Sunday, November 27, 2011

Opening Remarks at Fundraising Dinner for Hassan Diab

On November 26, 2011, at a fundraising dinner for Hassan Diab in Ottawa, Yahya Abdul Rahman gave the following opening remarks.

"I would like to thank everyone for coming tonight. The purpose of this gathering is to lend our support to our brother and sister Hassan and Rania who are victims of what we consider to be a travesty of justice. We, who are involved in the social justice and peace movement, are of the firm conviction that, in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.'

In the case of Hassan we are reminded of our own vulnerabilities in which the state can wield its power over individuals and toss out all principles of fairness and justice. It is Hassan today but, if the system which has permitted this to happen remains in place, then it could very well be one of us tomorrow.

We are committed to the principle that everyone in considered innocent unless concretely proven otherwise in a court of law devoid of any outside political interference.

We also hold that everyone has the right to know the identity of their accusers as well as the evidence being used against them.

Furthermore, we hold the view that people have a right to a fair and speedy trial.

Without these principles in place then the security of all is in jeopardy. Thus, when we defend our brother Hassan we not only defend him, but we are also defending a principle which seeks to check the power of the state to arbitrarily arrest someone and use flimsy evidence to support their case.

In the absence of these principles society will descend into fascism and no one will be secure.

We don't want Hassan and Rania to feel they are alone in their struggle. We desire to form the bonds of human solidarity and let them know that their struggle is our struggle.

It was Helen Keller who stated that, 'Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other's welfare, social justice can never be attained.'

We hold this truth to be self evident and in this spirit open this evening's event."

-- Yahya Abdul Rahman, Ottawa, November 26, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fundraising Dinner In Support of Hassan Diab

Date: Saturday November 26, 2011
Time: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Place: Carleton Heights Community Center, 1665 Apeldoorn Ave, Ottawa

Dinner tickets are $30 per person or $80 per family (of four).

Please join us for a delicious multi-course dinner with poetry reading, soft Middle Eastern music, and a silent auction in support of Dr. Hassan Diab.

Dinner includes a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, dessert, juice, soft drinks, coffee, and tea.

How to Purchase or Reserve Tickets

To purchase or reserve tickets, email or call (613) 322-6117

You can also purchase tickets via Interac e-Transfer to Your tickets will be available for pickup at the event. Here is a summary of the steps:
  1. Log in to your on-line banking and navigate to “Interac e-Transfer”.

  2. Fill in the form for sending money. Specify as the email address. Ask a security question that we can answer, such as “What is Hassan’s family name”. Include your name in the Message field. Then click “Send”.

On June 6, 2011, an Ontario judge committed Hassan for extradition based on a French handwriting analysis report that alleges similarities between Hassan’s handwriting and five words appearing on a Paris hotel registration card in 1980. The judge described the French report as “very problematic”, “very convoluted”, “very confusing”, “pseudo-science”, and “with conclusions that are suspect”.

Canada’s extradition law allows foreign countries to seize any Canadian citizen based on a mere summary of the allegations. The foreign state can cherry-pick its case and suppress exonerating evidence. Hassan’s palm and finger prints do not match those of the suspect, yet that information was suppressed from the Record of the Case. The extradition court must treat the foreign state’s evidence as presumptively reliable, and the burden is placed on the accused to prove that the case is “manifestly unreliable”. In practice, however, it is almost impossible to demonstrate “manifest unreliability”.

Hassan is in a Catch-22 situation. In Canada, the “evidence” used against him is presumed reliable, even though it does not meet Canadian standards of evidence. At trial in France, defence evidence will not receive full and fair consideration, because it was furnished by the defence rather than by the investigating magistrate.

We must demand that Canadian standards of evidence apply to extradition cases, and that Canada not extradite its citizens to countries that allow secret intelligence — including intelligence obtained from torture — to be used as evidence.

Hassan continues to live under very strict bail conditions and is saddled with hefty legal fees and paying $2,000 per month for the GPS monitoring he is required to wear.

Please help us challenge the fundamental unfairness of Canada’s extradition law and prevent a gross injustice.