International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
June 28, 2019
6,043 days Fighting Deportation to Torture: Call Trudeau to Say Enough is Enough
Stop Canadian Involvement in Torture 26/06/2019 - For this year's International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, help out someone who has spent the past 6,043 days living under the threat of deportation to torture: Ottawa refugee Mohamed Harkat.

Call Justin Trudeau at 613-992-4211 and remind him that no one should ever face the prospect of torture. Indeed, the threat of that hanging over someone's head for over 16.5 years is itself a form of torture. Here is a suggested message you can use .

Here's two other quick and easy things you can do:
1. Once you have made your call, take a minute to send a letter to your own MP, the PM and federal ministers, asking them to act now. We need all MPs to know that the pressure is on to oppose torture and to keep Moe in Canada.
2. Sign and share the petition on your facebook, instagram, twitter, other social media pages, and via email to encourage friends to sign it. Source

Tim McSorley: Who reviews cyber attacks in Canada? We need answers.
Medium 26/06/2019 - Last Friday, June 21, the National Security Act, 2017, (better know as Bill C-59), received royal assent. We’ve written a lot about our concerns over Bill C-59 on the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group’s website, and there will be a lot more to talk about over the coming weeks — especially as various parts of the bill come into effect. One piece of coverage last week has raised some questions about an important part of the bill, and it will be important to get some clear answers about it going forward.

The Globe and Mail published an article on June 19th about the Communications and Security Establishment’s new active and defensive cyber operations powers. These powers will allow the CSE to go beyond surveillance and take real action — defensively or offensively — against cyber threats to Canada. There are restrictions to these powers — including that they cannot lead to death or bodily harm, cannot interfere with justice or democratic processes, and cannot be aimed at Canadians or anyone in Canada — but they still have broad implications: they empower a civilian agency to engage in cyber attacks, including hacking, taking down websites, disrupting communications, and more.

These powers, especially the active cyber operations — ie, pre-emptive attacks — raised considerable questions and criticisms throughout the study of the bill. These included the potential blow-back or retaliation for cyber attacks; the possibility of Canadians being impacted because of the way the “global information infrastructure” is so interconnected; and the history of cyber-attack tools being leaked or stolen, and then used by criminals or nefarious actors.

Given the scope of these negative possibilities, concerns were also raised about the authorization process: according to the new CSE Act, defensive cyber operations can only be carried out under authorized by the Minister of Defence, after consultation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs; active cyber operations must be authorized by the Minister of Defence with the consent of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

This is in contrast to the CSE’s new data collection powers, which will have independent oversight from the new Intelligence Commissioner, who will have to approve the Minister of Defence’s data collection authorizations before they can be carried out. If data collection deserve independent oversight, shouldn’t these important cyber operations also deserve independent oversight? That’s what we, the CCLA , Citizen Lab , and even the current CSE watchdog have urged: give the Intelligence Commissioner a role in approving active and defensive cyber operations.

The controversial nature of these powers haven’t escaped the media, and that brings us back to the Globe and Mail article. In it, the reporter presses Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale (the government’s lead on Bill C-59) about the nature of these new “cyber attack” powers. After explaining why these powers are necessary, the Minister made a curious — and confusing — statement: "The decision to launch cybersecurity attacks will be reviewed by the Intelligence Commissioner, a new position created by the bill," Mr. Goodale said.

This raises questions for two reasons:
  1. It isn’t clear what the minister meant by a “cybersecurity attack”: The CSE will have the mandate protect Canada’s cybersecurity. The Minister of Defence will be empowered to authorize the CSE’s cybersecurity work, which will then need to be approved by the Intelligence Commissioner. However, this would not allow the CSE to engage in an “attack.”
  2. As explained, the Intelligence Commissioner (according to the bill) will not play any role regarding active or defensive cyber operations — “reviewing,” approving or otherwise.

I’ve written to the journalist, and she assured me that this is directly what Minister Goodale stated. I explained the concern, and she has forwarded them to her editors. I also have a request in to a member of Minister Goodale’s office asking for clarification.

The CSE is being granted an incredibly powerful new role in Canada’s national security landscape: being able to engage directly in cyber attacks. These are serious new powers, that can have serious repercussions. Around the world, cyber attacks — both state sponsored and independent — are continuing to grow in size and scope. There needs to be strict, clear and independent oversight of how the CSE engages in these kinds of activities. According to multiple experts and officials, this oversight does not currently exist in Bill C-59. However, the minister in charge of the file just said it does. We need to know for sure. Source
Featuring ICLMG: Canada's national security landscape will get a major overhaul this summer
CBC 23/06/2019 - Civil liberty groups have warned that section of C-59 dealing with CSIS and datasets has the potential to usher in mass surveillance.

"Once again, Canadian lawmakers have failed to act to ensure that national security laws do not come at the cost of privacy, free expression, due process and government transparency," said Tim McSorley, national co-ordinator of the Ottawa-based International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group. "The national security field is an opaque one, and staying informed of all the negative consequences of this bill will be difficult."

McSorley said he also sees the potential for problems in a section of the bill granting immunity to CSIS employees if they break certa in laws in the course of their work. (RCMP officers  already are covered by this type of legislation during investigations.) Read more - Lire plus
ICLMG's comments on " CBSA won't be getting independent oversight as bill dies in the Senate"
Facebook 25/06/2019 - Even though the Senate decided to rise one week earlier than was scheduled, it would not have made a difference for this bill (it made a huge difference for Bill C-262 which would have implemented the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and they should be ashamed of rising early and killing that bill).

The Trudeau government tabled Bill C-98 WAY too late, whereas independent review for the CBSA was an electoral campaign promise. Now we have to continue living with a border agency and its inefficient internal complaint mechanism. This means CBSA will continue to violate peoples' rights with imp unity. Source

Feds spent over $2M in last year to fight Abdelrazik torture lawsuit
iPolitics 24/06/2019 - Ottawa has spent more than $2 million in the last year to fight a lawsuit from a Canadian man who says Canadian authorities were complicit in his arrest and alleged subsequent torture in Sudan.

According to recently-tabled documents in Parliament, taxpayers are on the hook for $2,025,946.31 since June 2018 so Ottawa can litigate in the case of Abousfian Abdelrazik. The Sudanese-Canadian man is suing the federal government for $27 million, claiming CSIS officials were complicit in his 2003 arrest in Sudan, where he spent six years in detention or forced exile and alleges he had been tortured by the country’s intelligence officials.

The figure may be a fraction of what has been spent in total on fighting the lawsuit, which was launched in September 2009 and faced years of wrangling over evidence. The long-standing and complex case was pushed back further in September 2018, when a Federal Court judge agreed with a plea from federal lawyers to indefinitely delay hearings on the case. The decision to adjourn was done to make time for a review of evidence given the passage of time. Federal lawyers had argued that heavily-redacted documents given to Abdelrazik’s lawyers previously should be given another look to ensure the most complete record possible is available for the trial.

Abdelrazik, who is a Canadian citizen, said CSIS officials had been dispatched to interview him in jail and had sent questions to his Sudanese jailers. The government has since acknowledged CSIS officials questioned him while he was in jail, but denies any knowledge of abuse. The Canadian government had suspected he had terrorist connections and refused [asked for] mediation talks on a settlement [but backed out at the last minute without reason] last year.

He was arrested during a family visit to Sudan in 2003 and held in custody for much of six years. He had also lived in Canada’s embassy in Khartoum for a year after he was released by Sudanese authorities, but denied a Canadian passport based on national security concerns. After the Federal Court ruled his Charter right to enter Canada had been violated and that he should be given a passport, he returned in June 2009.

Paul Champ, Abdelrazik’s lawyer, said the figure shows the level of resources Ottawa is willing to throw at the case. “It’s real sad commentary when the government of Canada is willing to fight so hard against someone who is indisputably a victim of torture,” he said.
Champ said he anticipates the total amount Ottawa has spent on the Abdelrazik file over 10 years to be somewhere around $10 million to $20 million. He added that there is no timetable for when hearings will resume and that reviewing documents already presented years ago is effectively a “delay tactic” by the government. Read more - Lire plus
Death of Uighur writer sparks call for Canada to act
Radio-Canada International 25/06/2019 - A Canadian family has recently learned of the death of their relative, writer Nurmehemmet Tohti after his release from an internment camp in China. A grandson living in Calgary told the Globe and Mail newspaper that being in custody was fatal for the 70 year old who had diabetes and heart problems.

