan’s lawyers in France had to litigate the case repeatedly in the courts, there have been substantial legal fees.
That is why we are asking for your help again. We have tried to manage, but we still need to raise CAD $40,000 to be able to pay the latest legal bill which is due before the end of August.
How to Donate
1. For cheque donations: Please make cheques payable to “Extradition Legal Defence Fund” and send to the following address:
Extradition Legal Defence Fund
c/o Ria Heynen
20 Cleary Ave., Apt. 504
Ottawa, Ontario K2A 3Z9
2. For donations using PayPal or credit card: Please go to the following web page and click on the DONATE button, then fill in the amount and other information.
3. For donations using Interac e-Transfer: Please sign onto your online banking, choose Interac e-Transfer; identify Diab Fund as the recipient, and firstname.lastname@example.org as the recipient’s email address; specify the amount and complete the security question-and-answer info. (Please select a security question that we would know the answer to, such as “What is the capital of Canada?”).
You can visit the following web page to track the progress of the fundraising campaign:
We hoped that we would not have to make any more fundraising appeals and that Hassan would be back in Canada by now. We have repeatedly asked the Canadian government to intervene. However, so far they have not.
In a press conference on June 21st, Amnesty International called Hassan’s continued detention “arbitrary” and in violation of European and human rights, and called on the Canadian government to intervene immediately,
Also, the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA), the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) wrote letters urging the Canadian government to intervene.
Many of you have written and phoned Prime Minister Trudeau’s office, and we are very grateful to you.
We would greatly appreciate if you are willing to donate to Hassan’s legal fees and help in securing his release and freedom. Any amount is greatly appreciated.
In closing, let me share with you a note that two of Hassan’s Canadian supporters sent me after a recent visit with him in Fleury-Merogis prison outside Paris.
On behalf of Hassan, the support committee and myself, I extend our heartfelt thanks to you for your support.
Hassan Diab Support Committee
Visit with Hassan Diab, May 16, 2017
We approached the sprawling jail with apprehension. Several guards, when asked for information, acknowledged Hassan as “le Canadien”.
It was almost three years since Hassan was imprisoned; 18 months since we last saw him. He’d served this long stretch in near-solitary confinement… Yet when we finally made it through the bars and checkpoints that separate him from the world, we found Hassan full of warmth and optimism. It was wonderful to see and embrace Hassan, who was equally glad to see us…
Hassan has only one or two hours a day outside his cell, a mere cubicle. He is on the fourth level of what he describes as a gigantic “chicken coop”, with wire mesh in place of partitions.
Hassan has been granted an hour a week to play soccer on an outdoor court which he says with some irony probably entitles him to the status of a ‘free-range chicken.’
Hassan closely follows the activities in Canada which lend him support. He took pleasure in knowing that a demonstration was to take place in Ottawa the day after our visit to him.
Hassan appears in good spirits, self-possessed and hopeful. He has, however, developed a back problem causing him physical discomfort and pain. He attributes this condition to his excessively cramped cell environment.
We were sad to part, knowing his incarceration continues and is taking a toll.