Why Canada must stand clearly behind
Hassan Diab

Why hasn’t the federal government firmly taken a position to stop any prospect of a new extradition?
By Yavar Hameed

Canada’s response to the French Court of Appeal’s January 2021 decision to proceed to trial against Ottawa sociology professor Hassan Diab has been ambiguous. Diab, who spent three years in a French prison, returned to Canada in 2018 after all charges were dismissed against him by designated French anti-terrorism judges…

It’s clear why Canada must unequivocally stop any potential extradition process for Diab to face the “weak” charges that have been reinvoked by the French Court of Appeal.

First, the evidence against Diab has previously been found not to be sufficient to proceed to trial at a Court d’assise by anti-terrorism judges who are specialized in assessing the merit of anti-terrorism prosecutions. So, France had already taken a good long look at its case for more than a decade and decided it was inadequate to go to trial.

Second, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has previously found the evidence against Diab to be “weak” and in particular, that “ … the prospects of conviction in the context of a fair trial, seem unlikely.” As a corollary to this problem, the political decision to allow an extradition of Diab would be for Canada to subject its citizen to an outcome which offends Canada’s own standards of legal fairness and would also not advance the public interest.

Third, the Court of Appeal’s decision is based on the same old case against Diab. There is no indication that any new information has surfaced that would materially alter, cast doubt upon or suggest that there was some error in fact or in law by the anti-terrorism judges who originally dismissed the charges against Diab. According to Diab’s Canadian lawyer, the appeal “flies in the face of existing evidence”…

The litmus test for when human rights are shown to matter is when they are defended despite the inconvenience of doing so. For Canada, this means taking a clear, unequivocal and principled position against Diab’s extradition, even when doing so might offend the nuances of diplomatic relations between Canada and France.

Read the full piece in The Ottawa Citizen

Extraditing Hassan Diab a second time
would be a travesty

By Mira Sukahrov and Bernie Farber

The freedom of one Canadian citizen is again being threatened, and with it, the integrity of Canadian democracy. With formal charges having been laid against a Canadian citizen by France, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ability to stand up in the face of injustice – and in the face of a bullying ally – is again being put to the test…

Some might argue that a criminal trial is the best place for Mr. Diab to finally prove his innocence. And others might point to the Segal report of 2019, which exonerated Canada for acceding to the 2014 extradition request. Those people might suggest that Mr. Trudeau should grant France’s request for an extradition if and when the time comes. But here’s the thing. Democracies must refuse an extradition request if there are serious concerns about the likelihood of a fair trial. Enough evidence in Mr. Diab’s ordeal – particularly evidence that came to light after the 2014 extradition – persuades us that he very well may not receive a fair trial in France…

We agree with Mr. Trudeau’s words that such a travesty should not happen again. Given the questionable methods of the French prosecution going back over a decade, we call on the Canadian government to protect this Canadian citizen and refuse any request for his extradition.

Read the full piece in The Globe and Mail

Français: Extrader Hassan Diab une seconde fois serait une parodie de justice

Organisations support Hassan Diab following unjust French court of appeal decision

On 27 January 2021, a French Court of Appeal decided to refer Dr. Hassan Diab’s case to trial, three years after a lower court set him free because of overwhelming evidence of his innocence. The decision of the Court of Appeal is the continuation of a long odyssey of injustice that Hassan and his family have endured for more than 12 years. The following organisations have issued public statements in support of Hassan.

Amnesty International
French court ruling in Hassan Diab case deals a devastating blow to justice
“The French court’s decision to keep pursuing this prolonged injustice against Hassan Diab is unacceptable. His family has been through so much over the past 12 years, only to learn that this painful saga is not over. The Canadian government must do everything in its power to have these charges dropped so Hassan and his family can move forward.”

BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA)
Canada Must Intervene in Case of Hassan Diab
“Dr. Diab is facing a French Court of Appeal ruling ordering him to stand trial, potentially in absentia, on baseless accusations of terrorism years after a lower court in France cleared his name due to lack of evidence. There is no new evidence being introduced, and this is the first time that the French Court of Appeal has ever overturned the findings of the investigative judges in a terrorism case. We are urging the federal government to commit to not extraditing Dr. Diab and to proactively intervene with their French counterparts to have these charges dropped.”

Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)
French court’s ruling is a further injustice for Hassan Diab
“Rather than pursuing the continued persecution of Dr. Diab, French authorities should focus on finding the true culprit or culprits of this horrific crime. CAUT will continue to support him in his appeal of this decision to the Supreme Court of France.”

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau
“We urge your government to ensure the rights of Dr. Diab are protected by committing to not extradite him to France a second time and by proactively intervening with your French counterparts to have the charges against him dropped. The ordeal and travesty of justice that Dr. Diab and his family have endured must end and must not happen to anyone else.”

Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice (CUSJ)
CUSJ Speaks on Hassan Diab
“Why did our extradition laws allow Diab to be extradited when there was no credible evidence against him? … It is time for the Canadian government to stand up and take responsibility for their part in this travesty of justice. He [Trudeau] should put pressure on the French government to dismiss these charges and release Professor Diab once and for all. He should call a full public and independent inquiry into the Canadian extradition system. What would be unconscionable would be to send him back to France. That must never happen.”

