Letter of Support for Hassan Diab

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Thursday May 10 2018

Via Mail and Email 

The Right Honorable Justin Trudeau
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Dear Mr. Trudeau,

On behalf of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, I am writing with concern and dismay over the mistreatment and injustice of the extradition of Hassan Diab. This theft of Mr. Diab’s liberty by the Harper government maintained a legal farce of several years that Canadian government was complicit in. Dr. Hassan Diab spent more than three years in French detention with no charges being laid. A confidential memo obtained by CBC News revealed that more than a flawed extradition law was at play.

Canadian Department of Justice lawyers actively campaigned to have France come up with new evidence as the case against Hassan was “falling apart”. Is this the justice and support that Canadians should expect; that citizens can be abducted from our communities by invisible bureaucrats and detained in foreign jails? We would have thought that with Arar, Abdelrazik and a slew of other Canadians having been abandoned by their country previously, that this practice where unaccountable agents abuse the human rights of Canadians would cease. Department of Justice lawyers pretended not to know why France had asked for lengthy extensions when in fact the delays were caused by the lawyers’ urging of French authorities to find more evidence to shore up the case. Of even greater concern, exculpatory fingerprint analysis that could have helped clear Dr. Diab was not shared with the defence or with the Canadian extradition judge.

We join Amnesty International Canada, the BC Civil Liberties Association, the Canadian Association of University Teachers, and other civil society and human rights groups in calling for a thorough and independent public inquiry into Dr. Diab’s extradition with the hope that this time, it will never happen again. We would like to know what factors caused this travesty to take place and what steps and accountability will be applied in the future to ensure that those working on behalf of Canadians cannot destroy lives with impunity.

An internal review by the Department of Justice is not sufficient. As noted in an open letter, dated May 2, 2018, by Amnesty International Canada and the BCCLA to the Ministers of Justice and Global Affairs:

“[Given the revelations that Canadian government lawyers may be directly implicated in the shortcomings, failures and possible wrongdoing that led to his extradition, it is clearly not appropriate for this to go forward as a largely internal review carried out by the very Department that may be responsible for transgressions… We urge you to move quickly to appoint an independent commissioner to conduct a thorough and public inquiry into Dr. Diab’s case, ensuring that the person appointed has full access to and powers to compel disclosure of any and all relevant information.”

I strongly support the call by Amnesty International Canada and BCCLA for action. Please proceed quickly to empower an independent commissioner to begin the process of investigating this tragic miscarriage of justice. We need to make sure that no other Canadian would go through what Dr. Diab and his family had to go through.


Mike Palecek

National President


CC :    

National Executive Board, Officers and Union Representatives

Specialists and National Human Right Committee

Hassan Diab Support Committee diabsupport@gmail.com