Lebanese-Canadian professor Hassan Diab was ordered released and all charges against him dropped by a French investigative judge on his case yesterday, 12 January 2018. Diab was extradited from Canada and held for three years in solitary confinement in France on the basis of bogus “terrorism” charges despite clear evidence of his innocence. While the struggle isn’t over, as the French state can appeal, this is an important victory for Hassan Diab and against the use of “terror” charges to terrorize oppressed communities.
Of course, French state persecution continues – from the use of anti-terror laws and the “state of emergency” to impose fear and repression on oppressed communities through police violence and surveillance to the charges against BDS activists for advocacy for Palestine to, atop the list, the over 33 years of imprisonment of Lebanese Communist struggler for Palestine, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network salutes Hassan Diab, his wife Rania Tfaily, his dedicated French and Canadian legal team and all of the Justice for Hassan Diab campaigners who have struggled for years for his release from years of unjust imprisonment in French prison and extradition from Canada on the basis of bogus “terrorism” charges. Yesterday, he was ordered released after three years of solitary confinement and the charges against him dropped. He is working now to come back to Canada.
Of course, the struggle isn’t over. French officials can pursue another appeal to attempt to shore up their bogus terror case – and we’ve seen how the French state refuses even the rule of its own judiciary in the case of the struggler Georges Ibrahim Abdallah. Nevertheless, this is an important victory for Hassan Diab and against the use of “terror” prosecutions on the basis of secret evidence, evidence obtained through torture and politically-motivated intelligence agencies.
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We are reprinting below the statement of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group on the case:
Jan. 12, 2018 – After a decade-long ordeal, French judges have dropped all allegations against Canadian Hassan Diab and ordered his immediate release.
“We are overjoyed for Hassan, his partner Rania, and their two children, that this ordeal is finally coming to a close,” said Tim McSorley, national coordinator with the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group. “That Hassan Diab was extradited in the first place continues to raise serious questions about Canada’s judicial process. For now, though, we look forward to seeing Hassan safe and sound back in Canada.”
Hassan Diab was arrested by the RCMP for extradition to France in 2008, on allegations that he participated in the 1980 bombing of a synagogue in Paris that killed 4 bystanders. He was extradited to France in 2014. Since then he has spent more than three years in pre-trial detention, as investigative judges weighed whether to proceed to trial.
Since 2008, the ICLMG has joined Rania, Hassan’ lawyers, the Justice for Hassan Diab support committee and others in questioning the evidence presented against Hassan, and criticizing the Canadian extradition system that allowed him to be sent to France in the first place.
It is important to remember that at the time of the extradition hearings, Justice Maranger described the evidence against Hassan as “illogical”, “very problematic,” and “convoluted,” but that the low threshold for evidence under Canada’s extradition law left him no choice but to commit Dr. Diab to extradition. “It will be important to remain vigilant to ensure that no other Canadian faces the ordeal that Hassan has been through,” said McSorley.
The ICLMG congratulates Rania, Don Bayne and all of Hassan’s lawyers, and the support committee for their tireless work in ensuring that an innocent man was not forgotten and is finally being freed.