Friday, May 14, 2010

Campaign Against "Kafkaesque Justice”

[Cliquez ici pour la version française.]

We are writing to inform you about the campaign against "Kafkaesque justice” in Canada.

The Hassan Diab Support Committee is launching a letter-writing campaign to Canadian Members of Parliament, protesting the government’s use of secret, unsourced intelligence [read: countless layers of unsubstantiated hearsay] as evidence in Canadian courts.

In a case reminiscent of the infamous Dreyfus affair, Dr. Hassan Diab may be extradited based on intelligence information of unknown, untestable reliability and fundamentally flawed handwriting analysis.

By using intelligence as evidence, the government is facilitating the “legal” extradition of Canadian citizens to foreign countries based on secret, unsourced intelligence that cannot be tested or challenged in court, and that may be the product of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.

Dr. Diab's case is the first case in Canadian history in which the government is relying on secret and unsourced intelligence to extradite a Canadian citizen. If allowed to pass, other cases could follow.

This unprecedented decision to use secret and unsourced intelligence as evidence in cases concerning Canadian citizens is chilling, particularly in the context of the “war on terror”. It establishes the further legalization of Guantanamo-like situations in Canada

We need your help! Scroll down for information on how to get involved in this important campaign.

WRITE TO YOUR MP - Below is a letter that the Hassan Diab Support Committee has sent to Members of Parliament earlier this month. Feel free to use our letter or write your own. Please consider highlighting the injustices in Dr. Diab’s case and the unfairness inherent in using secret, unsourced “intelligence” to deprive a person of his/her liberty. If you do not know who your MP is, you can search by postal code at We would appreciate it if you'd let us know when you've sent a letter, as we'd like to keep track of how many letters have been written.

MAKE A DONATION - The Hassan Diab Support Committee is engaged in a fundraising campaign to cover the legal fees as well as the costs of bringing experts to the June 2010 extradition hearing. At the hearing, top experts will testify about the fundamental flaws in the case against Dr. Diab, and the manifest unreliability of using unsourced intelligence as evidence. The legal fees for the hearing and the costs of retaining the experts are well above $150,000.

Hassan has exhausted his personal savings, and has not been able to find work following his unfair dismissal from Carleton University. We are extremely grateful for any financial support you can provide. A donation of any amount would be immensely helpful.

To donate to Hassan's legal defence fund, please visit:, or send a check directly to Hassan's legal defence at the following address:

Bayne Sellar Boxall
Attention: Diab legal defence fund
Suite 500, 200 Elgin Street
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 1L5
(Please make check payable to: "Bayne Sellar Boxall")

Finally, please consider forwarding this appeal to supporters of social justice.

Thank you,

Hassan Diab Support Committee

Dear <Member of Parliament>,

We are writing to you on behalf of Dr. Hassan Diab, a Canadian citizen who lives in Ottawa, Canada. Dr. Diab has been in a Kafkaesque situation since November 2008, when he was accused by a French examining magistrate – based on secret and unsourced intelligence – of involvement in an attack near a Paris synagogue in 1980. In a case reminiscent of Kafka’s “The Trial”, neither Dr. Diab or his lawyer, nor the Canadian Judge or the French judge, knows the source or the reliability of the secret and unsourced intelligence that allegedly links Dr. Diab to the attack.

Dr. Diab’s extradition hearing was scheduled to begin in January 2010, but it has been adjourned at the request of the Crown Attorney who is reviewing defense evidence that shows the manifest unreliability of the unsourced intelligence and the handwriting analysis in Dr. Diab’s case. In the meantime, Dr. Diab continues to live under very strict bail conditions, is required to pay $1,500 per month for a GPS monitoring device, and is unable to find work following his unjust dismissal from Carleton University.

Ironically, more than a century after the Dreyfus affair, Dr. Diab finds himself in an analogous situation in which secret unsourced intelligence and manifestly unreliable handwriting analysis are at the core of the prosecution’s case. Alfred Dreyfus was falsely accused and convicted based on handwriting analysis and secret information that was not disclosed to him or his counsel on national security grounds. In Dr. Diab’s case, the Minister of Justice in his capacity as Attorney General of Canada is relying – for the first time in Canadian history – on unsourced and secret intelligence of unknown and untestable reliability to extradite a Canadian citizen. This is despite evidence put forward by the defense that shows that the French investigators tailored their intelligence – often in contradictory ways – to make it fit their “theory”.

In Dreyfus’ case, the handwriting “experts” attributed differences between Dreyfus’ handwriting and the questioned document to his ability to manipulate his handwriting. Similarly, the French handwriting “experts” in Dr. Diab’s case attribute differences between the comparison documents and the questioned document to Dr. Diab’s ability to change his writing style. Even more shocking in Dr. Diab’s case is the fact that comparison specimens attributed to him and used by the two French handwriting analysts are now proven to have been written by someone else. Four of the world’s top handwriting experts assert that the handwriting analysis in Dr. Diab’s case is fundamentally flawed, and that the French analysts failed to adhere to widely recognized professional standards, committed grave errors, and lacked objectivity.

Extradition of a Canadian citizen based on unsourced intelligence of unknown and untestable reliability would establish a shocking and dangerous legal precedent. Canada’s legal principles should not become compromised by another country’s apparent indifference to legal and human rights quandaries arising from treating intelligence as evidence in criminal cases. We urge you to help end such undemocratic, unjust, and unfair practices by demanding that the Minister of Justice abandon his reliance on secret and unsourced intelligence in extradition cases.

Finally, we ask you to keep a vigilant eye on Dr. Diab’s case, which poses a deeply troubling threat to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as it applies to all Canadians.

To know more about Dr. Diab’s case, please visit Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Diab’s support committee at for further information.

Yours Sincerely,