June 12, 2023
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street, Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau:
RE: Justice for Hassan Diab
I write to you on behalf of the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) to reiterate our profound concern at the miscarriage of justice which has unfairly targeted Dr. Hassan Diab for over a decade, and to urgently request that the Canadian government commit to refusing a second extradition request by France.
Dr. Diab was arrested in Canada in 2008 and spent six years under house arrest before being extradited to France in 2014. This extradition occurred despite concerns noted by the extradition judge, Justice Maranger, who described France’s evidence as “very problematic” and “illogical.”
Dr. Diab was then imprisoned in France for over three years, largely in solitary confinement conditions that contravene international human rights standards. In 2018 French investigative judges dismissed all accusations against Dr. Diab and ordered his release. Compelling exculpatory evidence demonstrated that Dr. Diab was writing exams in Lebanon at the time of the Paris bombing he was accused of committing.
On June 20, 2018, you, Prime Minister Trudeau, stated that “…for Hassan Diab, we have to recognize first of all that what happened to him never should have happened.”
The BCCLA maintains that Dr. Diab should not have been surrendered for extradition by Canada in the first place, due to the real and credible risk that evidence used against him at trial may have been obtained through torture. France’s willingness to rely upon evidence derived from torture contravenes Canadian, French, and international law. Evidence derived from torture is inherently unreliable, immoral, and highly correlated to wrongful imprisonment.
Canada’s role in this grave injustice is a dark and shameful shadow on a nation that prides itself in upholding Charter values, rule of law, and commitments to international law, including the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Dr. Hassan Diab and his family have suffered long enough. The Canadian government has moral and legal obligations to protect Dr. Diab from the flagrant and ongoing violations of his human rights. Canada must protect Hassan Diab and refuse any request from France for his extradition.
Further, we urge you to take immediate steps to reform Canada’s extradition laws to include effective procedural protections to ensure that such a miscarriage of justice does not happen again.