Friday, May 18, 2012

Hassan Diab Fundraising Event, Saturday June 9, 2012

What: Fundraising dinner in support of Dr. Hassan Diab

Date: Saturday June 9, 2012

Time: 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Place: First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, 30 Cleary Ave
(off Richmond Road, one traffic light East of Woodroffe Ave)

Public transportation: Bus #2
Lots of parking is available.

We invite you to join us for a fundraising dinner in support of Dr. Hassan Diab. The evening will feature:
No need to reserve in advance. Bring your family and friends!

There is no charge for dinner, but your donations will be very welcome so we can continue the support for Dr. Hassan Diab.

If you cannot come to the event and would like to donate, please visit:

Background Information

Canada’s extradition law allows the forcible removal of a person from Canada based on flawed evidence that would be tossed out of Canadian court. Please help us mount a public campaign to reform this unfair law and support Dr. Diab. article:

Ottawa Citizen article:

Hassan Diab Support Committee

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Critical Perspectives: Criminology and Social Justice
Panel Discussion on Extradition

The Second National Conference on ‘Critical Perspectives: Criminology and Social Justice’ is taking place at Carleton University on May 5 and May 6, 2012. One of the panels is entitled “Hassan Diab and His Possible Extradition to France”.
  • Event: Hassan Diab and his Possible Extradition to France: A Panel Discussion of the Issues
  • Date: Sunday May 6, 2012
  • Time: 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
  • Place: Room 3101, Canal Building, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario
The Canal Building is labelled ‘CB’ on the campus map

Panel Chair:
    Maeve McMahon, Carleton University

    Hassan Diab
    Donald Bayne (Hassan’s lawyer)
    Matthew Behrens (Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada)
    Rania Tfaily (Carleton University)

The conference is free and open to the public. No registration is required.

For more information:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Prof’s treatment appalling

Letter to the Editor
The Toronto Star, April 21, 2012

I am surprised and disappointed that there has not been much more said about the continuing ill treatment of Dr. Hassan Diab by the government of Canada.

It takes little effort to determine that Dr. Diab, falsely accused of criminal acts in a country noted for its poor relationships with its Islamic citizens, has faced extraordinary enmity by Canadian officials for many years; most recently by a decision by Rob Nicholson to extradite him for questioning without first charging him with an offence. Mr. Nicholson is Minister of “Justice” but does not demonstrate an understanding of the concept.

An offence occurred in France 32 years ago. Dr. Diab was not involved. It is time for an outcry by Canadians on this matter and greater publicity by more than one Canadian newspaper about the injustice that has already taken place before it is further compounded.

Allen R. Wells, Sarnia

See the letter at:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Prof’s treatment appalling

Letter to the Editor
The Toronto Star, April 21, 2012

Re: Ottawa prof ordered to face French bomb counts, April 6

The impending extradition to France of Dr. Hassan Diab is further evidence of our government’s willingness to have Canadian citizens played as pawns in the machinations of the global “war on terror.”

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has upheld Diab’s extradition order despite serious concerns about due process. Diab has not been charged, some of the evidence against him may have been obtained by torture, and the evidence presented against him has been judged faulty by Canadian courts.

Unless we treat Dr. Diab’s extradition as an attack on the rights of all Canadians, we implicitly accept a double standard, whereby a citizen’s name, colour, faith or country of origin become liabilities as our government weighs the protection of individual rights against considerations of political expediency.

Dr. Alex Latta and Dr. Ali Zaidi, Department of Global Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo

See the letter at:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Extradition of Canadian shows need for reform

Letter to the Editor
Vancouver Sun, April 11, 2012

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson's decision to surrender Hassan Diab for extradition is terrible news for Canadians who care about justice.

Because France has not decided whether to put him on trial, he may languish in pre-trial detention for years on mere suspicion while the ongoing 32-year-old investigation continues.

Given recent revelations from the Harper government, it comes as no surprise that Minister Nicholson did not seek assurances that French authorities will not use anonymous and unchallengeable intelligence produced under torture as "evidence" against Diab. Nevertheless, Minister Nicholson should have sought assurances that Diab would be allowed to challenge the French handwriting reports, which were found by international experts to be deeply flawed.

The extradition judge's statement last year that the case against Hassan would be tossed out of a Canadian court demonstrates conclusively that our extradition laws are urgently in need of reform.

