Dr. Diab is the Canadian citizen who, at the behest of France, was sought for extradition on trumped up charges. Subject to allegations of involvement in the bombing of a Paris synagogue in 1980, he was pursued and harassed by the RCMP in 2008. Arrested on November 13th of that year, denied bail, and jailed in the disreputable Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre, he was then released in April 2009, only to be placed under the most draconian house arrest conditions.
In 2014, after prolonged and suspect extradition hearings, his extradition to France was sealed. He spent over three years in solitary confinement without charge or trial in the Fleury-Mérogis prison and was finally released in 2018. Judges found no evidence to justify a trial. He also had a powerful alibi: he was not in Paris at the time of the bombing (October 1980), but in Beirut, writing exams. In 2018, his return to Canada from France was breaking news.
While Dr. Diab’s nightmare was suspended for three years, its spectre returned on January 27, 2021 when a French Court of Appeal ruled that Dr. Diab stand trial even as evidence against him had been entirely annulled. This was a shocking turn of events, not least because the Court of Appeal’s ruling was riddled with egregious misrepresentations, logical inconsistencies, and wild fabrications. Worse still, on May 19, 2021, France’s Supreme Court (Cour de cassation) upheld the Court of Appeal’s baseless ruling.
This flagrant miscarriage of justice is clearly of a political nature. France has the wrong man. But under pressure from the victims’ lobby and given the state’s position on terrorism, French authorities will not concede ground, nor admit error. The Hassan Diab case requires a political solution.
Dr. Diab’s support committee is thus appealing to the Canadian government to save him from the fate of a second extradition and from the claws of the French judiciary. To this end, it is reaching out to members of the legal profession in hopes that they might be able to help. By enlisting the aid of lawyers and their circle, the support committee is requesting that lawyers sign a letter to the Canadian government with the following demands:
- that Hassan Diab not be extradited a second time;
- that the non-reciprocal extradition treaty between Canada and France be suspended; and
- that the persecution of Dr. Hassan Diab be ended once and for all.
If you are a lawyer or a legal scholar, please sign the letter at:
For recent commentaries on the Hassan Diab case, please see:
- “Extraditing Hassan Diab a second time would be a travesty”, by Mira Sucharov and Bernie Farber, The Globe and Mail, February 18, 2021
- “Canadian academic Hassan Diab ordered to stand trial in French terrorism case”, CBC News, May 19, 2021”
- CBC “All in a Day” interview with Don Bayne, Hassan Diab’s Canadian lawyer, May 19, 2021
- CBC “As It Happens” Interview with Alex Neve, former Secretary General of Amnesty International – Canada, May 19, 2021 (starts at 36:36)
- “Our extradition system is broken, and Hassan Diab is paying with his life”, by Samantha Ponting, ricochet media, May 19, 2021
- “Hassan Diab deserves better from the justice minister”, by Gary Botting, Legal Matters, May 31, 2021
- The Real News “Rattling the Bars” (host Eddie Conway) interview with Roger Clark and Monia Mazigh, June 2, 2021
- “Canada should suspend its extradition treaty with France over the persecution of Hassan Diab”, by Robert J. Currie, rabble.ca, June 3, 2021
- “How France lied about Hassan Diab”, by Michelle Weinroth, Canadian Dimension, June 6, 2021
For a detailed account of the twists and turns of the saga, which is both long and convoluted, please see: