May 2, 2023
Dear Friends and Supporters,
At this critical juncture, it is more important than ever to take action and call upon the Canadian government to protect Dr. Hassan Diab from another wrongful extradition.
On April 21, 2023, in a shameful and baseless decision, the Paris Court of Assize declared Hassan Diab guilty of a bombing near a Paris Synagogue in 1980, and sentenced him to life in prison.
No new evidence was presented at the Court of Assize. Hassan was wrongfully convicted based on unsourced intelligence and old, discredited material.
We are deeply concerned that France will make a second extradition request.
Here are two simple actions you can take to show the Canadian government that people are watching and care about justice.
Action #1: Send a Letter to PM Justin Trudeau
Please send the letter addressed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the ICLMG (International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group) website, demanding that the government immediately commit to refusing any second extradition request from France:
If you wish, you can edit and personalise the letter before pressing the “Send your message” button.
Action #2: Phone PM Justin Trudeau
Please take a few minutes to phone PM Trudeau and urge him to protect Hassan Diab. Here is the KEY MESSAGE we want to communicate to the Prime Minister:
“I am horrified that the baseless and shameful trial of Hassan Diab in Paris found Dr. Diab guilty. No new evidence was presented at the trial. The court ignored all exonerating evidence, and relied on discredited and unfounded allegations. Canada must protect Hassan Diab and say NO to any request from France for his extradition.”
PM Trudeau’s contact information:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Hill Office – House of Commons:
Phone: 1 (613) 992-4211
Constituency Office (Montreal, Quebec):
Phone: 1 (514) 277-6020
When you call, you will probably be transferred to leave your message on an answering machine. Please, leave a polite message, and say your name, town/province, and phone number.
Here are some additional things you may wish to say:
- I am very concerned that France is scapegoating Hassan Diab for a crime he did not commit.
- Hassan is innocent. In 2018, Hassan was released after two French investigative judges determined that there was no evidence linking him to the attack.
- The government has a moral obligation to protect Hassan.
- Hassan and his family have suffered long enough.
- Amnesty International has called on the French authorities to drop the case against Hassan.
- Honour the words you said in 2018: “What happened to Hassan Diab never should have happened”, and make sure that it never happens again.
Outrageous, Baseless Decision by the Court of Assize
Watch interviews with William Bourdon (Hassan’s French lawyer) and Don Bayne (Hassan’s Canadian lawyer) on CBC Power and Politics:
(Interviews start at 27 minutes, 11 seconds)
William Bourdon said his task of defending Hassan was an “impossible mission”. The court deliberately ignored and dismissed all “extremely convincing” evidence of Hassan’s innocence — that he was in Beirut at the time of the attack, that he did not belong to PFLP, and that he had very strong alibi. The presumption of innocence has been replaced by the presumption of guilt. After 43 years, the court is clinging on to Hassan Diab because of the pressure of the civil parties and the judges’ fear to be accused of laxity in finding those responsible for the 1980 attack.
Don Bayne called it a “political trial” and a “political conviction”, and remarked that “the victims deserve a trial; what they don’t deserve is a scapegoat or a miscarriage of justice.” Mr. Bayne also noted that Hassan was not convicted based on evidence. The type of material that was put forward by the prosecution (opinion of lay people, of journalists, of so-called intelligence people) is not evidence; it is opinion. This would never be allowed in a Canadian courtroom.
Moreover, the court that convicted Hassan was not a court of record. There is no transcript, no audio, and no video. So, there is no accurate record of exactly what happened inside the Court of Assize. In Canada, courts are of record. What we have here is a wrongful conviction of a man in absentia from a court that was not a court of record.
The two French investigative judges (Jean-Marc Herbaut and Richard Foltzer), who spent three years investigating this case and know it inside out, went to the court and urged the court not to convict, saying there is no valid basis for a conviction, that they’ve checked every aspect of this case and Hassan is innocent. Despite this, there is a wrongful conviction.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Justice Minister David Lametti must protect Hassan and say No to any request for Hassan’s extradition.
Prime Minister Trudeau must honour his words from June 18, 2018, when a few months after Hassan’s release and return to Canada he said that “what happened to Hassan Diab never should have happened” and promised to “make sure that this never happens again.”
Thank you for your continued support!
Hassan Diab Support Committee
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/justiceforhassandiab