Dear Hassan Diab Supporters,
A heartfelt thanks to you all for signing the open letter to Justin Trudeau, dated June 16, 2023. The letter was published in Rabble, the Just Peace Advocates website, and the Bullet. Within a short period of time, the letter, which initially received 116 signatures from individuals and 24 from organizations, garnered more than 650 endorsements. It was sent to the Prime Minister by e-mail and also hand-delivered to his office via a mail depot on Metcalfe Street in Ottawa.
Dr. Diab is immensely grateful to you for all the support you have shown him over the years. Unfortunately, his situation continues to be extremely stressful, since the government has not indicated whether it has accepted (or whether it will accept) a second extradition request from France. Four months have elapsed since the fateful Friday (April 21, 2023) when the Assizes Court declared Hassan Diab guilty, sentencing him to life in prison. Four months have come and gone and our fellow Canadian is still suspended in limbo, mentally tortured by the government’s silence.
In June of this year, Dr. Diab and his Ottawa supporters gathered weekly on Sparks Street. They stood with banners and distributed leaflets, educating the public on the scandalous Diab Affair. Many are outraged at the government’s disgraceful treatment of their fellow Canadian.
Efforts to galvanize the government to protect Dr. Diab from a second extradition intensified in the peak of summer. On July 26, 2023 a letter was sent to the newly appointed Justice Minister, Arif Virani, exhorting him to block France’s second extradition request. On July 27, 2023, the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) hosted a press conference reporting on the government’s dilatoriness in handling the Diab case. Following the press conference, Dr. Diab hand-delivered a petition of 10,000 signatures to the Prime Minister demanding that he say No to a second extradition. On July 31, 2023, another letter was sent to Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, enlisting her aid in redressing this flagrant miscarriage of justice.
As we await a response from these cabinet ministers, we are now turning to the NDP. We are sending an open letter to Foreign Affairs Critic Heather McPherson, since, on April 21, 2023, she spoke out powerfully in Dr. Diab’s defence against France’s baseless guilty verdict.
The NDP’s support in this fight is crucial. By exhorting Ms. McPherson and her NDP colleagues to exert further pressure on the Liberal Government, we hope that Canada will finally say NO to France’s extradition request. The psychological pain that Dr. Diab continues to suffer is intolerable.
In light of the above, we would be very grateful if you would kindly sign the open letter to Ms. McPherson so that the scandalous Diab Affair can finally be brought to an end. Every voice and every signature counts in this strenuous uphill battle for justice.
On April 21, 2023, following a two-week trial, one held in absentia at France’s Assizes Court, Hassan Diab was sentenced to life in prison. On that same day, NDP Member of Parliament Heather McPherson called on the Liberal government to block France’s second extradition request for this most abused fellow Canadian, a man whose innocence had already been affirmed in 2018 – and not least by France’s own eminent investigative magistrates. Four months have elapsed since that fateful Friday, and still the Liberal Government remains tight-lipped. It is clear: the Diab Affair will be remembered as one of the most egregious scandals in Canada’s history of judicial affairs.
Many are therefore grateful to McPherson for her immediate and forceful response to the brutal blow that France dealt the beleaguered Dr. Diab on April 21st. Many appreciate that she pointedly articulated the extreme injustice of the Diab Affair, stating that “the entire trial of Hassan Diab was a sham,” and that “Dr. Diab “has lived through a nightmare for the last [15 years] …”
At this eleventh hour, Michelle Weinroth, along with thousands of Diab supporters, is asking if MP McPherson would please exert the necessary pressure on the Liberal Government to ensure that a second extradition for Dr. Diab is categorically refused and that this case of historic and colossal injustice is brought to an end without further ado.
The message is : Ms. McPherson, many applaud you for the support you have offered thus far. But more concerted advocacy is needed. Dr. Diab requires the NDP’s political strength to help secure his freedom. In effect, since the NDP holds the balance of power, it is well placed to raise this issue in the House and to act as an essential catalyst in bringing this awful case to a close.
For the answer to Bob Dylan’s question — “How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?” — is not, in fact, blowing in the wind. It is before our eyes – in the halls of parliament where the NDP’s voice truly counts.
Read letter to Minister of Justice/Attorney General Arif Virani:
Read letter to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland:
Delivery of Petition to the PM (July 2023)
Press Conference for Hassan Diab (July 2023)
Parliamentary Report on Reforming Canada’s Extradition System
On June 7, 2023, the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights (JUST) released a report entitled, “Reforming Canada’s Extradition System”: