For immediate release – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must immediately, and in the strongest and clearest terms, speak up for the rights of Canadian Hassan Diab and promise to refuse any potential extradition request from France, says the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG).
“Today’s decision from the Cour de Cassation in France, upholding the decision to send Dr. Diab to trial, is utterly shocking and unexplainable. It is clear the court is putting politics above justice,” said Tim McSorley, national coordinator of the ICLMG, a coalition of 45 Canadian civil society groups.
The original order on Jan. 27, 2021, by the French Court of Appeal that Dr. Diab must stand trial has been denounced as misrepresenting evidence, misstating facts, relying on discredited evidence and engaging in contradictory reasoning. These issues have been clearly documented Don Bayne, Dr. Diab’s lawyer. Even the French government’s avocate générale advised against the Cour de Cassation upholding the Court of Appeal’s decision, due to its contradictory reasoning and failure to address important issues raised by the defense.
“With so many troubling issues in the French courts regarding Hassan Diab’s case, it is impossible to trust that he will receive a fair trial. What Canadians do have control over, though, is what happens in Canada. That is why we are calling on Prime Minister Trudeau today to state in the strongest possible terms to his French counterparts that the persecution of Hassan Diab must end. We are also calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to commit to no future extradition of Hassan Diab to France,” said McSorley. The ICLMG is urging the public to join them in this call by sending a message to the Prime Minister at https://iclmg.ca/diab-letter/.
In 2014, the judge presiding over Hassan’s extradition stated that the evidence against him was “illogical”, “very problematic,” and “convoluted,” and that the case presented little chance of conviction, but that the judge’s hands were tied by Canada’s permissive extradition laws.
Then in 2018, Prime Minister Trudeau stated that “what happened to [Hassan Diab] never should have happened” and that his government would “make sure that it never happens again.” It is time that Prime Minister Trudeau lives up to those words, and closes the door on any future requests from the French government in this case.
Tim McSorley, ICLMG national coordinator: 613-241-5298
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