Updated: Feb 1
February 1, 2021
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
On January 27, 2021 — Holocaust Remembrance Day — the French Court of Appeal announced that they would again seek the extradition of Dr. Hassan Diab, a Lebanese-born professor of Sociology at Carlton University, to stand trial on terrorism charges for the bombing of a French synagogue in 1980. Desperate to find someone to hold accountable for this terrible crime, Diab was targeted and spent over three years in a French jail without any formal charges, most of it in solitary confinement. He was released in January 2018, as the evidence against him was weak and contradictory. Upon his return home to Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau affirmed that “for Hassan Diab, we have to recognize that what happened to him never should have happened.” Trudeau called for an independent external review to make sure that this would never happen again. Since coming back to Canada, Dr. Diab and supporters of his case have called for the reform of Canada’s extradition laws, which allow for extradition based on the flimsiest of evidence. There is no new evidence justifying Hassan Diab’s removal, and the Canadian government has yet to make needed changes to these laws.
We at the United Jewish People’s Order (UJPO)-Canada call on Justice Minister David Lametti and the federal government to stand by Hassan Diab, a citizen of Canada and an innocent man who France is determined to lock up based on discredited handwriting analysis. We further call on the Canadian government to tell France that the proper course of action is to drop this case. Do not extradite Dr. Diab. In the words of Donald Bayne, Diab’s Canadian lawyer, “the decision of the French court of appeal today is the continuation of a long odyssey of injustice.” It’s time that the Canadian government put a halt to that unjust journey.
Sincerely, Rachel Epstein, Executive Director
on behalf of the United Jewish People’s Order-Canada