Independent Jewish Voices – Canada (IJV Canada) is outraged by the extradition of fellow citizen and human rights advocate, Dr. Hassan Diab, and is demanding for his release from French custody. Dr. Diab has been wrongfully accused of playing a role in the 1980 Paris synagogue bombing.
The evidence levelled against Dr. Diab is “confusing,” “weak,” and “suspect” according to the Canadian extradition judge. His fingerprints do not match those of the suspect, and the evidence brought forth by the French authorities on this matter was even withdrawn, after several internationally-renowned hand-writing experts testified that the handwriting analysis submitted by France is flawed and unreliable.
It is disturbing that Canada has permitted the extradition of a Canadian citizen on very unsuitable grounds, and without providing him with a fair trial under due process of the law. The intelligence evidence being used against Dr. Diab has not been made available to his defence, and it was likely obtained under torture. France does not extradite its own citizens, yet Canada has extradited Dr. Diab without a shred of credible evidence being presented against him.
IJV Canada is very concerned that Dr. Diab will not be granted a fair trial in France. It appears that France’s anti-terrorism laws and use of secret evidence will be used unjustly against Dr. Diab to push for a conviction.
We call on the government of France to abandon its case against Dr. Diab so that he can avoid being the victim of a wrongful conviction. Dr. Diab is being detained in a foreign state on charges for which he has no connection.
Alfred Dreyfus, a French-Jewish citizen, was wrongfully convicted of treason based on faulty evidence. In a climate of anti-Semitism, this blatant injustice was able to take place. Thankfully, strong public opposition within segments of French society pressured the government to re-open the case, which led to the acquittal of Dreyfus on all charges.
It is incumbent upon people and organizations of conscience in France to demand from their government that Dr. Diab be immediately granted his freedom. Much like Dreyfus, Dr. Diab is a victim of faulty evidence, which has led to an enormous injustice against him within today’s climate of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment.
IJV Canada calls upon the people and civil society organizations of France to join us and our allies in Canada, including Amnesty International Canada, the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, and the Canadian Association of University Teachers, to demand from the French government that the case against Dr. Diab be withdrawn, and allow him to return home to his family and friends.
For more information contact: Tyler Levitan, Campaigns Coordinator for Independent Jewish Voices – Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org