“It’s obviously a very tragic story,” says Alex Neve, secretary-general of Amnesty International Canada. “And it’s reflective of the horrific human rights violations that the Uighur people in western China have been enduring for decades… but particularly over the last couple of years in the context of the cruel campaign of internment in detention camps and mistreatment, torture, solitary confinement that Chinese officials have been using against over a million Uighur and other Muslim minorities.”

China says the centres are meant to educate people who have been “brainwashed” by extremist thought. But several human rights groups including Amnesty International have called them indoctrination detention centres rife with abuse. Neve calls on Canada to raise the issue with China. However, he acknowledges that the relationship between the two countries is “a bit strained to say the least” and for that reason he says Canada must seek out other governments to build pressure on China. The United Nations Human Rights Council has begun its new three-week session and human rights groups have made it clear they expect participants to take some kind of action on the issue of indoctrination camps.

“China’s might on the world stage is indisputable now,” says Neve. “And China regularly brushes aside criticism from other governments. So, that’s why it’s absolutely vital that Canada join together with other nations. No one state is going to be able to convince China to do the right thing when it comes to the crisis facing the Uighur people. It needs to be a concerted voice coming from many corners.” Read more - Lire plus
While applauding Canadian Arms Trade Treaty accession, civil society looks for action to curb our Saudi arms exports 21/06/2019 - Canada is in the final stages of becoming a member of the global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). In a press release on 21 June Foreign Minister Freeland announced that Canada had taken the formal steps required at UN headquarters in New York:We made a commitment to ensure Canada accedes to the Arms Trade Treaty, by submitting our instrument of accession, we are making this a reality. Canada will become an ATT State Party 90 days after the presentation of its instrument of accession.

This action follows a lengthy legislative process to amend Canada’s current Export and Import Permits Act to reflect what the Minister describes as a “stronger and more rigorous approach to the export of Canadian arms”. Canadian civil society organizations, including the Rideau Institute , Project Ploughshares , Amnesty International Canada , Oxfam Canada , Oxfam-Québec  and Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) , responded with the following joint statement:

"We Canadian civil society organizations, long active in the effort to strengthen Canadian controls on the export of military equipment, today commend the Government of Canada’s formal announcement of this country’s accession to the global Arms Trade Treaty. As Minister Freeland herself stated , the ATT opened for signature in 2013 so this step by Canada is long overdue and most welcome. [...] Canada’s new arms export vetting procedures include an obligation on the part of the Foreign Minister to deny an export permit where there is a “ substantial risk ” the Canadian-made weapons could be used to commit or to facilitate serious human rights abuses or undermine international peace and security.

Another important change to existing practice is that, for the first time ever, export permits will be required for some US-destined weapons — namely full conventional weapons systems, albeit under an expedited method without a prior risk assessment. [...] This action by Canada to formally join the Arms Trade Treaty comes against a backdrop of controversy over our continuing export of LAVs to Saudi Arabia, despite that country’s shocking record of internal repression and war crimes in Yemen. Most recently, the UK has suspended weapons exports to Saudi Arabia in light of the  UK Court of Appeal ruling that found them in violation of international law and the U.S. Congress has voted for a second time to ban American arms exports to Saudi Arabia.

Canadian exports to Saudi Arabia have now been under review for a full 8 months. In the meantime, our exports to Saudi Arabia have continued with, according to some credible media reports , alleged use of Canadian LAVs in Yemen, even as the peace process flounders and civilians continue to suffer from indiscriminate air strikes, torture and forced recruitment of children . The time has come for Canada to take decisive action, once and for all, and suspend any further weapons exports to Saudi Arabia. We believe that joining the Arms Trade Treaty will only be meaningful if Canada “walks the talk” and ensures that, henceforth, our export of weapons will strictly comply with the global standards set out in that Treaty. Read more - Lire plus
Mounties put more eyes in the sky with expanding drone fleet
CTV News 26/06/2019 - The RCMP has assembled a fleet of more than 200 flying drones -- eyes in the sky that officers use for everything from international border investigations to protecting VIP visitors, newly disclosed records show.The compact airborne devices are equipped with tools including video cameras and thermal-image detectors, and the Mounties are looking into more advanced applications that can help generate three-dimensional pictures. An RCMP privacy assessment of the budding technology says the force is committed to protecting any personal information the drones collect and that officers strive to comply with federal laws.

