"The Canadian government has a responsibility to take action to right this wrong. I am asking you to raise this matter with your French counterparts and to communicate the view that the proper course of action is for the French authorities to drop these unfounded charges against Diab and to not continue with the prosecution." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
Ottawa (17 March 2021) — The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is raising concern about the recent French court decision in the case of Hassan Diab, and urges the Canadian government to act.
Larry Brown, NUPGE President, has written a letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau.
In doing so, NUPGE joins the many other Canadian organizations who are speaking out.
Latest ruling is another injustice
"I am troubled by the January 27 decision by a French court of appeal to proceed with a trial against Diab, an Ottawa-based academic of dual Canadian–Lebanese citizenship," wrote Brown.
"The charges against Diab, which alleged his involvement in the bombing of a Paris synagogue in 1980, were finally dismissed in 2018 due to insufficient evidence. Unfortunately, this came after years of injustice and harm caused to Diab and his family, including his extradition to France and 3 years spent in a French prison."
Brown continued: "This ordeal must end. Furthermore, this is not the way to bring justice to the victims and survivors of the bombing."
Canada has a responsibility to act
Diab recently filed a statement of claim seeking compensation from the federal government for Canada’s role in his extradition to France and his years spent in jail there (CBC News).
"The Canadian government has a responsibility to take action to right this wrong," wrote Brown.
"I am asking you to raise this matter with your French counterparts and to communicate the view that the proper course of action is for the French authorities to drop these unfounded charges against Diab and to not continue with the prosecution."
Supporters urge follow-through
Brown also referenced Prime Minister Trudeau's statement from 2018. Trudeau said that what happened to Diab "never should have happened" and noted the need to "make sure that it never happens again." In the letter, Brown wrote, "I urge your government to follow through on this statement—in Diab’s ongoing case and going forward."
Prime Minister Trudeau has indicated that the Canadian government is following the case, but Diab's lawyer and supporters have demanded clearer, more concrete action (Toronto Star).
NUPGE has supported Diab for many years and will continue to call for justice.
Read the letter here.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE