Saturday, October 17, 2009

Letter to Canadian Members of Parliament in support of Dr. Hassan Diab

We encourage all friends and supporters of Hassan Diab to send letters to Canadian Members of Parliament (MPs), alerting them to Hassan’s plight and demanding that he receive justice.

The following sample letter is provided as a guide. You can also download a copy of the letter in rich text format (RTF). Postage is not required when mailing the letter from within Canada to an MP’s address on Parliament Hill.

If you live outside Canada, mail the letter to Mr. Paul Dewar, the MP for Hassan Diab’s riding (Ottawa Centre).

If you live in Canada, mail the letter to the MP for your riding, as well as to Mr. Paul Dewar.

List of all Members of Parliament

Find your Member of Parliament using your Postal Code

Mr. Paul Dewar’s Address:

Mr. Paul Dewar
Member of Parliament – Ottawa Centre
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Honourable [Name]
Member of Parliament for [riding]
[House of Commons Address]

Subject: Request for assistance in preventing the unfair treatment of Dr. Hassan Diab

Dear [Mr. Ms. Mrs.] [Surname],

I am writing on behalf of Dr. Hassan Diab, whose case raises serious concerns about the preservation of fundamental rights and the integrity of procedural justice in Canada.

I urge you to bring Dr. Diab’s plight to the attention of other Parliamentarians, raise his case in Question Period, and demand that the Minister of Justice ensure Dr. Diab receives fair treatment in accordance with the Canadian Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Dr. Hassan Diab is a sociology professor and a law-abiding Canadian citizen of Lebanese descent who lives in Ottawa, Canada. Until recently, Dr. Diab had enjoyed an engaged and productive public life, including teaching, publishing research, and travelling internationally. In November 2008, Dr. Diab was arrested by the RCMP at the request of French authorities, who accuse him of involvement in an attack against a synagogue in Paris in 1980. He remained in detention until April of 2009, when he was released under very strict bail conditions. His extradition hearing is scheduled to begin in January, 2010.

Dr. Hassan Diab has been forced to mount a very expensive legal defence to demonstrate the inherent unreliability of the French case against him and to show that he is a victim of mistaken identity. The “evidence” put forward by France’s counter-terrorism judiciary is saturated with secret intelligence information from unknown sources, the reliability of which cannot be tested in court. Nothing of the sort would be admissible in a Canadian criminal court. Recent reports by Human Rights Watch and other advocacy organizations drawing attention to inadequate safeguards for the rights of the accused in the French counter-terrorism judiciary raises serious concerns about Dr. Diab’s prospects for a fair trail in France.

In July 2009, Dr. Diab’s right to the presumption of innocence was compromised by Carleton University’s highly politicized decision to dismiss him from a summer teaching position. The dismissal breached a legally binding contract and contravened a collective agreement with the University faculty. Carleton University’s decision denied Dr. Diab the right to earn a livelihood in his profession. Hassan is paying heavily with his job, his rights, his wallet, and his freedom.

Testimonials from family and longstanding friends and professional colleagues vouch for Dr. Diab’s nonviolent character, the complete absence of a militant history, and his distaste for bigotry and prejudice in any form. To us, Hassan represents the ideals of the sociological profession, an open and engaged intellect combined with independence of thought and action. You may search in vain for anyone who has ever stated a contrary view of Dr. Diab. The innuendo-laced case against him amounts to a disingenuous attempt at character assassination designed to play on the public’s fear of terrorism and to hasten his extradition.

The charges against Dr. Diab fit into a troubling pattern of recent high profile cases involving Canadians of Middle Eastern and Moslem background whose experience with miscarried justice and prejudicial treatment in violation of the Charter has been documented through official inquiries conducted by the Canadian Government (Maher Arar, Abdullah al-Malki, Ahmad Abou-Elmaati, Muyyed Nureddin, and others).

It is essential for Dr. Diab and for the preservation of fundamental rights and the integrity of procedural justice that the Government of Canada vigorously ensure that Dr. Diab receives fair and equal treatment before the law.

Please contact a member of Dr. Diab’s support committee for further information by e-mailing Additional information is also available at

Yours Sincerely,

[Your Name]
[Street Address]
[Town, Province]
[Postal Code]
[Phone Number – optional]