But one privacy expert notes the assessment, recently released under the Access to Information Act, was drafted in 2017 -- seven years after the RCMP's first drone was used in Saskatchewan to help reconstruct traffic collisions. The RCMP should not have waited the better part of a decade before turning its mind to the privacy effects of "what is obviously a surveillance technology," said Micheal Vonn of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association. The assessment provides few details about the technical capabilities of the cameras attached to the drones and how the Mounties actually use the images they capture, she added.

There are legitimate policing uses for drones but also potentially invasive ones, such as taking photos of faces or licence plates at public events so they can be electronically run against images in databases, she said. "Just because it flies doesn't mean we should worry. Just because it has a camera doesn't mean we should worry," Vonn said. "The question is, what canting crime scenes, search and rescue, monitoring critical incidents, conducting surveillance and even researching rogue drones that try to interfere with police ones. A court-approved warrant is obtained before using a drone for surveillance purposes, except when emergency circumstances make it impractical, the privacy assessment says. While advance notice of drone operation might be provided to the public, people "may or may not be aware" that the device is recording, depending on tactical considerations and safety concerns, the document adds. Read more - Lire plus

UK: Five ridiculous reasons why the police label campaigners as ‘domestic extremists’
The Canary 30/05/2019 - It’s unclear exactly how many people have their personal details included on the police’s secretive “domestic extremist database” – or to give it its full name, the National Special Branch Intelligence System. This database holds records identifying campaigners as either ‘nominals’ (with their own detailed profile) or as one of the much larger numbers who are connected to those with detailed profiles or mentioned in data gathered from social media.

In 2017, the Metropolitan Police said there were  2,690 nominals . But this figure has changed widely over the years. In 2014, they said it was 2,627 ; and in 2013, the Guardian reported a total of 8,931 individuals with their own records. This sudden drop in ‘nominals’ may be the result of negative publicity in 2014 after the police included a member of the House of Lords, Jenny Jones, on its database

Netpol has long argued that police decisions about whom they target are subjective and political. But they are also not entirely arbitrary. There is a definite pattern to how units within the National Counter Terrorism Policing Operations Centre – the latest name for the part of UK policing responsible for gathering intelligence on protest movements – decide on who is a ‘person of interest’ and more likely to face surveillance in the future.

So who are the police most likely to target? Based on Netpol’s decade of experience, here are five ridiculous reasons why the police are most likely to categorise you as a ‘domestic extremist’; and why you should therefore consider making a ‘data protection subject access request’ to see what information is held about you:

ONE: Your campaign is challenging powerful state and corporate interests
TWO: You are part of a movement that supports civil disobedience or direct action
THREE: You are part of a campaign or movement that is new or emerging
FOUR: You are seen as a ‘leader’ or person holding an influential role
FIVE: You are young, or perceived as vulnerable. Read more - Lire plus 

Trump Admin Moves 100 Migrant Kids Back to “Child Jail” Despite Concern over Inhumane Conditions
Democracy Now! 26/06/2019 - The Department of Homeland Security has moved 100 migrant children back to a Border Patrol facility in Clint, Texas, where infants and toddlers have been locked up without adequate food, water, sanitation or medical care, with older children having to care for the younger ones.

Around 300 kids were removed from the facility Monday following widespread outrage over the reports, but Customs and Border Protection said some of the children are being sent back, claiming that the facility is no longer overcrowded. Lawyers who recently visited the facility described a scene of chaos and sickness, with children unable to shower or change into clean clothes for weeks on end. We speak with Clara Long, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch. She was part of the monitoring team that visited Border Patrol facilities last week, including Clint. Read more - Lire plus

Citizens to the UN: Investigate Our “Torture Chambers in the Sky”
Just Security 26/06/2019 - On behalf of the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture (NCCIT), a citizen-initiated truth panel, we just submitted a 35-page communication to 10 U.N. Special Rapporteurs and Working Group Chairs. Our submission calls their attention to unaddressed human rights violations – abduction and enforced disappearance in particular — committed by North Carolina, its political subdivisions, and a private company called Aero Contractors in the CIA’s extraordinary rendition and torture program.

Our communication reached U.N. experts on the eve of June 26, the U.N’.s International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, proclaimed in 1997 when the Convention Against Torture went into effect. The U.N. calls June 26 an opportunity for member states, civil society and individuals to “unite in support of the hundreds of thousands of people around the world who have been victims of torture and those who are still tortured today.”
Our submission to the U.N. seeks to do just that. We call upon U.N. human rights experts to use all means authorized by their mandates to investigate and hold accountable government and non-state actors for violations committed using North Carolina’s public airports essentially as staging areas for torture.

We also call on these U.N. experts to endorse North Carolina’s obligation to provide redress and repair to the victims. A team at the University of North Carolina School of Law has just published a detailed report on reparations owed by the state of North Carolina for its role in the renditions to torture of 49 survivors and victims of the U.S. torture program.
“Reparations are key mechanisms, not only for healing at an individual or communal level, but also for the maintenance of democratic societies,” the reparations report stated. “Eventually, the sun sets on democratic governments that operate with impunity to carry out human rights abuses.”

The violations addressed in the U.N. submission are presented in detail in NCCIT’s groundbreaking report, Torture Flights, North Carolina’s Role in the CIA’s Rendition and Torture Program . North Carolina was the home of “torture taxis” or “torture chambers in the sky,” as Dr. Katherine Porterfield of the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture has described them. Operating from a county airport and a state-operated global transportation park, Aero Contractors furnished the aviation for over 80 percent of the identified CIA renditions during the first phase of the program. As we remind U.N. experts, “this CIA program with global reach literally ‘got off the ground’ locally at the airports where Aero planes were located,” and relied on North Carolina’s public infrastructure, military installations and private companies to carry out rendition flights. Read more - Lire plus
Pakistan: Human right activist charged under anti-terrorism laws for raising voice over rape and murder of a minor
OPIndia 22/06/2019 - A human right activist, Gulalai Ismail, has been forced into hiding for raising voice over the rape and murder of an 11-year-old minor in Pakistan. In an open letter demanding Ismail’s protection, a group of women activists including Mariana Katzarova of Reach All Women in War, Binalakshmi Nepram of the Northeast India Women Initiative for Peace and Jaana Rehnstrom of the Kota Alliance, appealed to the government of Imran Khan to ensure her safety. The letter has been passed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Omar Waraich, deputy South Asia director at Amnesty International said that “harassment, threats and intimidation of Gulalai Ismail and her family at the hands of the Pakistani authorities must end”. “Instead of addressing the alarming human rights situation in the country, they are expending their energy and resources on trying to silence human rights defenders,” he added. Ismail’ ordeal began almost a year after Pakistanis elected Imran Khan, as their Prime Minister.

Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) activist Gulalai Ismail’s name had been charged with sedition under anti-terrorism laws after taking part in protests to highlight the reportedly hapless response of the authorities to the killing last month of Farishta Mohmand, whose body was found in woodland near the family’s home in Islamabad. The Imran Khan government had blacklisted Ismail on May 27 in connection with anti-state speeches case.
In a speech in the nation’s capital, Ismail, called on police and security agencies to move to protect citizens, in particular members of the Pashtun minority to which both she and the child belong. Two cases had been registered against her in Islamabad under the anti-terrorism act for delivering ‘anti-state’ speeches and for allegedly inciting Pashtuns against the government and armed forces. Read more - Lire plus 
Australia: Anti-terrorism legislation strips civil liberties
Green left Weekly 21/06/2019 - The recent intimidatory police raids on the ABC and a journalist’s home for publicising matters of community concern are a wake-up call that press freedoms can no longer be taken for granted. Looking wider, personal freedoms we thought we enjoyed are also fast disappearing, thanks to the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Act and other laws passed with bipartisan support in June last year.

Professor of International Law at the University of Sydney Ben Saul said: “Never has an Australian government talked so much about freedom while doing so much to undermine it. When it comes to national security and refugees, we are increasingly pathetic. “The truth is that Australia already has enough laws to deal with terrorism. Since 9/11 the parliament has been among the most hyperactive and invasive counter-terrorism lawmakers on the planet. Much of it is never used, or goes too far — from preventive police detention, to ASIO's incommunicado detention of non-suspects, to control orders.

