Open Letter RE: Dr. Hassan Diab
March 1st, 2021
TO: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Minister David Lametti
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Minister Marc Garneau
Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
REGARDING: Dr. Hassan Diab
I am requesting that you intervene in the case of Dr. Hassan Diab, a former Carleton instructor who is a part of our Capital Ward community.
Dr. Diab and his family have already spent over a decade dealing with baseless accusations from French authorities relating to a crime committed over 40 years ago (the 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue).
Dr. Diab endured years of imprisonment—much of it spent in solitary confinement—despite there being no formal charges against him. What meagre evidence there is against Dr. Diab has largely been discredited, unlike the evidence from eyewitnesses and from university records that place Dr. Diab in Lebanon writing exams on the date of the attack.
On top of imprisoning Dr. Diab for years without charges, French authorities were also caught lying about a key piece of evidence by concealing the fact there were fingerprints left behind by the suspected bomber, and that these prints did not match Dr. Diab’s—much like the handwriting of the suspected bomber was proven not to match Dr. Diab’s. Past behaviour suggests that it can be reasonably expected that Dr. Diab will not be treated fairly by French authorities.
What has happened to Dr. Diab is not only unfair, it is a violation of his civil liberties that Canada should never have facilitated in the first place by extraditing him to France, especially as the evidence presented against Dr. Diab at the time was “very problematic,” “convoluted,” and “illogical” according to the Canadian extradition judge, Robert Maranger.
When Dr. Diab was finally allowed to return to Canada three years ago, after French investigative judges finally dismissed accusations and ordered his release, Prime Minister Trudeau said that “what happened to him never should have happened.” I am requesting that you act in accordance with these words by acting now to:
- Commit to not extraditing Dr. Diab for a second time
- Request that French authorities drop the charges now being brought against Dr. Diab
- Reform Canada’s extradition laws to preclude these scenarios in the future
Shawn Menard, City Councillor for Capital Ward
PDF version here