French Investigative Judges Order Diab’s Release for Sixth Time; Diab’s Supporters Call on the Prime Minister Trudeau to Intervene

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release

25 April, 2017, Ottawa – Yesterday, two French anti-terrorism investigative judges ordered again the release of Dr. Hassan Diab, the Canadian academic who was extradited from Canada to France in November 2014. The French judges found that there is “consistent evidence” that Dr. Diab was in Lebanon at the time of the 1980 Paris bombing. This is the sixth release order for Dr. Diab since last May, and the second release order within three weeks. The French Court of Appeal overturned all previous release orders. The prosecutor is appealing this latest release order.

William Bourdon, Apolline Cagnat, and Amélie Lefebvre, Hassan’s lawyers in France, noted that “even though two weeks ago, the Court of Appeal overturned for the fifth time the decision to release Hassan Diab, the investigating judges have refused to renew Hassan’s expiring detention warrant. As the investigation progressed, the elements for charge that were already very weak to begin with have shrunk and are now close to nothing, while the elements for discharging Hassan are multiplying and are extremely convincing. The investigating judges are firm on the fact that it is not possible in a state of law to continue to detain Hassan.”

Don Bayne, Dr. Diab’s Canadian lawyer, stated that “the French investigative judges have repeatedly ordered Dr. Diab’s release because of “consistent evidence” that he was studying for and writing exams in Lebanon and was not even in France at the time of the 1980 bombing – and thus is completely innocent. Dr. Diab’s continued incarceration is wholly and manifestly unjust. It is past time for this government to come to the aid of a Canadian citizen, to end this travesty of justice, to bring him home. ‘Prime Minister Trudeau, Minister Freeland, where are you when an innocent Canadian needs you?’ ”

When Dr. Diab was ordered released by the judge of freedom and detention in May 2016, he spent ten days out on bail in Paris without incident, before his release order was overturned by the same panel of Court of Appeal judges which has repeatedly denied him bail.

Dr. Hassan Diab was extradited from Canada to France in November 2014. The Canadian extradition judge described the evidence against Dr. Diab as “illogical”, “very problematic”, and “convoluted”. However, the Canadian judge stated that the low threshold for evidence under Canada’s extradition law left him no choice but to commit Dr. Diab to extradition.

Roger Clark, the former Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, remarked that “this travesty of justice continues solely for political reasons, there being no legal basis for Dr. Diab’s continuing imprisonment. Rather than acknowledge that an egregious error has been perpetrated, French authorities insist on maintaining their cruel charade against a background of widespread islamophobia and a fear of appearing weak on terrorism. Canada must immediately convey to the French Government the urgency of preventing further distortion of justice and of ensuring Hassan Diab’s speedy return to his home and family.”

Supporters of Dr. Diab have launched a Parliamentary petition calling upon the Government of Canada to work towards the immediate granting of bail to Hassan and securing his urgent return to his family and home in Canada.

For more information:

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

Please Sign and Share
Our Parliamentary E-Petition!

We urge you to sign our new Parliamentary petition calling upon the Government of Canada to work towards the immediate granting of bail to Hassan Diab and securing his return to his family and home in Canada. To sign the petition, please go to:

https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-833

The petition can be signed by Canadian citizens or residents.

Dr. Hassan Diab is a Canadian sociology professor who was unjustly extradited from Canada to France in November 2014. Since then, he has been languishing in a prison cell in France, deprived of his freedom and torn from his family and home in Canada, while the French authorities continue their investigation.

Since his detention, Hassan has been ordered released on bail five times by three different French judges. As recently as April 3rd of this year, the French investigative judge ordered Hassan’s release on the grounds that there is “consistent evidence” that Hassan is innocent of involvement in the bombing outside a Paris Synagogue in 1980. However, each time the prosecutor appealed and the Court of Appeal judges have overturned Hassan’s release.

William Bourdon, Hassan’s lawyer in France remarked: “Hassan Diab’s situation is unprecedented. After 36 years and since no one else was indicted, the court of appeal is clinging to Hassan Diab. He is detained because of the judges’ fear to be accused for laxity in the context of today’s fight against terrorism in France. Such a situation would be inconceivable in an ordinary law situation.”

Don Bayne, Hassan’s Canadian lawyer, said, “It is past time that our government – a government of rights and freedoms for its citizens – moved to help free this man.”

Please share the Parliamentary petition with your family, friends, and social media, so we can collect the greatest number of signatures possible on the Parliamentary petitionbefore it closes on July 11th.

Thank you.

Hassan Diab Support Committee
Email: diabsupport@gmail.com
Web: http://www.justiceforhassandiab.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/justiceforhassandiab
Twitter: http://twitter.com/justiceforhdiab

Rubber Stamped:
The Hassan Diab Story

Documentary directed by Amar Wala and edited by Andrea Conte

Dr. Hassan Diab is a Canadian academic who was extradited from Canada to France in 2014 in a case widely viewed as a wrongful conviction in the making. Since then, he has been imprisoned in France in a segregated unit, with only two hours per day out of his cell.