“The new laws also go too far. They criminalise innocent travel to places the foreign minister does not want you to go. They criminalise free speech. They criminalise whistleblowers and the media that report them. They allow mass surveillance of innocent Australians on the internet. They deny procedural fairness. They violate the right to social security and therefore potentially leave people destitute. All of this comes without the binding human rights safeguards that every other self-respecting democracy imposes on its security agencies.” University of NSW Dean of Law Professor George Williams has pointed out a number of concerns arising from the terrorism legislation:
• The possession of a “thing” that could be used for a terrorist act is punishable by 15 years in jail. “Thing” is not defined: it could be a pamphlet;
• The definition of terrorism as causing widespread harm is very wide and could be interpreted as including protest against the government;
• Joining or attempting to join an organisation that is a “prohibited organisation” carries a jail term of 15 years, even if you don’t do anything;
• The Act gives ASIO power to detain for questioning a person who is not connected to any crime but is detained for intelligence. That person can be held for up to seven days;
• Metadata on persons can be accessed by government without a warrant;
• A range of laws allow searches without a warrant;
• ASIO can ignore criminal law except for torture;
• Any journalist who writes a story about a particular use of these laws can be jailed for five years; and
• The government can remove a citizen even if a court makes no finding of guilt but the government believes a crime has been or will be committed. Read more - Lire plus
Deprivation and Despair: A New Report on the Guantanamo Detainees
CVT 21/06/2019 - A new report by the Center for Victims of Torture and Physicians for Human Rights reveals that the experiences of detainees and independent civilian medical experts with medical care at the Guantánamo Bay detention center not only broadly refute the claim that detainees receive care equivalent to that of U.S. service members, but also evidence specific violations of the Nelson Mandela Rules, the universally recognized UN standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners, which the United States has championed.

Guantánamo should be closed. Unless and until that happens, the Center for Victims of Torture and Physicians for Human Rights call upon Congress, the executive branch, and the courts to adopt a series of recommendations aimed at meaningfully improving the status quo. Read our report now. Access the social media toolkit read the executive summary,  and learn more about what medical experts are saying. Source

Statelessness for terrorists’ families, never an acceptable option, urges UN rights chief
UN News 24/06/2019 - Thousands of suspected foreign ISIL terrorist fighters and their families who are being held in detention in Syria and Iraq, must be treated fairly by their captors and taken back by their home countries, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights sa id on Monday.

In an address to Member States marking the start of the Human Rights Council’s 41st session in Geneva, M i che ll e Bac h elet explained that more than 55,000 men, women and children have been rounded up since the fall of the self-styled “Caliphate” in the spring. “While the majority of these individuals are Syrian or Iraqi, they also include alleged foreign fighters from nearly 50 countries,” Ms. Bachelet said, noting that at least 11,000 suspected family members of foreign ISIL fighters – or Dae’sh, as the group is known in the Arab world - are still being held at Al Hol camp in north-eastern Syria, “in deeply sub-standard conditions”.

Citing estimates by UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF , that there are 29,000 children of foreign fighters in Syria, the High Commissioner added that two-thirds of them originally came from Iraq and most were not even 12 years old. Thousands more children have been born to foreign families during the years of conflict, she noted, before appealing to States to give them nationality, or else risk fuelling a “narrative of grievance and revenge”. In Iraq, “well over” 150 men and women have been sentenced to death under anti-terror laws after trials where due process guarantees were not provided, Ms. Bachelet stressed, before insisting that States of origin “should make all efforts to ensure that they will be treated in accordance with international law”.

“Children, in particular, have suffered grievous violations of their rights – including those who may have been indoctrinated or recruited by ISIL to perpetrate violent acts,” Ms. Bachelet insisted, before the 47-Member Council. “The primary consideration must be their rehabilitation, protection and best interests.” Read more - Lire plus
Daesh suspect Jack Letts' parents found guilty of funding terrorism
The Guardian 21/06/2019 - An Oxford couple have been given suspended jail sentences after being found guilty of sending money to their son while he was living under Islamic State in Syria that could have been used to fund terrorism. John Letts, 58, an internationally renowned organic grain farmer, and Sally Lane, 57, a former Oxfam fundraiser, defied police warnings and sent £223 to Jack Letts, now 23, despite concerns he had joined Isis.

