Apologies. Unforeseen circumstances prevented us from sending a News Digest last week.
Nos excuses pour ne pas avoir envoyé de Revue de l'actualité la semaine dernière.
Judge orders indefinite delay in CSIS compensation trial, orders Crown to pay legal costs
The Toronto Star 18/09/2018 - A Federal Court judge has “reluctantly” decided to indefinitely delay a civil trial that would have decided Abousfian Abdelrazik’s $27-million compensation claim against the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Canadian government. In a six-page ruling, Justice Martine St-Louis granted the Crown’s request for a “long-term adjournment” Tuesday, leaving the Sudanese-Canadian man’s attempt to seek civil redress through the courts in legal limbo. St-Louis accepted a last-minute request by the Crown, which said trial proceedings should put off while another court undertakes a separate “national security” review of 5,500 documents that were already redacted and released to Abdelrazik. Those documents form part of the court record in his torture compensation lawsuit that has dragged on for nine years. The Montreal man claims actions by CSIS, including sending questions to his Sudanese jailers in 2003 and dispatching CSIS officials to interview him in jail, were responsible for his arbitrary arrest and for what turned into a six-year ordeal of detention and alleged torture, house arrest in Sudanese government facilities, and finally his decision to seek asylum inside the Canadian embassy in Khartoum for a year. [...] “The obvious effort to further delay this case is as cynical as it is shameful. It is a tremendous blow to justice, denied for so many long years tor Abousfian Abdelrazik. It is a move which undermines the protection and respect of human rights to which all Canadian citizens are rightfully entitled,” said Alex Neve, secretary general of the Canadian branch of the non-governmental organization. Read more - Lire plus

Canada betrays its own citizens. Hassan Diab's case is among its most egregious: Neil Macdonald
CBC 15/09/2018 - I don't know professor Hassan Diab, the Canadian citizen packed off to a French prison in 2014 by Canadian authorities on what French investigative judges ultimately decided were unfounded terrorism accusations. But I do know this: I don't trust my government. I don't trust Canadian police, and I don't trust our prosecutors. Sorry. They are quite capable of traducing me, or any other citizen of this country, in order to please a foreign power. I say this not as a right-wing militia member or conspiracy theorist. I say it as a journalist with 42 years on the job. I have seen what our legal system is capable of doing to an ordinary citizen, and it is frightening. If you don't believe that, well, let's just hope you never have your unshakeable patriotic faith tested. [Leslie Kelin, Maher Arar, Omar Khadr.] And now, Hassan Diab. Apologists for the government say it had no choice, because of our extradition law, and neither did the judge who ordered him extradited to France. Sorry, it's just the system. Sorry, not good enough. The real problem is that Canada's eagerness to please foreign allies supersedes concerns for its own citizens. Consider this: France would not have extradited one of its citizens to Canada. Its position is that if foreign authorities have a case against a French citizen, they should supply the evidence to France, and France will put the person on trial. "We'd have been happy to have the trial here in Canada," says Don Bayne, Diab's lawyer. "We knew how long it would last." Instead, Diab lost years of his life, and the Canadian government, rather than profusely apologizing, has now arrogantly appointed a retired prosecutor and former senior Ontario justice official — yes, a lifelong prosecutor — to "review" the case. Diab, meanwhile, remains on the American no-fly list. And French prosecutors are appealing his release. They may yet demand he be turned over again, and that law that gave the judge and the government no choice remains unchanged. You know, the system. Terrifying. Read more - Lire plus
Police violated people's right to protest during Quebec G7, report suggests
CBC 19/09/2018 - The police presence in Quebec City and at La Malbaie during the G7 leaders meeting in June is once again being denounced by human rights groups for being excessive and intimidating. A report released Wednesday by Amnesty International and the Quebec nonprofit Ligue des droits et libertés found there was a disproportionate number of police officers compared to protesters in the city during the summit, which was held in the Charlevoix region. The Ligue said the number of officers and level to which they were armed hindered people's ability to protest. "The protests took place amid a climate of fear and intimidation and that climate prevailed during the whole summit," Nicole Fillion, a spokesperson for the Ligue, told Radio-Canada. Fillion and Geneviève Paul, who heads Amnesty International's French-language division, presented the report at a joint news conference in Montreal Wednesday. They said the intimidation by police during the summit follows a worldwide trend of attempting to dissuade protests from happening during meetings held by state officials. "Political and police authorities completely flouted their obligation to protect and encourage the exercise of civil liberties, including the right to protest, during the G7," Fillion said. [...] The report also denounces the conditions faced by the 10 protesters who were arrested during the summer. It claims they were denied access to a telephone while in custody, violating their right to access a lawyer. They were detained for the duration of the summit. Some were held for up to 60 hours, which the report says is a disproportionate amount of time for the charges they faced of participating in an illegal protest. The report also takes issue with the fact the protest was only deemed illegal because no itinerary was provided beforehand. Read more - Lire plus

Federal prosecutors using expanded powers to target terrorist propaganda web content
Globe and Mail 16/09/2018 - Federal Crown prosecutors have, for the first time, used the terrorism-propaganda provision of the Criminal Code in an attempt to remove content from the internet. Under that law, authorities can seek judicial orders that oblige internet service providers and social-media companies to take down material. If judges are convinced terrorist propaganda has been posted online, they can order these companies to remove the offending content – and also to reveal which customer posted it, if this is already not clear. An online court registry shows that hearings invoking the power took place in May and June in Montreal, but all details about its use – including which offending messages were posted by whom – are protected by a judicial sealing order. The case, which is continuing, is playing out in the courts even as the law that put this power on the books [the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2015, better known as Bill C-51] is being narrowed in scope under Liberal legislation now being considered by Parliament. [...] The Liberals say their changes merely correct potentially unconstitutional language. They, and others, have argued that the law as it exists is ambiguous. And that it could potentially expose journalists or politicians to criminal charges, simply for calling attention to widely publicized terrorist videos. [...] Legal observers say they are keen to watch how the case plays out in the courts should the sealing order be lifted. “What they’re trying to tear down [from the internet], will it be captured by the new provision?” asked Craig Forcese, a University of Ottawa law professor. “Or does it depend on this overbroad concept that is presently in the law?” Read more - Lire plus

Five-Eyes Intelligence Services Choose Surveillance Over Security
Schneier 06/09/2018 - The Five Eyes -- the intelligence consortium of the rich English-speaking countries (the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand) --  have   issued  a " Statement of Principles on Access to Evidence and Encryption " where they claim their needs for surveillance outweigh everyone's needs for security and privacy. [...] To put it bluntly, this is reckless and shortsighted. I've  repeatedly   written  about why this can't be done technically, and why trying results in insecurity. But there's a greater principle at first: we need to decide, as nations and as society, to put defense first. We need a "defense dominant" strategy for securing the Internet and everything attached to it. This is important. Our national security depends on the security of our technologies. Demanding that technology companies add backdoors to computers and communications systems puts us all at risk. We need to understand that these systems are too critical to our society and -- now that they can affect the world in a direct physical manner -- affect our lives and property as well. This is what I just wrote, in  Click Here to Kill Everybody : "There is simply no way to secure US networks while at the same time leaving foreign networks open to eavesdropping and attack. There's no way to secure our phones and computers from criminals and terrorists without also securing the phones and computers of those criminals and terrorists. [...] It's actually not a hard choice. An analogy might bring this point home. Imagine that every house could be opened with a master key, and this was known to the criminals. Fixing those locks would also mean that criminals' safe houses would be more secure, but it's pretty clear that this downside would be worth the trade-off of protecting everyone's house. We must secure the information systems used by our elected officials, our critical infrastructure providers, and our businesses. Yes, increasing our security will make it harder for us to eavesdrop, and attack, our enemies in cyberspace. (It won't make it impossible for law enforcement to solve crimes.) Regardless, it's worth it. Read more - Lire plus 

Muslim-American can sue over 'no-fly list': U.S. appeals court
Reuters 20/09/2018 - A federal appeals court on Thursday revived a Muslim-American man’s lawsuit accusing the U.S. government of improperly keeping him for about six years on its “no-fly list,” where he said he was placed to coerce him into becoming an FBI informant. Reversing a lower court ruling, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland, Oregon said Yonas Fikre’s due process claims did not become moot when he was removed from the list without explanation in May 2016, three years after he sued. The court said the government’s refusal to acknowledge that Fikre did not belong on the list and would not be returned there left an overhang that could cause business associates, friends and even family to shun him. “Fikre remains, in his own words, ‘stigmatiz(ed) as a known or suspected terrorist and as an individual who represents a threat of engaging in or conducting a violent act of terrorism and who is operationally capable of doing so,’” U.S. Circuit Judge Morgan Christen wrote for a three-judge panel. Read more - Lire plus 

Illegal protest or protecting the land? An Indigenous woman gets ready to face a Canadian court
APTN 18/09/2018 - Labrador Land Protector Denise Cole expects Nalcor, the provincial agency responsible for building the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric dam, will use her as an example to discourage others when her case goes to trial. “They want to show an example that yes, all laws apply to all people with regards to who they are,” said Cole, who said she has Inuit heritage. About 20 land protectors will be in court this week for hearings related to the occupation, blockade and other protests of the Muskrat Falls project in Labrador. In October 2016 some of them breached a court order to stay away from the site. On Oct. 22 of that year, around 50 people entered the site and occupied a worker accommodation complex. She said she has a responsibility to Muskrat Falls and Indigenous laws. “The judges says we have to uphold the rule of the law, what about the rule that we take care of mother earth for the next seven generations?” Cole said. Because of the number of Labrador Land Protectors who have hearings, the court needed to be booked four times. So far, one group has already appeared in court. The first group consisted of eight protectors. They all pleaded guilty to civil contempt. Three received suspended sentences and their conviction will be registered against them due to prior violations, and the other five were granted a conditional sentence. All eight have to obey conditions to stay away from the site. The entire community is involved, Labrador Land Protector Lawyer Mark Gruchy said Indigenous and non-Indigenous people are reacting to threats which are similar threats that have manifested against Indigenous and rural people decades before. Methylmercury is still in people’s memories. As a child, Gruchy remembers people’s concerns with methylmercury. “I saw pictures of Indigenous people who had been poisoned by mercury poisoning and fish and what it had done to their children,” he said. Read more - Lire plus

Paterson and Waldman: Latest death in Canada Border Services custody shows independent oversight needed
Ottawa Citizen 10/09/2018 - This death in custody highlights the government’s failure to fulfil its promise to provide oversight to CBSA. CBSA wields a wide range of police powers and deals with some of the most vulnerable people in Canada. Its agents also act as prosecutors for the federal government in refugee and other hearings. A federal audit recently revealed that CBSA officers have behaved inappropriately in carrying out those duties on the government’s behalf, including using inaccurate evidence and intimidating immigration tribunal members. The audit, together with the news of the death in custody, reinforces the position that there is an urgent need for an accountability body for CBSA. It must be able to review the full range of CBSA’s conduct, whether at the border, inland, or in hearings. Because of the federal government’s inaction, CBSA is left to investigate its own conduct in this death without any external review. If this man had died in the custody of any other police force in Canada, there would have been an independent review. It is deeply disappointing that CBSA continues to be the exception to the rule several years after the government promised to fix that problem. Read more - Lire plus
Detention of Migrant Children Has Skyrocketed to Highest Levels Ever
New York Times 12/09/2018 - Even though hundreds of children separated from their families after crossing the border have been released under court order, the overall number of detained migrant children has exploded to the highest ever recorded — a significant counternarrative to the Trump administration’s efforts to reduce the number of undocumented families coming to the United States. Population levels at federally contracted shelters for migrant children have quietly shot up more than fivefold since last summer, according to data obtained by The New York Times, reaching a total of 12,800 this month. There were 2,400 such children in custody in May 2017. The huge increases, which have placed the federal shelter system near capacity, are due not to an influx of children entering the country, but a reduction in the number being released to live with families and other sponsors, the data collected by the Department of Health and Human Services suggests. Read more - Lire plus

Sentinel Species: The Criminalization of Animal Rights Activists as ‘Terrorists,’ and What It Means for Civil Liberties in Trump’s America
Denver Law Review 2018 - For nearly twenty years my research has documented the govern- ment’s domestic terrorism operations, and I have found that one social movement has been the target of repressive measures post-9/11 more than any other.14 Animal rights and environmental activists have pioneered new, diverse forms of social activism that have exposed widespread indus- try cruelty and environmental abuses; ushered in new legal standards; de- railed multinational corporations; and rapidly redefined how we view an- imals and the natural world. These remarkable successes have been met with increasingly harsh repression, including new terrorism and censor- ship laws, widespread surveillance, ambitious civil and criminal lawsuits, disproportionate prison sentences, and experimental prison units.15 The corporate-led backlash against these social movements has become a blue- print of how to repress protest groups in the modern era, and identical tac- tics have now been used against other contemporary social movements, both in the United States and internationally.16 In short, these activists are a sentinel species of protester. If we miss their warning signs, we will be faced with a much broader criminalization of dissent. [...] With the new rhetoric of terrorism firmly in place, and “eco-terror- ism” regularly part of media and political dialogue, corporations began chipping away at constitutionally protected protest activity with a variety of legal and legislative tactics. They have brought the Racketeer Influ- enced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)—the law intended to be used for the mob—actions against animal rights campaigners. They have sought restraining orders and injunctions to stop protests. And they have introduced a long list of local, state, and federal legislation to target their opposition. By far the most significant development in this effort, though, was the creation of the crime of “animal enterprise terrorism.” Read more - Lire plus
A Moment of Silence, Before I Start This Poem
By Emmanuel Ortiz 11/09/2002 - Before I start this poem, I'd like to ask you to join me
In a moment of silence
In honor of those who died in the World Trade Center and the
Pentagon last September 11th.
I would also like to ask you
To offer up a moment of silence
For all of those who have been harassed, imprisoned,
disappeared, tortured, raped, or killed in retaliation for those strikes,
For the victims in both Afghanistan and the U.S.
And if I could just add one more thing...
A full day of silence
For the tens of thousands of Palestinians who have died at the
hands of U.S.-backed Israeli
forces over decades of occupation.
Six months of silence for the million and-a-half Iraqi people,
mostly children, who have died of
malnourishment or starvation as a result of an 11-year U.S.
embargo against the country.

100,000 demand release of Syrian man convicted of ‘terrorism’ for throwing a few stones in Hungary
Amnesty International 19/09/2018 - Ahead of tomorrow’s appeal court decision in the case against Ahmed H, a Syrian man sentenced to seven years in prison following clashes with Hungarian border police in 2015, Amnesty International delivered a petition demanding his release and signed by more than 100,000 people, to the Ministry of Justice. Marking the third anniversary of Ahmed’s detention on charges of being “complicit in an act of terror”, a 15-metre high animation was also beamed onto the side of the Ministry in the historic centre of Budapest. Ahmed was arrested and imprisoned following an incident at the Serbia-Hungary border in September 2015 where he admitted to throwing a few stones. He had left his home in Cyprus where he was an EU resident, to help his elderly parents and other family members flee from Syria to find safety in Europe. On 30 November 2016, Ahmed was convicted of committing “an act of terror” by a Hungarian court under Hungary’s overly broad and vague anti-terrorism law. Following an appeal, a retrial was ordered in which he was again convicted despite a glaring lack of evidence to substantiate the terrorism charge. His case has become internationally recognised as an example of Hungary’s draconian counter-terrorism laws and crackdown on migrants and refugees.
On 12 September, the European Parliament voted to trigger EU action against Hungary’s increasingly repressive policies, which are eroding fundamental rights, freedoms and the rule of law. Read more - Lire plus
Study shows two-thirds of U.S. terrorism tied to right-wing extremists
SPLC 12/09/2018 - Researchers and journalists for the news site  Quartz  said they used data compiled by the  Global Terrorism Database  that has tabulated terrorist events around the world since 1970. The database is supported by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), affiliated with the University of Maryland. “A Quartz analysis of the database shows that almost two-thirds of terror attacks in the (United States) last year were tied to racist, anti-Muslim, homophobic, anti-Semitic, fascist, anti-government, or xenophobic motivations,” its posting says. The remaining attacks, the web site said, “were driven by left-wing ideologies … and Islamic extremism.” Globally, terrorist attacks dropped from about 17,000 in 2014 to about 11,000 in 2017, including a 40 percent decline in the Middle East, according to Quartz's analysis of the START data. But the United States has seen a recent surge in terror-related violence, with 65 attacks last year, up from six in 2006, it said. In a related post last month, Quartz said of 65 terrorism incidents last year in the United States, 37 were “tied to racist, anti-Muslim, homophobic, anti-Semitic, fascist, anti-government or xenophobic motivations.” The list includes the August 2017 incident at the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a man drove a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer and injuring many others. The suspect, James Alex Fields, was photographed earlier that day marching with neo-Nazi hate group Vanguard America. Fields has been charged with first-degree murder and is awaiting trial in Virginia. In June, he was indicted on 30 charges of federal hate crimes related to the attack. The list also includes attacks on a gay bar in Puerto Rico, mosques in Washington, Texas, and Florida and a “vehicle decorated with Jewish iconography in New York,” the posting said. Read more - Lire plus 

Experts, advocates call on Trudeau to declare Rohingya crisis genocide
The Globe and Mail 17/09/2018 - More than 100 legal experts, civil-society organizations and human-rights advocates are urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government to declare the violent campaign against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar genocide. In a letter to Mr. Trudeau on Monday, the signatories called on the Liberal government to “live up to Canada’s international legal obligations under the UN Genocide Convention” and label the Rohingya crisis genocide. The letter comes as a United Nations fact-finding mission prepares to release a 400-page report on Tuesday detailing the alleged “genocidal” crimes by Myanmar’s top military officers against the Rohingya ethnic minority. Around 725,000 Rohingya, an ethnic minority largely denied citizenship in Myanmar, have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh over the past year. Fareed Khan, a spokesman for the Rohingya Human Rights Network and one of the letter’s signatories, said the Trudeau government has been “humming and hawing and hesitating” to take decisive action on the Rohingya crisis. He said calling it a genocide would ensure those responsible are held to account. “Naming it as a genocide and beginning that process means that you begin the process of allowing these people to hopefully, eventually, return to a place they called home," Mr. Khan said during a news conference on Parliament Hill on Monday . Read more - Lire plus 

Egypt: Death sentences and heavy prison terms handed down in disgraceful mass trial
Amnesty International 08/09/2018 - Cairo Criminal Court today handed down 75 death sentences, 47 life sentences, and heavy prison sentences ranging from 15 to 5 years to 612 people, in a mass trial related to participation in the al-Rabaa sit-in on 14 August 2013. Among those sentenced was photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, known as “Shawkan”, who was sentenced to five years, which he has already served. Najia Bounaim, North Africa Campaigns Director at Amnesty International, said. “These sentences were handed down in a disgraceful mass trial of more than 700 people, and we condemn today’s verdict in the strongest terms. The death penalty should never be an option under any circumstances. The fact that not a single police officer has been brought to account for the killing of at least 900 people in the Rabaa and Nahda protests shows what a mockery of justice this trial was. The Egyptian authorities should be ashamed. We demand a retrial in an impartial court and in full respect of the right to a fair trial for all defendants, without recourse to the death penalty. “Shawkan has already spent more than five years in prison simply for doing his job as a photojournalist and documenting the police brutality that took place that day. The Egyptian authorities’ disgraceful attacks on press freedom and freedom of expression must stop, and they must immediately and unconditionally release Shawkan. He is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for doing his journalistic work.” Read more - Lire plus 

Debate starts next week! Tell the Senate to Fix Bill C-59 before it's too late!
From mass surveillance to the No Fly List, the new National Security Act fails to undo past problems and brings in new powers that threaten our rights & freedoms. Send a message to the Senate that they need to fix Bill C-59.
Share on Facebook & Twitter .
Partagez sur Facebook & Twitter .
Stop Mohamed Harkat's Deportation to Torture
No one should be deported to torture. Ever. If sent back to Algeria, Mohamed Harkat faces detention, torture and even death. Send a message to PM Trudeau and the Ministers of Public Safety, Justice and Immigration to urge them to stop the deportation of Moe Harkat and to not make themselves, and Canada, complicit in torture once more.
Tomorrow! I Am Rohingya screening & panel
Saturday September 22
3:45 PM – 6 PM
Arts Court, 2 Daly Avenue, Ottawa

I am Rohingya tells the story of 14 Rohingya youth who came to Canada as refugees. As they struggled to build a new life in Kitchener-Waterloo, they searched to find a way to tell their story and those of their families. The youth took to the stage to depict their families’ harrowing escape from Burma. Their art becomes a courageous act of resistance.
Next week! The Human Faces of National Insecurity
Thursday, September 27
University of Ottawa, STM 224

A representative from the NCCM will talk about their concerns in how Muslim individuals have been treated in national security cases. Hassan Diab and Abdullah Almalki will talk about their own experiences and ordeal with national security policies. Subhah Wadhawan will talk about her research with security certificate detainees. Facebook event
Call on Justin Trudeau to ensure justice for Abousfian Abdelrazik
In September 2003, Canadian citizen Abousfian Abdelrazik was arrested in Sudan, while he was back in the country visiting his ailing mother. Over the next three years he was imprisoned for nearly 20 months and was held under house arrest for 12 months. He was denied a lawyer, and was never charged or brought before a judge. There were lengthy periods when he had no family or consular visits. During that time he was badly tortured in three different prisons. Not only did Canada fail to take steps to protect him, CSIS officials frequently obstructed efforts to secure his release. Those actions prolonged his detention, with no concern for the obvious risk of mistreatment he was facing.
Montreal event : The Long Way Home - screening + discussion
Co-presented with Amnesty International Canada & the National Council of Canadian Muslims

Thursday, September 27, 2018
7pm to 8.30pm
3575 av. du Parc, Montreal

Canadian citizen Abousfian Abdelrazik was abducted and detained in Sudan due to false allegations of terrorism. Following a free screening of the short documentary "The Long Way Home" (dir. Aisha Jamal, Ariel Nasr) about his ordeal, Abdelrazik will be joined by a panel to discuss what his story teaches us about Canada, human rights and the war on terror.
Les opinions exprimées ne reflètent pas nécessairement les positions de la CSILC - The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the positions of ICLMG.
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