Join Us in Calling for a Public Inquiry and Reforming Canada’s Extradition Law


Photo Credit: CBC News, May 2018

Recent CBC coverage of Dr. Hassan Diab’s ordeal highlights the role the Canadian Department of Justice played in facilitating Hassan’s extradition to France. When the case against Hassan was falling apart, after the defense discredited the French handwriting analysis, Senior Department of Justice lawyers urged French authorities to produce “new” handwriting analysis. Justice Department lawyers also suppressed fingerprint evidence showing Hassan’s innocence.

We urge you to join us in calling for an independent public inquiry into Hassan’s case and reforming Canada’s extradition law so that no other Canadian is subjected to such a flawed and unfair process. We do not have faith in an internal review by the Department of Justice which, in the first place, was responsible for Hassan’s ordeal.

Amnesty International Canada and the BC Civil Liberties Association sent an open letter to the Canadian Ministers of Justice and Foreign Affairs calling on them to launch a thorough public inquiry into Hassan’s case. Also, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) called for an independent public inquiry into Hassan’s treatment. MP Murray Rankin, Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, raised Hassan’s case in Parliament and called for an independent public inquiry.

We ask you to add your voice by writing to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, calling upon him to launch a thorough, independent public inquiry into Hassan’s case. Please copy the Ministers of Justice and Foreign Affairs and your member of Parliament on your letter, and share your correspondence with diabsupport@gmail.com.

A sample letter is available:

Also, please post on social media and write articles and op-eds calling for a public inquiry.

For More Information:

Hassan Diab Support Committee
diabsupport@gmail.com
http://www.justiceforhassandiab.org

Hassan Diab Back in Canada
Very Grateful to Supporters!

After a very long three years and two months, Hassan arrived in Ottawa on Monday January 15, 2018. His wife, Rania, and their children were there to welcome him back home. We are grateful that Foreign Affairs was able to help bring Hassan back to Canada. For a video of Hassan’s press conference, click here.

As you might have heard, this is not the end of Hassan’s ordeal. There will be an appeal of the release decision. So, the outcome remains uncertain, and we’re not completely out of the woods yet. But for now, we can say that justice prevailed and Hassan is back in Canada and that is worth celebrating.

As members of the Hassan Diab Support Committee, we send you our BIGGEST HEARTFELT THANK YOU!

So many of you have been supporting Hassan in various ways for many years. Thank you for your donations that covered various legal costs, for writing to politicians, for phoning PM Trudeau, for signing petitions, for showing up at vigils (despite the freezing weather), and for your kind messages of support.

Over and over you helped us and kept us going. You also kept Hassan and his family going. We are immensely grateful. Let us hope this is the end of a long, difficult road.

Our heartfelt thanks,

Hassan Diab Support Committee
http://www.justiceforhassandiab.org
diabsupport@gmail.com

Hassan Diab Back in Canada;
Press Conference on Wednesday January 17

Le français suit l’anglais

MEDIA ADVISORY
For Immediate Release

16 January 2018, Ottawa — Dr. Hassan Diab arrived in Canada and was reunited yesterday with his family in Ottawa. On January 12, two French investigative judges had dismissed the case against Diab and ordered his immediate and unconditional release, including the right to return to Canada.

Hassan Diab, Don Bayne (Diab’s lawyer in Canada), Alex Neve (Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada), and the Hassan Diab support committee plan to hold a press conference on Wednesday, January 17.

What: Press conference following the release of Diab and his return to Canada
Where: Office of Amnesty International Canada, 312 Laurier Ave East, Ottawa
When: Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Photos: Warm welcome for Hassan Diab at Ottawa airport

For More Information:

Roger Clark
Hassan Diab Support Committee
diabsupport@gmail.com
http://www.justiceforhassandiab.org

Background:

On January 12, 2018, Judges Jean-Marc Herbaut and Richard Foltzer (“Juges d’instruction anti-terroristes”) dismissed the allegations against Dr. Hassan Diab and ordered his immediate and unconditional release from detention. An overwhelming body of evidence shows Dr. Diab cannot have been in France in 1980 when the attack was perpetrated, as many elements confirm he was in Beirut during that period of time. The decision also notably underlines the numerous contradictions and misstatements contained in the intelligence which cast serious doubts about their reliability, as well as the fact that Dr. Diab’s handwriting, fingerprints, palm prints, physical description, and age do not match those of the suspect identified in 1980.

