On Friday January 20, 2012, human rights activists, friends, and supporters of Hassan Diab braved the bitter cold and gathered outside the Department of Justice to hand-deliver a petition to Justice Minister Rob Nicholson.
The petition, signed by hundreds of individuals and organizations, calls on Minister Nicholson to immediately halt extradition proceedings against Dr. Diab and to refuse to hand over Dr. Diab to France.
“I appeal to the Minister of Justice, Mr. Rob Nicholson, to put an end to the unjust case against me… I ask that Canadian standards of evidence be applied in extradition cases, and that I be given the same rights to defend myself as any other Canadian,” said Dr. Diab, who joined supporters outside the Department of Justice before the petition was delivered.
Also speaking at the rally, Matthew Behrens from Stop Canadian Involvement in Torture said, “The law says that the Minister must refuse ‘unjust and oppressive’ extraditions. And handing Hassan over to France would definitely be unjust and oppressive. Why? A Canadian judge has already stated this case would not fly in Canada! So why force Hassan to go to France over this cooked-up case? This clearly has more to do with politics than justice. The Minister must say ‘no’ to France!”
Other speakers at the rally were Roch Tassé, Coordinator of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group; Dr. Monia Mazigh, human rights advocate and wife of Maher Arar; Rev. Frances Deverell, President of the Canadian Unitarians For Social Justice; and Mike Palacek, Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
PressTV video of the event
Click here for Ottawa Citizen video of the event.