Sid Shniad, Surrey

See the letter at:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Flimsy evidence presented

Letter to the Editor
Ottawa Citizen, April 10, 2012

Re: 'We expected this decision, but not this way,' April 6.

I've followed the Hassan Diab case closely and am shocked that Minister Rob Nicholson signed the extradition order in the light of such flimsy, if not non-existent, evidence.

Of particular concern to me is the fact that Diab has not been allowed to present evidence that clearly shows he is not the man they are after, particularly the fact that his palm and thumb prints do not match those taken from the crime scene. Even worse, it has come to light that Diab is only wanted for questioning. Let the French authorities come here and ask their questions. Canada does not extradite for questioning, only for trial.

Jo Wood, Ottawa

See the letter at:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Letter Writing Campaign - Voice Your Objections to Unjust Extradition

Dear friends and supporters,

It is a sad day for justice in Canada. As you may be aware, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson recently decided to surrender Dr. Hassan Diab to extradition; see Ottawa Citizen coverage.

We are asking you to raise your voice against this unjust decision by writing to your local (or national) newspaper. In your letter, please consider the following points.
  • It is shocking that France has not yet charged Hassan or decided whether to put him on trial, meaning Hassan may languish in pre-trial detention for years on mere suspicion while a 32-year-old investigation drags on.

  • It is unacceptable that Minister Nicholson did not seek assurances that France will not use anonymous and unchallengeable intelligence - that may be the product of torture - as trial "evidence" against Hassan.

  • Minister Nicholson should have sought assurances that Hassan would be allowed to effectively challenge the French handwriting reports, which were found by international experts to be deeply flawed.

  • Minister Nicholson should have sought assurances that Hassan would be allowed to present exonerating evidence, such as the fact that his palm and finger prints do not match those of the suspect.

  • The standard of evidence for extradition from Canada is outrageously low and does not meet the standards for fair trial. The case against Hassan would be tossed out of court if he were tried in Canada.

  • It is unacceptable that Canada’s extradition treaty with France is one-sided, in that France does not extradite its own citizens.

Short letters (approximately 100 words) have the best chance of getting published. Be sure to include your name, postal address, and daytime phone number, and write "letter to the editor" in your subject line.

Here is a partial list of newspapers:


On April 4, 2012, Justice Minister Nicholson signed an order surrendering Hassan to France, despite recent information that Hassan is wanted in France for mere questioning and that no decision has been made about whether to try him or not.

This deeply disappointing decision highlights problems with the extradition process in Canada which has stripped Hassan of his rights as a citizen and deprived him of his liberty.

Mr. Donald Bayne, Hassan’s lawyer, pointed out that a Canadian citizen cannot be surrendered to a foreign country for mere questioning, where he may languish in jail for years in pre-trial detention. The foreign country must charge a person and decide to put him on trial before making an extradition request.

Mr. Bayne also pointed out that the case against Dr. Diab is anchored in unsourced and anonymous intelligence assertions that cannot be challenged in court. Human Rights Watch and other human rights organizations have criticized France for running unfair trials based on intelligence that may be the product of torture.

In making his surrender decision, Minister Nicholson stated that he is interpreting Canada’s Extradition Act in a “flexible manner”. He refused to seek assurances from France that intelligence would not be used as evidence against Hassan if he were put on trial, even though the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as the report from the Arar Inquiry, have highlighted the dangers of relying on intelligence as evidence and the risk that this could lead to wrongful conviction.

The Minister also refused to seek assurances that two discredited handwriting reports that relied on samples that were not written by Hassan would not be used at trial. He also refused to seek assurances that Hassan would be afforded the opportunity to challenge a third handwriting report that the extradition judge described as “very problematic”, “very confusing”, “very convoluted”, and with “suspect conclusions”.

The Minister’s decision sends the message that a Canadian can be forcibly shipped to a foreign country and allowed to languish for years in pre-trial detention based on mere suspicion, and that Canada will not even seek assurances that a fair trial be held.

Hassan Diab Support Committee

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Seminar: Middle Eastern Cultures and Societies

Seminar presented by Dr. Hassan Diab
Five sessions, each session is two hours long

No need to register - just come to the seminar!

Cost: To help cover the cost of this seminar, we are asking for a donation of $100 from each participant. Any amount not used for expenses will be contributed to Dr. Diab's legal defence fund. No one turned away for lack of funds.