Dr. Diab’s lawyers in France, William Bourdon, Apolline Cagnat, and Amélie Lefebvre, stated that “This decision in such a serious terrorism case is exceptional. It must remind us that the acknowledgement of a suspect’s innocence in a terrorism case is always a long road but can be obtained with relentless work. The decision is founded on the demonstration of the impossibility to attribute to Hassan Diab any responsibility in the attack, as we have not ceased to claim. The respect owed to the victims and their legitimate need for justice must not be confused with the prosecutor’s obstinacy whose potential appeal would be completely contrary to the law and facts.”

Don Bayne, Dr. Diab’s lawyer in Canada, remarked, “We’re elated, relieved and thankful. Thankful to the French judges for their wisdom and courage to buck political and social pressure to make a completely just decision, something that we believe the courts in Canada failed to do at every level. Thankful that Dr. Diab’s wife, Rania Tfaily, led the fight for justice with such dignity and perseverance. Thankful to Minister Freeland, Sam Moyer, Maria Lamani, and others at Global Affairs Canada for their genuine and impressive support to a Canadian who never should have been extradited. And thankful for the efforts of the wonderful Canadians who make up the Hassan Diab Support Committee. We would add this: now is the time for the Justice Minister, indeed the Prime Minister, to order a complete review of the Extradition Act and procedures that led to years of injustice for an innocent Canadian. How could Canada have extradited a Canadian to France when France never, never had a case against Dr. Diab fit to go to trial? How? Because of Canada’s Extradition Act, of the procedures it enables to strip Canadians of liberty unjustly. This Canadian was extradited on overwhelmingly unreliable evidence yet every Canadian court allowed this to happen. So while we are thankful and relieved that justice has been served, we must ensure the system is corrected so that no other Canadian experiences what Dr. Diab has.”

—————–

COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE
Pour distribution immédiate

Le 16 janvier 2018, Ottawa — Dr. Hassan Diab est arrivé hier au Canada et a été réuni avec sa famille à Ottawa. Le 12 janvier, deux juges d’instruction ont prononcé un non-lieu et ont ordonné sa remise en liberté immédiate, y compris le droit de rentrer au Canada.

Une conférence de presse se tiendra ce mercredi, le 17 janvier, avec la participation d’Hassan Diab, Don Bayne (avocat de Diab au Canada), et Alex Neve (Secrétaire général d’Amnesty International Canada – anglophone) et le Comité de soutien à Hassan Diab.

Quoi: Conférence de presse à la suite de la libération de Diab et son retour au Canada
Où: Les bureaux d’Amnesty International Canada, 312 Laurier Ave East, Ottawa
Quand: Mercredi matin, le 17 janvier, 2018, 10h.30 — 11h.30

Photos: Accueil chaleureux pour Hassan Diab à l’aéroport d’Ottawa

Pour davantage de renseignements:

Roger Clark
Hassan Diab Support Committee
diabsupport@gmail.com
http://www.justiceforhassandiab.org

Historique:

Le 12 janvier 2018, les juges d’instruction anti-terroristes Jean-Marc Herbaut et Richard Foltzer ont rejeté les charges à l’encontre du Dr. Hassan Diab en prononçant un non-lieu et ont ordonné sa remise en liberté immédiate. Il a été abondamment démontré que le Docteur Diab n’a pu être présent en France lors de l’attentat de 1980, ne serait-ce que parce que sa présence à Beyrouth au moment des faits a été confirmée. La décision des juges souligne notamment les nombreuses contradictions et inexactitudes qui sont contenues dans les notes de renseignement qu’ils ont examinées, et qui font douter de leur fiabilité. D’ailleurs l’écriture du Dr. Diab, les empreintes digitales, l’empreinte de la paume, sa description physique, et son âge ne correspondent pas à ceux du suspect identifié en 1980.

