Saturday, March 21, 2009

Diab victim of anti-Arab attitudes: Witness


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Barry Artiste Op/Ed

I think if Europe has a case against this Professor, overwhelming evidence should be presented in a Canadian Court of Law and no extradition to Europe. If in Canada, he is found guilty, then he should be extradited.  But until that time comes, Innocent until proven guilty should prevail and the man should be allowed all the rights Canadians enjoy, including staying in Canada until proven otherwise. Many in the middle east share the same name, more common than we think, to convict on a name is not a good case, especially after almost 30 years.

OTTAWA — Ottawa's Arab community believes a local academic accused of terrorism is the victim of anti-Arab attitudes in Canada, court heard Friday.

"We feel we are being targeted, and this is just one case of it," said Nour El-Kadri, a member of the Ottawa-based Canadian Coalition of Arab Professionals and Community Associations (CAPCA).

El-Kadri was one of several people who testified on behalf of Hassan Diab, a one-time lecturer in sociology at the University of Ottawa and, more recently, Carleton University. The French government has accused Diab of being a terrorist and wants him extradited so he can be tried in a 1980 bombing in Paris that killed four people and injured dozens. Acting on a French request, the RCMP arrested the 55-year-old in November, and he has been held in the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Detention Centre since then.

Diab was in court this week, seeking to be released on bail while he awaits an extradition hearing.

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