Defending Hassan: Current
Fundraising Goal Nearly Reached‏

December 23, 2014

Dear Friends and Supporters,

THANK YOU very much for responding to our call-out for donations to help pay for the retainer of Hassan Diab’s lawyer in France before the end of the year. Also thank you so much for your many notes of support that were an inspiration to all of us.

With your generosity, devotion, and support, we have raised about $20,000 so far, and are two-thirds of the way to the $30,000 we need. Can we make it to the $30,000 by the end of 2014??

Your donation – no matter how small – will help provide an innocent man with the means to defend himself. For details about how to donate, please see below.

As you know, Hassan is now in prison under judicial investigation (mis en examen) for a crime he did not commit. He can expect to remain incarcerated for up to two years before the investigating judge decides whether or not to put him on trial. This is despite the fact that Hassan’s case started more than six years ago, and that the Canadian extradition judge found that the evidence in the case is “very problematic”, “convoluted”, “very confusing” and “suspect” and that “the prospects of conviction in the context of a fair trial, seem unlikely”.

After four long weeks since his extradition to France, Hassan was finally able to call home for a few minutes to speak with his wife and daughter. He is holding up and feeling strong with the knowledge that he is not alone, and that supporters like you are determined to fight on.

Please help us spread the word about Hassan’s case and email us the names of any individuals or organizations in France and Europe who might be willing to help regarding Hassan’s case.

Pete Seeger sings his song “If I had a Hammer” – the hammer of Justice and the bell of Freedom. This is what we are demanding for Hassan: Justice and Freedom.

It takes time, money, and lots of hard work and advocacy, but we are determined to continue the fight.

Again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all who have so generously given.

With Seasons Greetings,

Ria Heynen
Hassan Diab Support Committee

For cheque donations, please make cheques payable to “Extradition Legal Defence Fund” and send to the following address (post-dated cheques are accepted):

Extradition Legal Defence Fund
c/o Ria Heynen
2849 Ahearn Ave.
Ottawa, Ontario K2B 6Z8

For Paypal or credit card donations, see information at:


In a very disappointing decision, on November 13, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear the appeal in Hassan Diab’s case. This is despite the fact that Hassan’s extradition was based solely on a widely discredited and condemned handwriting analysis report, and there is a deep division among the Provinces in how to interpret the extradition law.

In less than 20 hours after the Supreme Court decision, and on the eve of his daughter’s birthday, Hassan was whisked away from Ottawa before dawn with no chance to say farewell to his pregnant wife and daughter. This is despite the fact that the Canadian government had 45 days to enforce the extradition order.

Upon his arrival in France, a French investigating magistrate placed Hassan under judicial investigation (mis en examen), which is expected to last up to two years before the magistrate decides whether or not to put Hassan on trial. In the meantime, Hassan is languishing in jail while the French authorities continue their decades-long investigation of a crime he did not commit.

Gary Botting, Canada’s foremost expert on extradition commented: “There has rarely been a case that is so clearly unfair… How can you give any credence to anything that’s one sentence long and hang a guy with it?”

Professor Jacqueline Hodgson, a leading expert on the French legal system, said: “The case of Hassan Diab, a 60-year-old sociology professor who has been extradited to France, is a troubling one…The evidence against him hinges firstly on unsourced intelligence that would be inadmissible in a criminal court in England and Wales (reliability cannot be tested if the source of information and the manner in which it was obtained are unknown); and secondly on the opinion of a handwriting expert described as wholly unreliable by five of the world’s leading handwriting analysts.”

Hassan Diab is being represented by the French lawyer Stéphane Bonifassi. Speaking to the Canadian press, Mr. Bonifassi said, “Hassan is in good spirits and I would say in combative spirits. We will fight the accusations, and hopefully the fact that there is no evidence against my client will prevail and he will be set free.”


Ottawa Citizen article on Canada’s extradition law:

Statement by Professor Jacqueline Hodgson:

Hassan Diab Support Committee

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