Sunday, October 4, 2009

The friends of Hassan Diab stand in solidarity with him and demand justice.

By Don Pratt

This blog is intended as a space where friends of Dr. Hassan Diab, the Canadian professor wrongfully accused by the French, can tell readers something about him. We know he is a very decent and thoughtful person. We have seen him in both public and private moments. He is a gentle and soft-spoken person who loves the company of others. We appreciate him as a friend given to wit, humor, and frankness. He is quick with a joke and a hearty laugh, but he can also be as serious and level-headed as circumstances require. He’s an outgoing free spirit, independent-minded, nobody’s fool, nobody’s yes-man. He challenges assumptions and questions injustices, just as one would hope for in a friend. If he’s ever shown bigotry, held a grudge, or harbored ill will towards anyone, we’ve certainly never seen it.

As for the Rue Copernic affair, we know in our heads and hearts that he had nothing to do with it. Hassan is not some new kid on the block. He’s in his mid-fifties. Most of his friends have known him for decades, and many of us go back even further than the period in question. Some may suppose that it is possible to hide a violent past, but you don’t keep up that kind of a ruse with that many people for that long and get away with it. You can’t. You just can’t.

So, as friends of Hassan Diab, we will use this blog to tell you something about him. We will help readers gain a better understanding of his legal predicament. We will stand in solidarity with him and demand justice. We know that although we can’t claim objectivity or impartiality, we know that we speak truth.