Hassan Diab with his family at Ottawa airport on his return to Canada after his detention in France.
Hassan Diab with his family at Ottawa airport on his return to Canada after his detention in France in 2018. Credit: Hassan Diab Support Committee Credit: Hassan Diab Support Committee

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau:

A second extradition request from France may or may not be forthcoming for Hassan Diab. If and when that request arrives on Canada’s shores, it will be in the form of a Record of the Case based on a guilty verdict arising from a sham trial, one held in a French court of no record.

A trial that lasts 3 weeks, and for which the verdict and its lengthy (31-page) justification are presented after a mere 24 hours, cannot be a deliberative process, but a “confirmatory hearing.” Clearly, the guilty verdict was predetermined. France’s 2023 Copernic trial (named after the street where the 1980 bombing took place for which Diab is being charged) was a travesty of justice.

Driven by political pressure to scapegoat an innocent man, the Copernic trial was bereft of official transcripts. Digital recording of the event was strictly forbidden. Whether testifying under oath or not, witnesses could lie with impunity since perjury in France is practically never punished. The civil parties and the prosecutors were allowed to vilify the accused, filibuster, and steal the defense’s speaking time. The presiding judge ignored the alibi and prosecutors suppressed vital exculpatory evidence. The entire process was beyond scandalous

The incriminating story, which French prosecutors touted throughout the trial, was a variation on a narrative France presented in 2008 to Canadian extradition authorities when Dr. Diab was first sought. In 2011, extradition judge Robert Maranger deemed France’s story indefensible. Teeming with contradictions, errors, and conjectures, France’s submission was not only confounding, it rested on unsourced and unsworn intelligence, unfit in a Canadian court. Working in collaboration with France, Canada’s extradition team, known as the International Assistance Group (IAG), was compelled to cast it aside, such was its shoddiness and illegitimacy.

But in 2023, French prosecutors brazenly resurrected the very tale they had presented to Canada in 2008 and which Justice Robert Maranger had repudiated in 2011. In short, that which Canada rejected more than a decade ago became France’s basis for sentencing Hassan Diab to life in prison in 2023.

With the aid of foreign intelligence, French authorities scripted a fictional scenario, wrought of unsubstantiated incriminatory claims, and a spurious theory of a “smoking gun” (a faded facsimile of a likely doctored-up passport, and for which there is no original) in order to deal the harshest blow to our most innocent fellow citizen.

But not all in France have stooped so low. Two honourable French investigative magistrates spoke truth to power. Steadfastly, courageously, and against external pressure, they declared (both in 2018 and in 2023), after more than three years of scrupulous inquiry, that there was no evidence to bring Dr. Diab to trial, leave alone convict him. A powerful alibi and exculpatory fingerprint proof had rendered void all allegations against this long-suffering man.

Mr. Trudeau, your remarks regarding the case of Hassan Diab – that Canada will always stand up for its citizens – yields hope, and the possibility that your words signal a salutary change in the Extradition Act—a defective law that is largely responsible for Dr. Diab’s disgraceful extradition to France in 2014. Such a change in the Act would, among other things, guarantee transparency, by prohibiting the suppression of exculpatory material and by disqualifying, from the start, extradition requests that submit unsourced and unsworn intelligence as evidence. This would save innocent lives from the torment of wrongful surrender to a foreign state and wrongful conviction in a foreign court. This would mean that Hassan Diab’s horrific ordeal would never, as you put it (5:00-5:15), happen again.

But for the 1999 Extradition Act to be truly transformed, this unjust Canadian law will require a powerful catalyst: it will need your intervention in the Diab Affair. You must set the precedent and say NO to a second extradition for this innocent Canadian citizen who has already paid heavily for a crime he did not commit.

Canadians from coast to coast are urging you to do the right thing and to do it now! Should you fail to act forthwith to save Dr. Diab from the ultimate nightmare, your unconscionable lapse will be burned in the memory of countless voters.



Aaron Lakoff, Independent Jewish Voices Canada, Montreal

Alan Conn Strid, Philanthropist, Arrowwood

Andrea Levy, Ph.D., Montreal

Anna Lippman, Doctoral candidate, Toronto

Anna Zalik, Associate Professor, York University

Annette Lengyel, Community organizer, Calgary

Aoife Hazen, Artist, New Brunswick

Azeezah Kanji, Legal academic and journalist, Toronto

Bianca Mugyenyi, Director, Canadian Foreign Policy Institute, Montreal

Bill Clennett, Citoyen, Gatineau

Bruce Katz, Retired teacher, Vaudreuil, Québec

Bruce R. Allen, Paralegal, St. Catharines

Carl Rosenberg, Translator, B.C.

Cassandra Ryan, Writer, activist, Toronto

Catherine Zink, Concerned Canadian, Rocky View County, Alberta

Chandni Desai, Professor, Toronto

Charlotte Kates, International coordinator, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Vancouver

Cheryl Gaster, Human Rights Lawyer (Retired), Toronto,

Chris Hedges, Journalist, author, ordained minister

Claire Louise Bidwell, Teacher, Scotland

Colleen Fuller, Health Policy Researcher. Vancouver, BC

Corey Balsam, National Coordinator, Independent Jewish Voices Canada, Montreal

Crystal Whitney, Educator, Calgary

Cynthia Wright, Associate Professor, Toronto

Daniel Nashid, Lawyer, Toronto

David Heap, Ph.D., Associate Professor, London, Ontario

David Mivasair, Rabbi, Hamilton, Ontario

David R. Low, Retired Clergy, St. Catharines, Ontario

David R. Fairn, Teacher, Nova Scotia

Deborah Brock, Associate professor, Toronto

Deborah Cowen, Professor, University of Toronto

Deborah Guterman, Lawyer, Toronto

Desmond Sequeira, Govt. Multi-Faith Chaplain (Retired), St. Catharines

Diana Ralph, Author, teacher, social worker, Jew, Ottawa

Diane Touchette, Retired administrator, Canada

Dimitri Lascaris, Lawyer, Montréal

Dr. James Deutsch, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Dr. Sheila Delany, Professor Emerita, Simon Fraser University, author, activist, Vancouver

