eBulletin – January 9, 2012

“Stop Unjust Extradition Proceedings”

In this issue:

1. Public Rally in Ottawa – January 20
2. Article: “Persecution by Proxy”
3. Video: J’Accuse Event at Beit Zatoun
4. How You Can Help

1. Public Rally in Ottawa – January 20

Justice Minister Nicholson Must Refuse the Extradition of Hassan Diab!

Place: Department of Justice, 275 Sparks Street, Ottawa (at Sparks and Kent)

Time: Friday January 20, 2012, at Noon

Bring your signs, banners, and noise-makers!

On Friday January 20, join Hassan Diab’s supporters to deliver a petition to Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, signed by over 500 organizations and individuals, demanding that he refuse the extradition of Hassan Diab. Under extradition law, Mr. Nicholson has the discretion to stop extradition proceedings at any point. Moreover, the law obliges Mr. Nicholson to refuse to order an “unjust and oppressive” extradition.

Extraditing Hassan to stand trial in France would be manifestly unjust and oppressive. The allegations against Hassan are based on deeply flawed handwriting analysis and secret intelligence from unknown sources that is replete with major misrepresentations, inaccuracies, and contradictions. Evidence showing Hassan’s innocence (including finger prints and palm prints) was suppressed. An Ontario court which examined the case against Hassan concluded that it was “very problematic”, “very confusing”, “very convoluted” and drew “suspect conclusions”. The court noted that “the prospects of conviction in the context of a fair trial seem unlikely”. Yet it is on the basis of this “weak” case that Hassan was arrested, has spent over three years in prison or under intrusive conditions, and on which Mr. Nicholson is now considering handing him over to France.

Despite its strong doubts about the case, the Ontario court refused to allow Hassan to meaningfully challenge the evidence, claiming that he would have a chance to do so in France. In fact, even if it were justified to imprison and then turn someone over to a foreign state on the basis of such flimsy evidence (and it clearly is not), it is doubtful that Hassan would have a fair trial in France’s counter-terrorism system, which Human Rights Watch has denounced for its multiple violations of international human rights standards.

Join us on January 20 to call on Minister Nicholson to:

  • Exercise his discretionary power to immediately halt extradition proceedings against Hassan Diab, and act on his legal obligation to refuse unjust and oppressive extraditions;
  • Refuse extradition to states that use secret, unsourced intelligence or information that may have been derived from torture as evidence; and
  • Reform extradition law to take into account Canada’s human rights obligations, including the presumption of innocence, the right to a fair trial, the right to disclosure of evidence, and all other due process rights.

If you haven’t done so already, please sign the petition at http://stopextradition.diabpetition.org, and encourage others you know to do so as well, BEFORE January 18.

2. Article: “Persecution by Proxy”

“Persecution by Proxy: Canada’s Extradition Act and the case of Hassan Diab”
By Matthew Behrens
Briarpatch Magazine, January 1, 2012

“Were Diab to be tried in Canada, the case would be laughed out of court. But an extradition hearing is not a trial. Rather, it is an exercise in maintaining cordial relations with a foreign government. Once the Justice minister sets the process in motion, an individual is arrested and faces an extradition hearing that many critics view as a rubber stamp. An individual seeking to present evidence of innocence is normally halted by a judge who says that all those issues can be sorted out “over there,” where it is presumed a fair trial will ensue…

And so Diab, like many before him, suffers the double-barrelled wound of a process under which the standards to commit someone to extradition are painfully low and an ultimate decision that is more political than legal. While the Justice minister considers whether to proceed in the beginning and also receives submissions towards the end of the process – in essence, having the rarely exercised opportunity to reject the initial decision – the Supreme Court of Canada has noted the minister must ultimately determine the extent to which the feathers of a foreign power will be ruffled if the extradition is rejected. While the minister can refuse based on grounds that the surrender would be unjust, oppressive or motivated by political or racial persecution, such a decision is extremely rare, given the political ramifications…”

Read the full article at:


On October 29, 2011, Beit Zatoun House in Toronto hosted an evening of powerful dramatic readings from Hassan Diab, Emile Zola, and others who have broken the silence and spoken out about the injustices they face.

In 1894, Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish French soldier, was charged with treason. The accusation, based on fraudulent handwriting analysis, unleashed waves of anti-Semitism. Eminent French writer Emile Zola wrote J’Accuse to expose “the spectre of the innocent man who, far away, is suffering the most atrocious of tortures for a crime he did not commit — It is a crime to exploit patriotism for works of hate.”

Right now, exactly repeating the past, the case against Hassan Diab rests on flawed and discredited handwriting analysis. In this climate of Islamophobia, France has asked the Canadian government to comply and extradite Hassan Diab to France where he faces an unfair trial under France’s anti-terrorism laws that could land him in jail for life.

Watch a YouTube video of the October 29 J’Accuse event at:


4. How You Can Help

Take a stand against unjust extradition proceedings. Stand up for human rights and the presumption of innocence. Demand that Canadian standards of evidence apply in extradition cases.

There are various ways to help…

(a) SIGN the petition at http://stopextradition.diabpetition.org, urging the Minister of Justice, Mr. Rob Nicholson, to NOT surrender Hassan and reform Canada’s extradition law.

(b) WRITE to the Minister of Justice, Mr. Rob Nicholson (rob.nicholson@parl.gc.ca), and urge him NOT to surrender Hassan. A sample letter is available:

(Please share a copy of your letter with diabsupport@gmail.com)

(c) CALL Hassan Diab’s M.P. Paul Dewar of the NDP party, and ask him to contact the Minister of Justice on behalf of Hassan Diab.

Phone: (613) 996-5322 or (613) 946-8682
Email: paul.dewar@parl.gc.ca

(d) DONATE to Hassan Diab’s legal defence fund. To donate, visit: http://www.justiceforhassandiab.org/donate

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
Blog: http://friendsofhassandiab.blogspot.com

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