Les avocats français du Dr. Diab, William Bourdon, Apolline Cagnat, et Amélie Lefebvre, déclarent que «ceci est une décision exceptionnelle… dans l’histoire judiciaire française». Ils disent que la reconnaissance de l’innocence d’un suspect dans un cas de terrorisme est toujours un long chemin mais peut être obtenue par un travail sans relâche et que la décision est fondée sur la démonstration de l’impossibilité d’attribuer à Hassan Diab une quelconque implication dans l’attentat, ce qu’ils n’ont cessé de clamer. Ils ajoutent que le respect des victimes et de leur légitime besoin de justice ne doit pas être confondu avec l’obstination du parquet dont l’éventuel appel serait complètement contraire à la loi et aux faits.

L’avocat canadien du Dr. Diab, Don Bayne, déclare : «Nous sommes ravis, soulagés, et reconnaissants. Reconnaissants envers les juges français pour leur sagesse et leur courage en résistant à la pression sociale et politique afin de prendre une décision totalement juste, ce que, à notre avis, les tribunaux canadiens à tout niveau ont manqué de faire. Reconnaissants envers la femme du Dr. Diab, Rania Tfaily, pour avoir mené le combat pour la justice avec tant de dignité et de persévérance. Reconnaissants envers le Ministre Freeland, Sam Moyer, Maria Lamani et d’autres à Global Affairs Canada pour leur soutien entier et impressionnant d’un Canadien qui n’aurait jamais dû être extradé. Et reconnaissants pour les efforts des merveilleux Canadiens qui composent le comité de soutien à Hassan Diab. Nous ajouterions ceci : c’est maintenant le moment pour le Ministre de la Justice, et le Premier Ministre, d’ordonner une révision complète de l’Acte d‘Extradition et des procédures qui ont amené à des années d’injustice pour un Canadien innocent. Comment le Canada a-t-il pu extrader un Canadien en France alors que la France n’a jamais, jamais eu de charges suffisamment probantes pour faire un procès ? Comment ? A cause de l’Acte d’Extradition canadien qui permet de priver les Canadiens de leur liberté de manière injuste. Ce Canadien fut extradé sur la base de charges dont la fiabilité était quasiment nulle; pourtant tous les tribunaux canadiens ont laissé faire. Ainsi, bien que nous soyons reconnaissants que justice soit faite, faut-il s’assurer que le système soit corrigé afin que nul autre Canadien ne soit assujetti à ce qu’a enduré le Dr. Diab.»

French Investigative Judges Dismiss Allegations
Dr. Hassan Diab Set to be Released from Prison in France


PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

12 January 2018, Ottawa – Today, Judges Jean-Marc Herbaut and Richard Foltzer (“Juges d’instruction anti-terroristes”) dismissed the allegations against Dr. Hassan Diab and ordered his immediate release from detention. An overwhelming body of evidence shows Dr. Diab cannot have been in France in 1980 when the attack was perpetrated, as many elements confirm he was in Beirut during that period of time. The decision also notably underlines the numerous contradictions and misstatements contained in the intelligence which cast serious doubts about their reliability, as well as the fact that Dr. Diab’s handwriting, fingerprints, palm prints, physical description, and age do not match those of the suspect identified in 1980.

After more than three years in solitary confinement in a French prison, Dr. Diab is set to be released from detention today.

Dr. Diab’s lawyers in France, William Bourdon, Apolline Cagnat, and Amélie Lefebvre, stated that “This decision in such a serious terrorism case is exceptional. It must remind us that the acknowledgement of a suspect’s innocence in a terrorism case is always a long road but can be obtained with relentless work. The decision is founded on the demonstration of the impossibility to attribute to Hassan Diab any responsibility in the attack, as we have not ceased to claim. The respect owed to the victims and their legitimate need for justice must not be confused with the prosecutor’s obstinacy whose potential appeal would be completely contrary to the law and facts.”

Don Bayne, Dr. Diab’s lawyer in Canada, remarked, “We’re elated, relieved and thankful. Thankful to the French judges for their wisdom and courage to buck political and social pressure to make a completely just decision, something that we believe the courts in Canada failed to do at every level. Thankful that Dr. Diab’s wife, Rania Tfaily, led the fight for justice with such dignity and perseverance. Thankful to Minister Freeland, Sam Moyer, Maria Lamani, and others at Global Affairs Canada for their genuine and impressive support to a Canadian who never should have been extradited. And thankful for the efforts of the wonderful Canadians who make up the Hassan Diab Support Committee. We would add this – now is the time for the Justice Minister, indeed the Prime Minister, to order a complete review of the Extradition Act and procedures that led to years of injustice for an innocent Canadian. How could Canada have extradited a Canadian to France when France never, never had a case against Dr. Diab fit to go to trial? How? Because of Canada’s Extradition Act, of the procedures it enables to strip Canadians of liberty unjustly. This Canadian was extradited on overwhelmingly unreliable evidence yet every Canadian court allowed this to happen. So while we are thankful and relieved that justice has been served, we must ensure the system is corrected so that no other Canadian experiences what Dr. Diab has.”

Background

Dr. Hassan Diab is a Canadian citizen and sociology professor who lived in Ottawa. He was extradited from Canada to France in November 2014 even though the Canadian extradition judge Robert Maranger described the evidence presented against Dr. Hassan Diab as “very problematic”, “convoluted”, “illogical”, and “suspect”. However, given the low threshold of evidence in Canada’s extradition law, the judge felt compelled to order Hassan Diab’s extradition in November 2014.

Four French judges have ordered Dr. Diab’s conditional release eight times in the last 20 months, most recently in November 2017. However, each time the Paris prosecutor appealed, and the French Court of Appeal overturned the release orders due to the political climate in France.

Dr. Diab has a lifelong record of opposition to bigotry and discrimination, as attested by family, long-time friends, and colleagues. He has always maintained his innocence and strongly condemned the 1980 crime. He has unequivocally stated that “my life has been turned upside down because of unfounded allegations and suspicions. I am innocent of the accusations against me. I have never engaged in terrorism. I have never participated in any terrorist attacks. I am not an anti-Semite.”

Dr. Diab has the support of thousands of individuals and organisations in Canada and around the world.

Why Hassan Diab’s ongoing incarceration in France is Canada’s ‘Dreyfus Affair’

Ottawa Citizen Op-Ed
By Heather Menzies, November 27, 2017

“The Hassan Diab case is beginning to reek of the late 19th-century ‘Dreyfus Affair’ now that a fourth French judge’s order for Diab’s release for lack of evidence has been quashed at a higher level, and this Canadian academic and father of two small children begins his fourth year in solitary confinement in a French prison, without charge or trial.

Moreover, the reek of a gross miscarriage of justice, which the term “Dreyfus Affair” connotes, implicates Canada and what Canadians stand for as much as it does France and the values defining that society…

I am no Zola. But over the course of my career as a writer, I think I have gained a reputation for integrity. From my first book, an oral history of Canada during the 1970s’ national unity crisis, I have also engaged myself in the narrative of values, rights and responsibilities by which we like to define ourselves as a country. Every breach of these – from the residential school policy to the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War to, more recently, the treatment of Maher Arar, Omar Khadr and, now, Hassan Diab – challenges Canadians.

If each of these injustices is not addressed and rectified, it weakens our credibility outwardly and our self-confidence inwardly. As Zola wrote in his famous letter, letting politics trump principles ‘will destroy a freedom-loving France.’

I therefore salute those many in the Canadian media who have been keeping this case in the public eye. And I join my voice with fellow writers such as Naomi Klein and Yann Martel in calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to intervene and bring Diab home now! Otherwise, Mr. Trudeau, you force me and all other Canadians to be implicated in a 21st-century repetition of the terrible Dreyfus affair.”

Read the full Op-Ed:

http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/menzies-why-hassan-diabs-ongoing-incarceration-in-france-is-canadas-dreyfus-affair

Heather Menzies is a two-time winner of the Ottawa Book Award, an adjunct professor at Carleton University and a member of the Order of Canada.