Michael Enright on
the appalling treatment of Hassan Diab

Put him on trial or send him home: Michael Enright on the appalling treatment of Hassan Diab
CBC Radio – The Sunday Edition
September 17, 2017

For the past three years, [Hassan Diab] has been sitting in a Paris prison cell.

He has never been brought to trial.

In France, magistrates investigate crimes in much the same way our police do. Investigating magistrates have repeatedly called for Diab’s release on the grounds that there is consistent and corroborated evidence that he never committed the crime.

One judge found that on the evening of the attack, Hassan Diab was studying in Beirut.

The judge wryly commented: ‘This calls into question information implicating him in the attack, since this relies on his presence in France during this period.’

Another judge has tried five or six times to have him released…

First and foremost, why hasn’t the French government released [Hassan] after so many judges said he was not guilty?…

And secondly, why has the Canadian government not vigorously pressed for Professor Diab’s release given that the only evidence at the extradition hearing was dubious at best?

Read Michael Enright’s full essay at:


1,000 Days in Detention and Counting:
Event for an Innocent Man

The Hassan Diab Support Committee and Octopus Books invite you to a screening of the short documentary “Rubber Stamped: The Hassan Diab Story”, followed by a panel discussion with Carleton University professors Maeve McMahon and Peter Gose, together with Roger Clark, former secretary general of Amnesty International Canada.

What: “Rubber Stamped: The Hassan Diab Story”, followed by a panel discussion
When: Thursday September 14, 2017, 7:00 PM
Where: The Lieutenant’s Pump, 361 Elgin Street (at Waverly), Ottawa, CanadaMap

This is an all ages event. Free and open to the public. The space is wheelchair accessible.


Dr. Hassan Diab is a Canadian citizen and sociology professor who taught at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa. He was extradited to France on November 14, 2014, in connection with the 1980 rue Copernic synagogue bombing in Paris.

The Canadian extradition judge described the evidence in the case as “very problematic”, “illogical”, and “suspect”, and stated that “the prospects of conviction in the context of a fair trial seem unlikely”. However, the judge felt obliged under Canada’s extradition law to commit Hassan to extradition.

Since his extradition over 1,000 days ago, Hassan has been locked up in a French prison cell, 20 hours a day, deprived of his freedom and torn from his family and home in Canada.

The French judge investigating the case found “consistent evidence” supporting Hassan’s innocence, and concluded that Hassan was not in France at the time of the 1980 bombing. Hassan was ordered released on bail six times. However, each time the French prosecutor appealed and the Court of Appeal overturned the release order.

To this day, Hassan remains locked up in prison and faces the prospect of wrongful conviction under France’s anti-terrorism laws.

Repatriate Hassan Diab and Reform Canada’s Unbalanced Extradition Law

Ottawa Citizen Op-Ed
By Professor Robert J. Currie, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
July 27, 2017

“The deplorable situation that Diab is experiencing in France — held without trial for years, in spite of numerous judicial decisions indicating he should be bailed or even released has been well documented elsewhere, including by Amnesty International. However, what Canadians need to understand is that this situation is a direct, even logical, result of the current state of Canadian extradition law…

“If an extradition request cannot be turned aside on the basis of a case as weak as that against Hassan Diab, it is difficult to imagine one that will be… Hassan Diab should be repatriated and our extradition law should be reformed.”

Read the full Op-Ed:


August 9: 1,000 Days in Prison
Phone PM Trudeau to Free Hassan Diab!

On Wednesday August 9, 2017, Hassan Diab will have spent 1,000 days in prison in France, despite documented and compelling evidence of his innocence.

A French investigating judge found consistent evidence supporting Hassan’s innocence, and concluded that Hassan was not in France in October 1980. Hassan was ordered released on bail SIX times by various French judges. However, the French prosecutor appealed each time, and the Court of Appeal overturned every release order due to the political climate in France. To this day, Hassan remains locked up in a French prison cell, 20 hours a day, deprived of his freedom and torn from his family and home in Canada.

Therefore we ask you, please, on Wednesday August 9, the 1,000th day of Hassan’s unjust imprisonment, to telephone the office of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and insist politely but firmly that the Prime Minister intervene with the French government and ask for Hassan’s immediate release and return to his home in Canada.

We want to have as many of these calls made as possible, coming from all over the country and beyond, all on the same day (August 9). How would the PM be able to ignore this?

(If you are unable to make the call on August 9, please make it whenever it is convenient for you.)

Here is the contact information:

PM Justin Trudeau, House of Commons:
Phone: 1 (613) 992-4211
Fax: 1 (613) 941-6900 (if you wish)

Constituency Office (Papineau, Quebec):
Phone: 1 (514) 277-6020

When you call, you will probably be transferred to leave your message on an answering machine, which is fine. Please, be sure to say your name and give your phone number.

Here is an example of a message you can leave, but please feel free to use your own wording. Even one sentence, asking the PM to intervene and bring Hassan home, is fine.

Template Message:

“Hello. My name is _____________.

I am a supporter of Dr. Hassan Diab, the Canadian who is languishing in prison in France.

Hassan has been in prison for too long, for 1,000 days, despite the fact that he is innocent.

I am calling to urge Prime Minister Trudeau to intervene and bring Hassan back to his home in Canada.

The Canadian government extradited Hassan. The government has a moral obligation to protect Hassan’s basic human rights and bring him home.

I look forward to your response. My phone number is _____________.”

With much appreciation,

Hassan Diab Support Committee

Ottawa Must Seek
Justice for Hassan Diab

Toronto Star Op-Ed
By Bernie M. Farber and Mira Sucharov
July 10, 2017

“The evidence against Diab is shaky at best. It appeared to rest on handwriting analyses that experts had discredited. The French authorities had tried to include “secret intelligence” from unidentified sources — evidence that Canadian authorities threw out. There is evidence that Diab was in Lebanon, not Paris, on the day of the attack. Fingerprints at the scene of the crime don’t seem to match those of Diab.

Robert Maranger, the Ontario Superior Court judge who agreed to the extradition, even admitted that ‘the prospects of conviction in the context of a fair trial seem unlikely.’

Nine years later, with absolutely no movement in sight, it is clear that Hassan Diab is not receiving justice by Canadian standards. This must change.

It is time for Canadian authorities to insist that France take proper judicial action or send him home. By forcing Diab into legal purgatory, Canada is seriously undermining its commitment to due process — one of the bedrock responsibilities of a democratic society to its citizens…”

Read the full Toronto Star Op-Ed:

“Ottawa must seek justice for Hassan Diab”, by Bernie M. Farber and Mira Sucharov, Toronto Star, July 10, 2017