Write a letter to Canadian government: No second extradition of Hassan Diab

Take one minute to write to all elected federal members of the Canadian parliament.

Tell them: Should France approach Canada with a second extradition request, the Canadian government must say “No!”



In early February 2023, a historic event took place on Parliament Hill. The Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights listened to the briefs of key witnesses calling for extradition reform.

View the hearings:

Meeting No. 48 JUST - Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights  

Meeting No. 48 JUST - Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights

Prominent lawyers and members of the legal profession have for some years petitioned for a change to Canada’s Extradition Act, a law that patently violates Canada’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. The demand for reform crystallized in 2018 when Hassan Diab requested a public inquiry into the miscarriage of justice that he suffered at the hands of both the French and Canadian states between 2008 and 2018. Canada’s then Minister of Justice never granted him this request.

As many of you know, Dr. Diab was falsely accused of involvement in the bombing of a Paris synagogue in 1980. On the flimsiest and most spurious of grounds, Canada extradited him to France in 2014 where he languished, without charge, in a maximum-security jail for more than three years. In 2018, French investigative judges found him innocent and ordered his release.

Few know the details of Canada’s extradition law that governed Dr. Diab’s tragic fate. The hearings held in February were thus an important information session. They were also a welcome moment for key witnesses to show how, in at least three instances, that law violates the fundamental rights of the “person sought.”

1. The extradition law rests on an unreasonable presumption that the requesting state is presenting reliable evidence and acting in good faith – even when certain states, such as France, are known -- as Tim McSorley of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) confirmed -- to have sourced their “evidence” through torture [16:40 -16:41] and unsworn intelligence [9:58-10:55], i.e., through “hearsay.”

2. While Canada’s extradition law privileges the requesting state’s interests, it imposes, in the same thrust, an insurmountable burden on the “person sought.” It demands that the individual demonstrate the manifest unreliability of the accusations levelled against him/her – but without being allowed to invoke exculpatory evidence (p. 27) of innocence.

3. While depriving the individual of their right to self-defence, a cornerstone of the Charter of Rights, the extradition law allows the Department of Justice’s prosecuting attorney (working in concert with the requesting state) to withhold exculpatory evidence (p. 28). In the Diab case, the Canadian prosecutor knowingly withheld exculpatory fingerprint evidence that totally excluded Dr. Diab and would have saved him years of torment both in extradition proceedings and in solitary confinement in France’s maximum-security prison, Fleury-Mérogis.

By its very logic, the current extradition law presumes the “person sought” to be guilty, and forbids recourse to self-defence. Meanwhile the requesting state is forgiven for its countless transgressions and, not least, for withholding exculpatory evidence. There is no quest for truth here, only a drive to achieve a predetermined outcome set by the requesting state: i.e., the swift expulsion of the “person sought” from Canadian turf so that matters can be dealt with “expeditiously” elsewhere.

The extradition law allowed the Canadian judiciary to forsake him utterly – to surrender him with “impunity” to France’s merciless legal system. For Dr. Diab, that nightmare lives on today. In 2021, Dr. Diab’s 2018 release was overturned. Shockingly, on the grounds of thoroughly discredited “evidence,” France’s highest court ruled that he stand trial. On April 3, 2023, he will be tried in absentia for a crime he did not commit.

Other actions you can take include:

If you are in the Ottawa area plan to attend the March 26th 2:30 PM event at Carleton’s Dominion-Chalmers Centre. Follow details at: https://www.facebook.com/JusticeforHDiab.

Sign the petition to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Petition in English

Pétition en français

Listen to:

Press Conference of December 2022

Rally at Human Rights Monument, November 13, 2022

Follow and learn more with the HASSAN DIAB SUPPORT COMMITTEE

Web: http://www.justiceforhassandiab.org

Email: diabsupport@gmail.com

Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/justiceforhassandiab

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JusticeforHDiab

Twitter: https://twitter.com/justiceforhdiab

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