Dr. Stefan Kipfer, Professor, Toronto

Dyala Hamzah, Professeure, Montréal

E. Shaker, Researcher, Ottawa

Ed Lehman, Peace activist, retired educator, Regina

Elizabeth Block, Activist, artisan, Toronto

Enver Domingo, Retired, Oakville

Eric Mills, Editor, Toronto

Frances Combs, Clergy, Toronto

Frank Holden, Civil Rights Activist, St. John's

Greg Albo, Professor, Department of Politics, York University

Heidi Friesen, Teacher, Calgary

Jake Javanshir, Activist, North York

Jalal Kawash, Professor, Calgary

James Kafieh, Lawyer, Ontario

Jan Steven, Chaplain, Social Worker, St. Catharines

Janet Siltanen, Professor Emerita, Ottawa

Janice Price, BScN Retired PHN, Ontario

Jennifer Stimac, Secondary school teacher, retired, Toronto

Jérôme Brassard-Duperré, Citoyen, Gatineau

Jillian Rogin, Assistant Professor, Hamilton, Ontario

John Baglow, Writer, Ottawa

John Liss, Lawyer, Toronto

John Riddell, Author, Toronto

John W. Foster, Human Rights professor, Nepean

Judith Deutsch, Psychoanalyst, Toronto

Judy Haiven, Retired Professor, St Mary's University, Halifax, NS

Julia Barnett, Supervisor, Region of Peel Health, Toronto,

Karen Rodman, Board member, Just Peace Advocates, Kawartha Lakes

Karoline Truchon, Professeure, Montréal

Khaled Barakat, Palestinian writer; co-founder, Masar Badil movement, Vancouver

Laura Macdonald, Professor, Political Science, Ottawa

Leslee Balsam, Concerned citizen, Ottawa

Louise Blais, PhD, Professeure retraitée, Université d’Ottawa, Montréal

Marjorie Robertson, Retired Professor, Ottawa

Mark Muhannad Ayyash, Professor of Sociology, Mount Royal University, Calgary

Martin Fontaine, Agent de pastorale, Montréal

Mary Lou Jorgensen-Bacher, Retired government worker, Toronto

M. Blais, Professeure, Québec

Merav Weinroth, Artist and Caregiver, Montréal

Michael Alvarez-Toye, Spokesperson, Animal Advocacy, Calgary

Michael Letwin, Former President, Assn. of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW 2325, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Michael Lynk, Professor Emeritus, University of Western Ontario

Michel Abdel Nour, Entrepreneur, Québec

Michel Seymour, professeur honoraire, Université de Montréal

Michelle Weinroth, Writer and teacher, Ottawa

Miriam Meir, Retired Public Health Nurse, Jew, Calgary, Alberta

Mona Kadri, Business owner, Calgary, Alberta

Murray Lumley, Retired teacher, Toronto

Naheed Gilani, Portfolio Manager, Vancouver

Nora McKay, Teacher, Canada

Nyla Matuk, Author, Montréal

Odette Dabit, Ordinary Canadian of Palestinian descent, Milton, Ontario

Pat Colpitts, Retired, Regina, SK

Paul Leduc Browne, Professeur associé, Université du Québec en Outaouais, Gatineau

Paul Tetrault, Lawyer, Vancouver

Prof. Don Ray, Professor Emeritus, Calgary

Rachel Small, Organizer, World BEYOND War, Canada

Rashmi Luther, Professor (retired), School of Social Work, Carleton University, Ottawa

Reuben Roth, Professor Emeritus, Oshawa, Ontario

Rosemary Warskett, Professor Emerita, Department of Law and Legal Studies, Carleton University,


Rox Chwaluk, Activist, Educator, St. Catharines

S. Rans, Retired, London, Ontario

Sally Campbell, Retired lawyer/mediator, Hornby Island, BC

Samaa Elibyari, Community Activist, Montréal

Shadi, Concerned Citizen, Calgary

Shahrzad Mojab, Professor, University of Toronto

Sheryl Nestel, Professor, Toronto

Sid Shniad, Founding member, Independent Jewish Voices Canada, Surrey, B.C.

Stephen Aberle, Actor, Vancouver, BC

Susan Jane Spronk, Professor, Ottawa

Suzanne Weiss, Author, Holocaust survivor, Toronto

Tarick Mirza, CEO, Hamilton, Ontario

Thouria Bekka, Montréal

Vannina Sztainbok, Researcher, Toronto

Yves Engler, Author, Montréal

Yvonne Schmitz, Social Worker, Calgary



AFPS, Lombard

Bathurst United Church Toronto

Belgian Academics for Palestine

Canadian Foreign Policy Institute

Canadian Voice of Women for Peace

Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME)

Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid

Independent Jewish Voices

Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement Pour Une Paix Juste

Justice for All Canada

Knowledge Track Inc., Ottawa

Let Kashmir Decide

Masar Badil: Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement

Niagara Movement for Justice in Palestine-Israel (NMJPI)

Oakville Palestinian Rights Association

OPIRG- Carleton

Palestine House -Mississauga

Peace Alliance Winnipeg

People for Peace, London

Regina Peace Council

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network

Socialist Action / Ligue pour l'Action socialiste

World BEYOND War