Dr. Diab was extradited based solely on a widely discredited handwriting report that the Canadian extradition judge described as “illogical”, “very problematic”, “convoluted” and “suspect”, even though Dr. Diab’s fingerprints, palm prints and physical description do not match those of the suspect. The case is anchored on secret, anonymous “intelligence” allegations, possibly gleaned from torture.

The Canadian extradition judge noted that the low threshold for evidence under Canada’s extradition law compelled him to order Dr. Diab’s extradition.

In 2016, a French investigative judge found “consistent evidence” supporting Dr. Diab’s innocence, concluding that he could not have been in Paris at the time of the 1980 bombing for which he is under investigation.

In May and again in October 2016, the French investigative judge ordered Dr. Diab’s release on bail, finding no grounds for his further detention. The French Court of Appeal overturned the release orders due to the political climate in France, and Dr. Diab remains imprisoned to this day.

The “Rubber Stamped” documentary shows the impact of Hassan’s ordeal on his family. Hassan’s supporters and his Canadian lawyer, Don Bayne, talk about the miscarriage of justice and the risk of wrongful conviction.

Join Us for Event in Vancouver
on April 5, 2017

Why is a Canadian Professor still in a French jail?
What can we do about it?

Hear: Don Bayne (Hassan’s Canadian lawyer) and Hasan Alam (of Critical Muslim Voices) speak about the 8-year nightmare of Hassan Diab.
View: The short documentary, “Rubber Stamped: The Hassan Diab Story”
Time: Wednesday, April 5, 2017, at 7:00 PM
Place: Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch, Combined Peter and Alma Room, 350 W. Georgia St, Vancouver, BC — Map

Event sponsored by:

  • British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA)
  • Hassan Diab Support Committee (Vancouver)

Endorsed by:

  • Canadian Association of University Teachers
  • Critical Muslim Voices
  • Independent Jewish Voices
  • Vancouver Muslim Community Centre Society

RSVP here: https://bccla.org/events/2017/03/justice-hassan-diab
Note: This is a free and public event. No ticket required. However, RSVPs are requested for event logistics.

Background:

Hassan Diab, a sociology professor at the University of Ottawa, was arrested in 2008 in connection with the deadly bombing of a Paris synagogue that occurred 28 years prior in 1980.

After 6 years of imprisonment and house arrest in Canada, Mr. Diab was extradited to France in 2014. Because of France’s documented history of using torture evidence in anti-terrorism investigations and trials, human rights and civil liberties groups – including the BCCLA – opposed the unconditional extradition given concerns that if delivered to France, Dr. Diab – a Canadian citizen – may face trial based on evidence potentially derived from torture.

The Canadian judge who extradited Hassan Diab described the French case as “weak” and concluded that a conviction was unlikely if tried in a Canadian court. France’s new anti-terrorism laws permit courts to rely on secret “intelligence,” whose contents or sources have never been disclosed to Mr. Diab.

Since his jailing, French investigative judges recommended that he be released on bail, saying there was reliable evidence that he was not in Paris at the time of the bombing. An appeal panel over-turned these recommendations saying that Diab’s release would be a ” threat” to “public order”.

Don Bayne, a leading criminal defence lawyer, said Mr. Diab, a Muslim Canadian, is Canada’s Alfred Dreyfus, a French Jew wrongly accused during a strongly anti-Semitic time.

It has now been more than two years that Mr. Diab has been held in pre-trial detention in France. We are calling on the Government of Canada to raise Mr. Diab’s case with the French authorities. We have the gravest concern that this case represents a profound miscarriage of justice and the time to act is long overdue.

If you are Canadian citizen or resident, please sign the e-petition calling upon the Government of Canada to work towards the immediate granting of bail to Hassan Diab and securing his urgent return to his family and home in Canada!

Please Sign and Share
Our Parliamentary E-Petition!

Dear Friends,

We have launched an e-petition calling upon the Government of Canada to work towards the immediate granting of bail to Dr. Hassan Diab and securing his urgent return to his family and home in Canada.

https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-833

If you are a Canadian citizen or resident of Canada, please sign the e-petition as this would send a strong message that Canadians care and want their government to act. Only the Clerk of Petitions at Parliament would have access to your information. Your personal information will not be made public.

Hassan was extradited from Canada to France more than two years ago. Since then, he has been ordered released on bail four times by two different French judges. The French investigative judge found that there is “consistent evidence” that Hassan is innocent. However, each time the prosecutor has appealed and the same court of appeal judges has overturned Hassan’s release because of the political climate in France. Hassan has been on very strict bail conditions or imprisoned for over eight years despite documented evidence showing that he is innocent.

Please share this e-petitiont widely and help us get the Canadian government to intervene to put an end to the plight of Hassan and his family!

Thank you.

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