Message from Blair Rutherford, Chair and Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Dear Colleagues and Students,

I am writing you to ask you to consider supporting the struggle for our colleague Dr. Hassan Diab.

As you likely have seen, the French courts shockingly have decided to have him stand trial in France, despite there being no evidence (other than discredited evidence) to link Hassan to the deadly and tragic bombing of a synagogue in Paris over 40 years ago (see the arguments put forth by Hassan’s Canadian lawyer, Don Bayne here). As Alex Neve, the former secretary general for Amnesty International Canada, declared: “It was a horrific terrorist crime for which there absolutely must be justice and accountability,… And it is an absolute disgrace that 40 years later, that hasn’t happened. You do not deliver justice by delivering up a man against whom every single shred of evidence increasingly points only to innocence and not to guilt.”

As you may know, Dr. Diab has been a long time contract instructor in our Department and his wife is our excellent colleague and current Graduate Coordinator in Sociology, Prof. Rania Tfaily. When he was unjustly extradited to France in 2014 on the same flimsy evidence, Hassan spent three years in prison, often in solitary confinement, until a French court finally released him to return home to Canada given the inability of French prosecutors to provide any evidence against him. At the time of his return to Canada in 2018, Prime Minister Trudeau stated “I think for Hassan Diab, we have to recognize first of all that what happened to him never should have happened.”

Some of us who have been around SocAnth since 2008 when Hassan was first arrested by the RCMP have provided support where we can to help him and his family fight this injustice.

I know that everyone is stretched with so many other pressing struggles, commitments and responsibilities. However, I ask you to consider:
* signing the Parliamentary petition below: (English) (French)

* sending a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by visiting: (English) (French)

* providing a monetary donation to support his legal defense in France (

Please also consider sharing the links to the petition/letter to PM Trudeau widely on social media and among your networks.

Thanks so much for considering my request. Any support will be appreciated by Hassan and Rania.

All the best,
Blair Rutherford,
Chair and Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University

For more information about this injustice that Hassan has faced for thirteen years, please visit the Justice for Hassan Diab website.