They knew they were breaking the law, the Old Bailey jury was told. In one message, Lane told her son: “I would go to prison for you if I thought it gave you a better chance of actually reaching your 25th birthday.” The couple refused to believe that Jack, a Muslim convert, had become an extremist, and sent the money because they believed he was in mortal danger. The prosecution argued that the couple “did not want to hear the truth” and “turned a blind eye to the obvious”. The judge Nicholas Hilliard QC sentenced the couple to 15 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. He said that in their love for their son they had lost “sight of realities” even though “the warning signs were there”.

The jury was not told that Jack was believed to be in the custody of Kurdish authorities, accused of being a member of Isis. In an ITV interview from prison in February , Jack, who has dual UK and Canadian citizenship, said he doubted officials from either country would help him because “no one really cares”. In a statement outside court, the couple said: “We have been convicted for doing what any parents would do if their child was in danger.” There was no suggestion during the trial that the money they sent was used for terrorism, they said, adding that they felt badly let down by the police and the government. They said they had pleaded with the government to help get Jack back to the UK. “Having escaped from Isis, he is in limbo,” they said. “The heavy price we paid today is an indicator of the love we have for our children. We are committed to help Jack return home.” Read more - Lire plus

Ottawa makes it harder for bidders to challenge national security exceptions
Globe and Mail 24/06/2019 - The Canadian government is making it harder for businesses to challenge purchasing decisions in which it invokes the “national security exception,” a measure that allows Ottawa to circumvent commitments made under international trade agreements to treat all bidders equally.

Every year, the Canadian government buys more than $22-billion worth of goods and services on behalf of departments and agencies. If a bidder believes they have been mistreated, their easiest route to seek redress is the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT), which has powers similar to a superior court and, as one of its roles, adjudicates challenges of federal purchasing decisions, including those that involve Canadian companies.

In a move made without consulting business groups, Ottawa has rewritten the regulations governing the CITT. New language says the tribunal “shall order the dismissal of a complaint in respect of which a national security exception … has been properly invoked by the relevant government institution” and that an exception is “properly invoked” whenever an assistant deputy minister or a bureaucrat of equal rank signs a letter declaring such before a contract is awarded.

Critics say the changes will make it impossible to challenge before the CITT procurement decisions that involve a national security exception, even if there are grounds to question whether it’s justified. Peter Mantas, a lawyer at Fasken who has represented firms before the tribunal, said the exception has even been used to skirt normal competitive bidding rules for office printers.
He says businesses will have to consider using Canadian courts, which will cost more. Unlike complaints before the tribunal, those filed in federal court include no obligation for the government to suspend the contract until the matter is resolved.

“The tribunal was designed to provide an inexpensive and quick process to challenge unfair public procurements," Mr. Mantas said. "The government now has an on-off switch that it can use as it sees fit, to stop such legal challenges from ever being heard by the tribunal. Read more - Lire plus
What we've been up to!
What we've been up to so far and what's to come for the second half of 2019!
ICLMG - 2019 has been very busy so far, and it's not looking to slow down for the second half of the year!

As I write these lines, we are continuing to work on, among other things:

  • The immediate public release of the report from Murray Segal's external review of the case of Hassan Diab, and the launch of public inquiry into Dr. Diab's case and the Extradition Act overall.

  • Stopping Mohamed Harkat's deportation to torture and getting the Public Safety minister to allow him to stay in Canada.

  • Obtaining a strong and effective review mechanism for the Canada Border Services Agency, and more restrictions on the collection of Canadians' data by military intelligence.

  • The repeal of the Canadian No Fly List, as well as putting a stop to the use of the US No Fly List by air carriers in Canada for flights that do not fly over the US, let alone land there.

  • An information card detailing how the different federal parties have voted on national security legislation since 2001, and calling on federal parties to commit to protecting human rights and civil liberties in the context of national security. Campaign coming soon!

Release Yasser Albaz from arbitrary detention in Egypt
On February 18, 2019, my dad, Yasser Albaz, was stopped at Cairo airport, his Canadian passport was confiscated, and he was kidnapped by Egyptian State Security. My dad remains in the notorious Torah prison where he is forced to sleep on cold, concrete floor. He has not been charged and continues to receive 15-day extensions to his arbitrary detention.

Sign to tell PM Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to do everything in their power to bring this Canadian citizen home to his family.
Canada must act to end Islamophobia in Xinjiang, China
There is credible evidence that up to one million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other mainly Muslim groups in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region are being detained in secret internment camps. Detainees are brainwashed, tortured and are forced to renounce their religion and culture.

And send a message to Chrystia Freeland demanding that Canada actively support an independent and unrestricted international fact-finding initiative to Xinjiang.
Letter to Justice Minister: Release Report and Launch Public Inquiry into Hassan Diab Case Now
The external review report into the case of Hassan Diab, written by Mr. Murray Segal, has been submitted to the office of the Justice Minister.
Send a message to the Justice Minister calling for the public release of the report, and the launch of a public inquiry into the case of Hassan Diab that will actually examine the Extradition Act and have powers to compel documents and testimonies.
All-in-one action page: Stop Mohamed Harkat's Deportation to Torture
Call PM Trudeau, write a letter to Public Safety Minister Goodale & your MP, and sign Sophie Harkat's petition to stop the deportation of Moe Harkat.

If sent back to Algeria, Moe faces detention, torture and death.

No one should be deported to torture. Ever.
Canada: Don't roll back refugee rights
The federal govt plans to significantly roll back the human rights of refugees, and is hurrying these rights restrictions into law by including them in the federal budget (Bill C-97).

The new restriction would stop any refugee claimant from having an independent hearing to decide on their claim, if they previously filed a refugee claim in the United States and in certain other countries.

Using the quick tool below, call on Parliament to reject the rights-violating amendments to IRPA proposed in Bill C-97.
Your phone is not safe at the border
Canada’s border agents can search your phone and laptop at borders and airports, including looking through your private photos, personal messages, and call history.

These ‘digital strip searches’ are allowed because our laws are incredibly out of date. But politicians are refusing to update them for our digital age.

Fight back with us: demand updated laws , learn more about your rights, and make a complaint if your privacy has been violated at the border.
OPP must be held accountable for violent repression of land defenders
The terrifying incident happened in April 2008 during a land occupation and road blockades by members of Tyendinaga Mohawk Nation, near Belleville, Ontario. Although the road blockades involved only a small number of community members – none of whom were armed -- the Ontario Provincial Police sent more than 200 officers, including the Tactics and Rescue Unit (TRU), tasked with responding to “the most serious threats to peace and order”. The UN Committee against Torture called on Canada to launch a thorough and impartial review to ensure accountability.
Five Eyes: Save encryption
Ministers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the U.S. have gone public with their plans for a huge attack on our personal security.

They want to force companies to crush the encryption that protects our private data and messages. But ordinary people need and use encryption every day, in everything from online banking to personal messaging in apps like WhatsApp.

Tell ministers to stop their attacks, and commit to protecting our privacy and security.
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. 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.
Make January 29 a National Day
On Jan. 29, 2017, a lone gunman entered a mosque in Quebec City and opened fire on dozens of Muslim-Canadian worshipers. By the time the shooting had ended, six had been tragically killed, and 19 more injured. 

 W e, citizens and residents of Canada, call on the government of Canada to henceforth designate January 29th as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia and other forms of religious discrimination or a National Day of Action against Hate and Intolerance .
Free Ahmed Mansoor
Ahmed is an award winning human rights defender and blogger. The UAE has said Ahmed had been arrested for using his social media accounts to “publish false information that damages the country’s reputation” and to “spread hatred and sectarianism”.

Right now, Ahmed is being held in solitary confinement and has not had access to a lawyer, an d he is on hunger strike.

Act now and demand that the UAE release Ahmed immediately and unconditionally.
Iran: Free Saeed Malekpour!
Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian national with permanent residency in Canada, has been imprisoned in Iran since his arrest on 4 October 2008. In late 2010, he was initially sentenced to death for “spreading corruption on earth” in relation to a web programme he created for uploading photos which the Iranian authorities said was used on pornographic websites. This was an open source programme and Saeed Malekpour has maintained that the use of this web programme on other websites was without his knowledge. His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 2012.
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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