Independent Jewish Voices – Canada
IJV Stands with Hassan Diab: No Evidence, No Trial
“IJV is calling on the Canadian government to take the following three actions: 1) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau must intervene with their French counterparts to put a stop to this endless, Kafkaesque affair; (2) The Prime Minister must put into action his statement of June 20, 2018, that what happened to Dr. Diab should never happen again, and commit to not extraditing him to France a second time; (3) The government must immediately initiate steps to reform its extradition laws to ensure that no other person is forced to suffer through the same ordeal as Dr. Diab ever again.”

International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group ICLMG)
Prime Minister Trudeau Must Intervene after Outrageous Ruling in Hassan Diab’s Case
“It is outrageous that a French court of appeal has decided to overturn the dismissal of the case against Hassan Diab and to order a trial. There has been no new evidence introduced, and nothing that changes the decision from three years ago when the investigating judges released him without charge.”

Just Peace Advocates
Standing with Dr. Hassan Diab
“Just Peace Advocates joins in the call for immediate action by the Canadian government. Over a dozen years ago, Dr. Diab was accused of acts of terrorism in relation to the bombing of a Paris synagogue in 1980. These accusations were proven to be groundless… We too continue to stand with Dr. Diab, his partner Rania, their children and the Justice for Hassan Diab Support Committee until this matter is resolved and Dr. Diab is completely free.”

National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE)
NUPGE urges Canada to act in case of Hassan Diab
“The Canadian government has a responsibility to take action to right this wrong. I am asking you to raise this matter with your French counterparts and to communicate the view that the proper course of action is for the French authorities to drop these unfounded charges against Diab and to not continue with the prosecution.”

Union Juive Française Pour La Paix (UJFP)
Non a une Nouvelle Extradition de Hassan Diab, Hassan Diab est innocent. (Translation: No to another extradition of Hassan Diab, Hassan Diab is innocent.)
“L’UJFP s’associe au comité Hassan Diab du Canada pour exiger qu’il ne soit pas extradé vers la France. Non au harcèlement judiciaire politique. Liberté totale pour Hassan Diab.”(Translation: “The UJFP is joining forces with the Hassan Diab support committee in Canada to demand that Hassan not be extradited to France. No to political judicial harassment. Total freedom for Hassan Diab.”)

United Jewish People’s Order – Winchevsky Centre
Letter to PM Trudeau — Support Hassan Diab: No Trial
“We at the United Jewish People’s Order (UJPO)-Canada call on Justice Minister David Lametti and the federal government to stand by Hassan Diab, a citizen of Canada and an innocent man who France is determined to lock up based on discredited handwriting analysis. We further call on the Canadian government to tell France that the proper course of action is to drop this case.”

Hassan Diab’s long odyssey of injustice continues

We are shocked and outraged by the French Court of Appeal decision on 27 January 2021 to refer Dr. Hassan Diab’s case to trial, three years after a lower court set him free because of overwhelming evidence of his innocence. The decision of the Court of Appeal is the continuation of a long odyssey of injustice that Hassan and his family have endured for more than 12 years. Hassan’s French lawyers plan to appeal the decision to France’s Supreme Court.

In 2018, French investigating judges dismissed the case and released Hassan from prison due to lack of evidence. Since then, the case has only grown weaker in light of further exonerating evidence. Another handwriting analysis commissioned by the French Court of Appeal delivered a scathing critique and rebuke of the “Bisotti report” that was used to extradite Hassan from Canada in 2014. Witnesses and documents prove that Hassan was in Lebanon writing his university exams at the time of the 1980 bombing. Hassan’s fingerprints, palm prints and physical description do not match those of the suspect.

After more than 40 years and since no one was indicted, the French Court of Appeal is clinging onto Hassan Diab to keep the case going. The victims of the 1980 Rue Copernic bombing and their families deserve justice, but this cannot be achieved by subjecting an innocent man to a trial. French authorities would better serve the victims and their families by trying to find the true perpetrators of this awful crime.

We are preparing a letter-writing campaign urging the Canadian government to put an end to Hassan Diab’s long and Kafkaesque ordeal. You will soon receive information about this and other actions we are planning.

Hassan, his wife, and children have suffered enough. As the long odyssey of injustice continues, we must continue the fight!

Please Donate to Hassan’s Legal Defence in France

Please make a donation to help cover the cost of Hassan’s ongoing legal defence in France. Your support is vital to protect Hassan’s rights and prevent his wrongful conviction. A donation of any amount is much appreciated and can make a difference!

To donate, please visit the following, page and choose from one of the various ways to donate.


Recent Articles and Statements

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

Press conference reacting to the French court of appeal decision referring Hassan Diab’s case to trial

Video of press conference on January 27, 2021, reacting to the French court of appeal decision referring Hassan Diab’s case to trial. Speakers were Don Bayne (Hassan’s Canadian lawyer), Alex Neve (former Secretary General of Amnesty International – Canada), Robert Currie (Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University), and Roger Clark (member of the Hassan Diab Support Committee).