(Ottawa – 17 January 2018) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) welcomes the release and return of former Ottawa resident and university professor Dr. Hassan Diab.
Dr. Diab, a Canadian citizen, was recently released from the French maximum-security prison where he was held since his extradition in 2014. He arrived safely back in Canada yesterday.
Until 2007, Diab led the life of an academic, conducting research and teaching sociology at Ottawa-area universities. In 2008, he was arrested by the RCMP after French authorities accused him of involvement in a 1980 terrorist bombing in Paris.
“From the outset, CAUT has advocated for Dr. Diab’s release,” said CAUT Executive Director David Robinson. “His case highlights serious flaws in Canada’s extradition treaties with other countries, which must be remedied so that other Canadian citizens don’t suffer the same unjust treatment that Dr. Diab and his family have been forced to endure.”
The allegations against Diab were based on secret unsourced evidence and what experts viewed as deeply flawed handwriting analysis. Diab has always denied any involvement in terrorist activity, asserting that at the time of the bombing, he was in Lebanon studying. French judicial investigators, who travelled to Beirut as part of their probe of Diab’s claims of innocence, have now accepted his explanation.
“Dr. Diab’s six-year battle fighting extradition to France shone a spotlight on Canada’s extradition agreements with many countries which allow Canada to send its own citizens to requesting countries on flimsy evidence that wouldn’t stand up in any Canadian court proceeding,” said Robinson. “CAUT urges the federal government to review those agreements in order to raise the threshold of proof required in such cases.”
Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers
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