For Immediate Release
Supporters of Hassan Diab, Canadian citizen detained in France, Seek Trudeau’s Intervention – May 17, 2017
- On Wednesday May 17, at 12:00 Noon, Public Vigil at the Office of the Prime Minister in Ottawa features MPs, statements from former detainee and journalist Mohamed Fahmy, and former Amnesty International Secretary General Roger Clark.
- Also on Wednesday May 17, beginning at 5:00 pm, Parliamentary event on Diab’s Case in Room 330, Wellington Building, Ottawa.
“While in opposition, Mr. Trudeau called on his predecessor to use the full powers of his office to intervene on behalf of Canadians unjustly detained abroad, and now we are calling on Mr. Trudeau to do the same with Dr. Diab,” says Hassan Diab Support Committee spokesperson Matthew Behrens.
The 12:00 Noon vigil will include remarks by NDP MP Don Davies, celebrated author and long-time human rights activist Monia Mazigh, Tim McSorley, National Coordinator of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG), and Dr. Diab’s spouse, Rania Tfaily. In addition, statements will be offered from Roger Clark, the former Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, and Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy, who was wrongfully detained in Egypt for over 14 months.
“As the former Secretary General of Amnesty International (Canada), I have rarely seen a case that so glaringly calls out for the intervention of the Canadian Government,” says Clark. “I firmly believe that a meeting with key members of Dr. Diab’s support group would not only help clarify any questions [the Prime Minister] might have, but also lead to the development of a multi-pronged strategy to not only win Dr. Diab bail, but also bring him home where he belongs.”
Fahmy agrees, and writes that “It is clear to me after studying Mr. Hassan Diab’s case that he is an innocent man and a victim of judicial incompetence. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should intervene at the highest level in France to end this sheer injustice and bring Mr. Diab back home to his wife and children before it’s too late.”
EVENT IN WELLINGTON BUILDING
The Noontime vigil precedes a special event in the Wellington Building, Ottawa, hosted by MP Don Davies for MPs, Senators and their staff that will include a talk by Diab’s Canadian lawyer, Don Bayne, and the screening of a new short film, Rubber Stamped: The Hassan Diab Story. Media are welcome to attend this event in the Wellington Building, Room 330 (entrance at 197 Sparks Street).
[If media are interested in attending this event, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will pass on your name to the office of MP Don Davies. Names are required for security purposes].
Dr. Diab, the Canadian academic who was extradited to France in 2014 based on “very problematic” and “suspect” evidence, has been ordered released an unprecedented six times by French investigative judges who found that there is “consistent evidence” that he was in Lebanon during the 1980 Paris bombing for which he was sought, even though his finger and palm prints, handwriting, and physical description do not match those of the suspect. However, all six conditional release orders have been overturned by the Court of Appeal at the behest of the prosecutor because of the political climate in France.
Diab’s supporters are calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to live up to his words that Canada is back on the world stage and looking out for its citizens. In August 2015, Trudeau said that then-Prime Minister Harper “has an obligation to use the full force of the Prime Minister’s Office to help Canadian citizens when they are unjustly imprisoned abroad. His inaction must end today.” *
William Bourdon, Dr. Diab’s lawyer in France, noted that it is unprecedented in France to have multiple release orders by the investigative judges overturned. He noted that “after 36 years and since no one else was indicted, the Court of Appeal is clinging on to Hassan Diab. He is detained because of the [Appeal] judges’ fear to be accused of laxity in the context of today’s fight against terrorism in France. Such a situation would be inconceivable in an ordinary-law procedure.”
Donald Bayne, Dr. Diab’s Canadian lawyer, noted that “Dr. Diab’s continued incarceration is wholly and manifestly unjust. It is past time for this government to come to the aid of a Canadian citizen, to end this travesty of justice, to bring him home. ‘Prime Minister Trudeau, Minister Freeland, where are you when an innocent Canadian needs you?’ ”
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