by Candice Bodnaruk
Peace Alliance Winnipeg is holding a webinar this Saturday, February 18 about the ongoing travesty of justice that is the Dr. Hassan Diab case.
Roger Clark, former Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada and member of the Justice for Hassan Diab Support Committee, will speak about the Diab case, Canada’s extradition laws, and France’s plan to once again attempt to bring him to trial.
Diab is a Carleton University Professor who has been wrongfully accused by the French government of a 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue. He was arrested by the RCMP in 2008 in response to a request from France. Diab was also denied bail and detained in Canada (without bail) until April 2009. It was then that Carleton University also terminated his position as an instructor.
Diab’s extradition hearing started in November 2011 and ended in March 2011. He was then extradited to France where he spent over three years in a French prison (much of it in solitary confinement) while French authorities built a case against him.
He was eventually released in 2018 without even being committed to trial. At the time French judges dismissed the allegations against him for lack of evidence and ordered that he be immediately released. In the end, no charges were ever laid against him.
At that time his release was opposed by more than 20 civil society groups in France- including those representing victims of terrorism and pro-Israel organizations.
Now, France is once again attempting to again bring Professor Diab to trial in its anti-terrorism court this coming April 3, 2023. Diab supporters are calling on the Canadian government to stop that from happening. Activists have organized postcard and letter writing campaigns to Prime Minister Trudeau, as well as a petition with 2,000 signatures that supporters plan submit to Trudeau’s office. In 2018 the prime minister was also asked to call an inquiry into the Diab case, but he has yet to do so.
Diab supporters have also long called for such a review of Canada’s extradition process, pointing out the act has not been revised in 25 years. Under Canada’s current extradition laws, it is the responsibility of the accused person to demonstrate that they should not be extradited.
Last November it was announced that the House of Commons justice committee is planning to review Canada’s extradition laws.
Many social justice organizations have called for an inquiry into the case, including Amnesty International Canada and the B.C Civil Liberties Association.
For more information on the Hassan Diab case, visit the Justice for Hassan Diab Facebook page where a 12 minute video has just been posted about the case. The website justiceforhassandiab.org also has the latest news and detailed background information on Diab’s story.