The situation in the Middle East is Big News every day. But how much do we really know about (and understand) the people living there – in Libya, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Bahrain, etc.?

This seminar by Dr. Hassan Diab offers you an in-depth perspective about Middle Eastern cultures and societies in an engaging, conversational, and informal atmosphere. The seminar is composed of five sessions or meetings; each session is 2 hours long.

This is a unique opportunity to find answers to questions you have about the Middle East as well as participate in interesting discussions.

Session 1 (History and Economy): A Historical Perspective of Middle Eastern Societies. This session covers some of the major historical events that led to the formation of current societies and states in the Middle East. We will focus on the relationship between colonialism and the rise of "dependent" contemporary societies and states in the region.

Session 2 (Culture): Cultural Perspectives and Practices in the Middle East: The Non-Orientalist Approaches. In this session, we will focus on the similarities and differences in cultural formations and practices in the region. We will also discuss the problems that arise from adopting the Orientalist approach to understanding societies in the region. Edward Said's views will be critically discussed, and examples from cultural practices in the Middle East will be objectively presented.

Session 3 (Politics): Political Development and the Formation of Current Political Systems in the Middle East. This session seeks to shed some light on the historical formation of current political systems in the region. We will examine the aspirations of various political movements, and the obstacles faced in developing mostly tribal societies into modern democratic political entities. Unfulfilled promises of modernization theories will be probed.

Session 4 (Religion): Religion and Its Role in Societies and Cultures in the Middle East: Myths and Realities. This session provides a general view of the three main religions in the Middle East, focusing on Islam and its main branches. We will examine the role of religion in Middle Eastern societies. We will also analyze Western media coverage of events in the Middle East.

Session 5 (Arab Spring): The Future of the Middle East: A Vibrant or Stagnant Region? This session discusses the current events which led to the "Arab Spring" and its potential to achieve the hopes and aspirations of people in the region.

We hope that you will not miss this GREAT opportunity to attend this engaging seminar!


Dr. Hassan Diab is a Lebanese Canadian sociology professor who is an expert on the Middle East. He holds a Ph.D. degree (1995) in Sociology from Syracuse University, New York. He is the author of the book “Beirut: Reviving Lebanon's Past” which examines Beirut’s financial role in the Middle East, and the repercussions of that role on Lebanese society and politics. Dr. Diab has over 20 years of teaching experience in various universities in North America and the Middle East.

Teaching is Dr. Diab's livelihood and passion, but he has not been able to find employment since he lost his teaching position at Carleton University due to external pressure.

Since November 2008, Dr. Diab has been fighting extradition to France for his alleged involvement in a bombing in Paris in 1980 – a crime he did not commit. Dr. Diab's fingerprints do not match those of the suspect. His palm prints do not match. The physical description does not match. Yet, at the end of a lengthy extradition hearing in June 2011, the Canadian judge decided to commit Hassan to extradition based on flawed handwriting analysis that the judge himself described as “very problematic”, “very confusing”, and with “conclusions that are suspect”. The judge said he must commit because he is bound by Canada’s extradition treaty with France.

Hassan is appealing the judge’s decision and needs your support. Hassan's case is a wake up call for all of us. We must prevent the erosion of human rights here in Canada, and demand that Canadian standards of evidence apply in extradition cases.

For more information, see:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rassemblement à Ottawa - Vendredi Janvier 20

Le Ministre fédéral de la Justice doit refuser l'extradition de Hassan Diab

Devant le ministère de la Justice, rue 275 Sparks, Ottawa
Vendredi le 20 janvier 2012 à midi

Apportez vos pancartes et vos bannières!

Ce vendredi, rejoignez les supporters de Hassan Diab pour addresser une petition au Ministre Rob Nicholson, signée par plus de 500 organisations et individus, exigeant qu'il refuse l'extradition de Hassan Diab. Le ministre Nicholson a le pouvoir d'arrêter l'extradition a tout moment. De plus, la loi oblige le Ministre Nicholson à refuser d'ordonner une extraditon "injuste et oppressive". Rejoignez-nous le 20 janvier !

Plus d'information:
Comité d'appui d'Hassan Diab

Public Rally in Ottawa – Friday January 20

Justice Minister Nicholson Must Refuse the Oppressive and Unfair Extradition of Hassan Diab!

Place: Department of Justice, 275 Sparks Street, Ottawa (at Sparks and Kent)

Time: Friday January 20, 2012, at Noon

Bring your signs, banners, and noise-makers!

On Friday January 20, join Hassan Diab’s supporters to deliver a petition to Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, signed by over 500 organizations and individuals, demanding that he refuse the extradition of Hassan Diab. Under extradition law, Mr. Nicholson has the discretion to stop extradition proceedings at any point. Moreover, the law obliges Mr. Nicholson to refuse to order an "unjust and oppressive" extradition.

Extraditing Hassan to stand trial in France would be manifestly unjust and oppressive. The allegations against Hassan are based on deeply flawed handwriting analysis and secret intelligence from unknown sources that is replete with major misrepresentations, inaccuracies, and contradictions. Evidence showing Hassan's innocence (including finger prints and palm prints) was suppressed. An Ontario court which examined the case against Hassan concluded that it was “very problematic”, “very confusing”, "very convoluted" and drew “suspect conclusions”. The court noted that “the prospects of conviction in the context of a fair trial seem unlikely". Yet it is on the basis of this “weak” case that Hassan was arrested, has spent over three years in prison or under intrusive conditions, and on which Mr. Nicholson is now considering handing him over to France.

Despite its strong doubts about the case, the Ontario court refused to allow Hassan to meaningfully challenge the evidence, claiming that he would have a chance to do so in France. In fact, even if it were justified to imprison and then turn someone over to a foreign state on the basis of such flimsy evidence (and it clearly is not), it is doubtful that Hassan would have a fair trial under France's anti-terrorism laws, which Human Rights Watch has denounced for its multiple violations of international human rights standards.

Join us on January 20 to call on Minister Nicholson to:
  • Exercise his discretionary power to immediately halt extradition proceedings against Hassan Diab, and act on his legal obligation to refuse unjust and oppressive extraditions;

  • Refuse extradition to states that use secret, unsourced intelligence or information that may have been derived from torture as evidence; and

  • Reform extradition law to take into account Canada’s human rights obligations, including the presumption of innocence, the right to a fair trial, the right to disclosure of evidence, and all other due process rights.

For more information:
Hassan Diab Support Committee

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Persecution by Proxy

“Persecution by Proxy: Canada’s Extradition Act and the case of Hassan Diab”
By Matthew Behrens
Briarpatch Magazine, January 1, 2012

Were Diab to be tried in Canada, the case would be laughed out of court. But an extradition hearing is not a trial. Rather, it is an exercise in maintaining cordial relations with a foreign government. Once the Justice minister sets the process in motion, an individual is arrested and faces an extradition hearing that many critics view as a rubber stamp. An individual seeking to present evidence of innocence is normally halted by a judge who says that all those issues can be sorted out “over there,” where it is presumed a fair trial will ensue…

And so Diab, like many before him, suffers the double-barrelled wound of a process under which the standards to commit someone to extradition are painfully low and an ultimate decision that is more political than legal. While the Justice minister considers whether to proceed in the beginning and also receives submissions towards the end of the process – in essence, having the rarely exercised opportunity to reject the initial decision – the Supreme Court of Canada has noted the minister must ultimately determine the extent to which the feathers of a foreign power will be ruffled if the extradition is rejected. While the minister can refuse based on grounds that the surrender would be unjust, oppressive or motivated by political or racial persecution, such a decision is extremely rare, given the political ramifications…

Read the full article at:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Video of "J’Accuse" Event in Toronto (Oct 29)

On October 29, 2011, Beit Zatoun House in Toronto hosted an evening of powerful dramatic readings from Hassan Diab, Emile Zola, and others who have broken the silence and spoken out about the injustices they face.

In 1894, Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish French soldier, was charged with treason. The accusation, based on fraudulent handwriting analysis, unleashed waves of anti-Semitism. Eminent French writer Emile Zola wrote J’Accuse to expose “the spectre of the innocent man who, far away, is suffering the most atrocious of tortures for a crime he did not commit — It is a crime to exploit patriotism for works of hate.”

Right now, exactly repeating the past, the case against Hassan Diab rests on flawed and discredited handwriting analysis. In this climate of Islamophobia, France has asked the Canadian government to comply and extradite Hassan Diab to France where he faces an unfair trial under France’s anti-terrorism laws that could land him in jail for life.

Watch a YouTube video of the October 29 J’Accuse event at: