International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
14 mars 2020
Wet’suwet’en, BCCLA, and UBCIC Release Explosive Letter Revealing BC Solicitor General Authorizing RCMP Deployment, Contradicting Public Statements
BCCLA 06/03/2020 - Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs, BC Civil Liberties Association and Union of BC Indian Chiefs are releasing a letter dated January 27, 2020 from BC Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth to RCMP Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Strachan. In the letter, Farnworth declared a “provincial emergency” under the Provincial Police Service Agreement and explicitly authorized the “internal redeployment of resources within the Provincial Police Service.” Article 9 of the Provincial Police Service Agreement stipulates that, if in the opinion of the Provincial Minister an Emergency in an area of provincial responsibility exists, then the Provincial Police Service will be redeployed at the written request of the Provincial Minister and the Province will pay the costs of the redeployment.

This explosive revelation of the BC Solicitor General authorizing additional RCMP resources and redeployment comes on the heels of repeated statements by the provincial government that they lacked jurisdiction or authority over RCMP actions in Wet’suwet’en territories. On January 20, Premier John Horgan was reported as saying “Our government has no authority to vary that injunction, nor to direct the RCMP in the fulfillment of its responsibilities.” On February 10, Horgan again stated , “Governments do not direct the courts, nor do we direct the RCMP.”

According to Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Na’Moks, “The province bears responsibility for the heavy RCMP deployment and for the policing of our people on our own territories. In many of our discussions, the province was passing the buck for RCMP operations but this letter spells it out in black and white. The provincial government can no longer deny responsibility for the Indigenous rights and human rights violations happening on our territories. We have come to the table with respect and truth but the province is not demonstrating respectful or truthful conduct. We have always asserted our laws and presence peacefully, yet the province authorized the extra deployment of RCMP against us. Canada and BC must answer to this mistruth and absolutely must change its ways.”

“It is incredibly troubling and shocking that the provincial government would declare the peaceful assertion of Wet’suwet’en law and jurisdiction as a provincial policing emergency. The Wet’suwet’en people and the people of British Columbia have a right to know on what basis this unprecedented authorization was made. It is inconsistent for the provincial government to, on the one hand, legislate the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as well as state non-interference in policing operations and, on the other hand, authorize a RCMP deployment aimed at over-policing and criminalizing Indigenous peoples on their own territories,” says Harsha Walia, Executive Director of the BC Civil Liberties Association.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs stated, “This letter by Mike Farnworth reveals the blatant hypocrisy and lies of the provincial NDP government on the Wet’suwet’en crisis. Farnworth sat silently while Premier Horgan unabashedly lied that the Province did not direct RCMP actions. This is an act of government deceit not only against the Wet’suwet’en but of the public at-large. The province’s rhetoric about reconciliation rings even hollower. We call for the immediate resignation of Mike Farnworth for dishonourable conduct and for declaring the Wet’suwet’en people a policing emergency and a threat on their own territories.” Source

More info & ways to take action: Unistoten Camp + Gidimt’en Access Point + RAVEN Trust

RCMP Linked to Company Behind Explicit Greta Thunberg Sticker
Vice News 03/03/2020 - A longtime executive at the company that distributed sexually explicit Greta Thunberg stickers is a volunteer with the Red Deer RCMP—the same detachment that ruled the stickers didn’t constitute child pornography and nobody at the company would face charges for them. Fraser Logan, media relations manager with the Alberta RCMP, confirmed Tuesday to VICE that Don Stirling is a member of the Red Deer RCMP auxiliary program, a volunteer program for citizens keen to give police a hand. Twitter user Fraser Porter first brought the matter to the RCMP’s attention .

Auxiliary members are unarmed and unpaid, and accompany RCMP officers on routine duty. “This individual has absolutely no policing powers whatsoever,” Logan said. He couldn’t say how long Stirling had been an auxiliary volunteer. Logan wouldn’t confirm Stirling’s role with X-Site Energy Services, the Alberta oil services company whose logo appeared at the bottom of the sticker depicting the 17-year-old being held by her braids from behind, but said Stirling had a financial interest in the company. A LinkedIn profile for Don Stirling lists him as a partner manager for X-Site, beginning in 2009 and ending in February 2020, the same month the stickers first made headlines. There’s nothing to indicate Stirling’s end date with the company is connected to the stickers. The company initially didn’t take responsibility for the sticker , but has since posted an apology on its website , saying it was “we are taking action to condemn this image and its publication and are committed to recovering and destroying the decals we distributed.” The note says management accepts full responsibility and has made organizational changes and will introduce policies to support a respectful workplace culture. Read more - Lire plus

Erica Ifill: Law enforcement’s got a racism problem, and it’s set to get worse
Hill Times 04/03/2020 - As discussed in this column last week , “Surveillance is the way white supremacy has controlled populations by controlling their movement, who they associate with, and the spaces they occupy.” Surveillance is also intended to create labels for people considered a threat to white supremacy in an effort to cull, isolate, weaken, and then reduce or eliminate that threat. As  The Intercept reports , the Royal Colonialist Militarized Police (a.k.a. the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) “has closely monitored the Unist’ot’en camp since its inception, labeling those involved with the Wet’suwet’en resistance as extremists.” These dudes (and I do mean men) were so up in Unist’ot’en’s business, they even knew when the camp constructed a root cellar.

Your tax dollars hard at work. This criminalization of Indigenous rights activists—and frankly Indigenous dissent—is nothing new. In 2014,  the RCMP drafted an internal document  called the Critical Infrastructure Intelligence Assessment report, which suggested that “growing opposition movements against pipelines should be seen and treated as criminal security threats.” Around this time,  the RCMP launched Project SITKA , a surveillance program, to “identify key individuals ‘willing and capable of utilizing unlawful tactics’ during Indigenous rights demonstrations.”  The force created a list of 89 activists  it considered a criminal threat, created unique profiles for each, and made them available to front-line officers, other law enforcement agencies, and two policing databases. There is no confirmation that these 89 people actually committed a crime.

Another report, this time on Project SITKA, revealed that Indigenous activists were classified as terrorists and extremists, a classification not even neo-Nazi groups enjoyed at the time. In fact, it was only in 2019 that the Canadian government added two neo-Nazi groups to the  Terrorist Entities list , (or the federal list of terrorist organizations): Blood & Honour, and its more militant wing, Combat 18 (C18). Even in Donald Trump’s America,  the FBI recently announced  that it is equating far-right extremist violence with international terrorism. Three years after Alexandre Bissonnette massacred worshipers at a Québec City mosque, Canada’s response is to add two neo-Nazi groups to an anti-terrorism list. That’s what systemic racism looks like. Funny, they can monitor Indigenous protesters but not neo-Nazis who commit actual violent crimes. Wonder what the difference is... What is even more concerning is that as technologies advance at an exponential rate, and government remains legislatively impotent from a mix of technological ignorance and a law and order hard-on, nothing will be done to enforce Charter Rights such as privacy and freedom of expression.

Last week,  The Toronto Star reported  that more than 30 police forces around the country used Clearview AI, a facial recognition software that matches photos of “persons of interest” online with photos pulled from millions of sites, including the RCMP, the Ontario Provincial Police, and Toronto Police, with no oversight whatsoever as to how they’re using that data, storing the data, and with whom they are sharing the data. Currently, Canada is Clearview AI’s largest market outside of the U.S. With our tax dollars, but not with our consent. Facial recognition is a technology that essentially identifies faces by using facial features from a digital image and compares them to images in a database; many of us open our iPhones using some form of facial recognition. Unfortunately, this technology is unreliable, especially if you’re Black and Indigenous—or of any race other than white—a woman, non-binary, or transgender. Read more - Lire plus

Despite Denials, RCMP Used Facial Recognition Program for 18 Years
The Tyee 10/03/2020 - Despite denials, the RCMP has been routinely using facial recognition technology since 2002, The Tyee has learned. And the software continues to be used in British Columbia, the RCMP confirmed Monday. Attention has been focused on the RCMP’s use of Clearview AI’s controversial facial recognition software, which uses a database of billions of images scraped from social media. The technology allows police forces — and individuals and companies — to upload a photo and see any matching images on the web, along with links to where they appeared. But The Tyee has learned the RCMP has been using facial recognition software for 18 years.

“The Computerized Arrest and Booking System (CABS) has been in use at the RCMP for many years,” spokesperson Catherine Fortin said in a written response to emailed questions. “Currently, it is only being used by the RCMP in B.C.” The technology is used to store and compare faces of “charged persons” and to create photo lineups, said Fortin.
When the RCMP bought the system, the supplier said it provided “increased efficiency of surveillance and investigation activities” and “the ability to identify an individual within very large databases of images in seconds.” The RCMP did not respond to a question about how the use of the software could be reconciled with its previous claims it was not using facial recognition technology. In July 2019, the RCMP told The Tyee it was not using such software. Any technology on the “magnitude of a facial recognition system” would require approval from RCMP headquarters, a spokesperson said, and it had received no requests from units across the country. The RCMP issued similar denials about its use of technology from Clearview AI.

In January, after reports said the company’s clients included Canadian police forces, The Tyee asked if the RCMP was using the technology. The force refused to confirm or deny whether it was a Clearview AI client. The RCMP “continues to monitor new and evolving technology,” it said in a statement. The RCMP also issued statements denying it was using any facial recognition software. “The RCMP does not currently use facial recognition software,” it told the CBC. But weeks later, when Clearview AI’s client list was hacked the RCMP’s story changed. The RCMP said it had discovered seven units were using the technology. Read more - Lire plus

The U.S. Government Has a Secret Plan to Track Everyone’s Faces at Airports. We’re Suing.
ACLU 12/03/2020 - U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration are putting us on an extraordinarily dangerous path toward the normalization of face surveillance. But because key facts about this surveillance are still secret, the public lacks the information it needs to hold these agencies to account. We’re suing to bring some much-needed transparency.

Over the past few years, CBP and the TSA have dramatically expanded their use of facial recognition technology at the airport and other U.S. ports of entry. As of June 2019, CBP had scanned the faces of more than 20 million travelers entering and exiting the country. Several major airlines, including Delta , JetBlue , and United Airlines , have already partnered with CBP to build this surveillance infrastructure, and more than 20 other airlines and airports have committed to using CBP’s face-matching technology. The TSA has also partnered with CBP on face surveillance initiatives, with plans to further expand face surveillance to domestic travelers.

Unlike other forms of identity verification, facial recognition technology can enable undetectable, persistent government surveillance on a massive scale. As this technology becomes increasingly widespread, the government can use it to grab unprecedented power to track individuals’ movements and associations, posing grave risks to privacy and civil liberties. When such a technology is placed in the hands of agencies like CBP and the TSA — which have been caught tracking and spying on journalists, subjecting innocent travelers to excessive and humiliating searches, and targeting and interrogating individuals because of their national origin, religious beliefs, or political views — we should all be concerned. And when those agencies stonewall our requests for information  about how their agents are tracking and monitoring everyone’s faces, there is even more reason for alarm.

That’s why today we and the New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to order the Department of Homeland Security, CBP, TSA, and ICE to turn over records about the implementation of face surveillance at airports, and their plans to subject travelers to this technology in the future. Our lawsuit seeks to make public the government’s contracts with airlines, airports, and other entities pertaining to the use of face recognition at the airport and the border; policies and procedures concerning the acquisition, processing, and retention of our biometric information; and analyses of the effectiveness of facial recognition technology. The little we do know about the government’s plans for face surveillance at airports is deeply disturbing. Read more - Lire plus

BCCLA Opposes Alberta’s “Anti-Protestor” Bill 1, Critical Infrastructure Defence Act
BCCLA 04/03/2020 - The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association has written to Premier Jason Kenny and Rachel Notley to strongly urge the Legislative Assembly of Alberta not to adopt Bill 1, the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act, introduced on February 25, 2020. We are unequivocally opposed to the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act, which proposes shockingly anti-democratic and unlawful state infringement on civil liberties and human rights.

In introducing and justifying Bill 1, Premier Jason Kenny pointed to blockades in support of Indigenous rights, characterizing them as “lawless” and a “mockery of the principle of the rule of law.” In the opinion of the BCCLA, the broad and vague Critical Infrastructure Defence Act is unlawful and makes a mockery of the rule of law. The Act offends Charter-protected rights, Constitutional rights, and Indigenous and Treaty rights. It infringes on fundamental democratic rights to protest and dissent, and will have a chilling effect on the civil liberties of all people and especially Indigenous people, workers, and activists across Alberta.

The Critical Infrastructure Defence Act seeks to severely limit and criminalize democratic participation by prohibiting people from entering various spaces deemed to be “essential infrastructure.” Bill 1 proposes to designate both public and private infrastructure as essential infrastructure, and creates offenses for trespassing, interfering with operations, and causing damage. Individuals could face fines of up to $10,000 and $25,000 for first and subsequent offences, as well as possible prison time of up to 6 months.

The Critical Infrastructure Defence Act is inconsistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Constitution of Canada. If implemented, the Act would likely breach a number of Charter freedoms, constitutionally-protected rights, and division of powers under the Constitution, including:
  • Section 2 (b): Freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression
  • Section 2 (c): Freedom of peaceful assembly
  • Section 2 (d): Freedom of association
  • Section 7: Right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice
  • Sections 91 and 92: Division of federal and provincial powers
  • Section 35: Aboriginal and Treaty Rights

Marlene Poitras, Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief for Alberta, has stated “Allowing the bill to pass will serve to erode individual rights, unfairly target Indigenous Peoples, and has no place in a democratic society, and I urge Premier Kenney to rescind it.” Read more - Lire plus
Canadian military says its intelligence operations aren't bound by privacy law
CBC News 12/03/2020 - Canada's defence department does not feel bound by the Privacy Act when conducting overseas military intelligence operations involving Canadian citizens, a parliamentary committee has found. That revelation was disturbing enough for the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians to refer the findings of its special investigation to the federal attorney general for follow-up action. The committee's special report was released Thursday as it also released its annual report, which looked at the ways foreign governments have tried to interfere in Canada's democracy.

The defence review examined the way the military intelligence branch — the largest intelligence section in the federal government — collected and handled the information it gathered on Canadians. The committee said it has not uncovered specific instances of military intelligence operations breaking the law — but it's still concerned because the department has taken the position that privacy legislation does not apply to its overseas activities. "The committee formed an opinion that DND intelligence activities conducted as part of overseas operations may not be in compliance ... let me stress again, may not be in compliance with the Privacy Act," said the committee head, Liberal MP David McGuinty.
"Canadians should be concerned about the possibility because it speaks to their rights."

It will be up to Attorney General David Lametti to decide what, if anything, to do with the report — which pointed to a series of contradictions in the rules governing the covert activities of military intelligence officers. A spokeswoman for Lametti referred those questions back to National Defence. Officials in Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan's office were not immediately available comment. "We're not sure what the next steps are for the attorney general, but we've done our job," McGuinty said. Unlike the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), the Department of National Defence's intelligence branch has never faced external review or oversight. Read more - Lire plus

Canada: Don’t Sabotage the ICC’s Israeli War Crimes Investigation
IJV 09/03/2020 - The Canadian Foreign Ministry submitted a letter to the ICC prior to its February 14th deadline for submissions, arguing that the court does not have jurisdiction to hear such cases.

IJV asks how Canada can, in good conscience, work to block the legitimate investigation of a state that plunders and destroys Palestinian lands and infrastructure , murders unarmed civilians , blocks medical assistance for its victims , and has maintained an open-air prison for the nearly 2 million residents of the Gaza strip since 2007?

We share the opinion of Amnesty International Canada and the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory on the matter: “the advancement of the complaints respecting war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory to a full investigation stage at the ICC offers a crucial opportunity to break the cycle of impunity for war crimes and paves the way for the many thousands who have suffered as a result of these crimes to finally achieve long overdue access to truth, justice and reparations”.

As Canadian Jews who share a strong commitment to justice and peace, we find it reprehensible that our government would try to sabotage the ICC’s important work. It is especially troubling given that Canada played such a pivotal role in the Court’s creation . We demand that the Canadian Foreign Ministry reverse its course and support the ICC in this crucial investigation. Read more - Lire plus

Violent extremism: Prevention programmes should not violate human rights – UN expert
UN 04/03/2020 - Many violent extremism prevention programmes worldwide are directly contributing to human rights violations and may even foster radicalization instead of preventing it, warned a UN expert in her latest report to the Human Rights Council. “Prevention is an important and necessary tool but it will only be effective when it is practised in a way that protects and affirms rights,” said Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, UN Special Rapporteur on the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.

Her report examines the national, regional and global policies of preventing and countering violent extremism. While Ní Aoláin recognizes the global challenges presented by terrorism and the costs borne by individuals and communities as a result, she concludes that “current approaches to prevent it lack a consistent rule of law or human rights grounding”. Her report finds that religious groups, minorities and civil society actors in particular are victims of rights violations and are targeted under the guise of countering “extremism”. She warns that “large-scale violations of the rights of religious and ethnic minorities are being enabled by “deradicalization” policies and practice.” The UN expert finds a persistent lack of meaningful consultation with the communities targeted by these prevention measures. “These practices produce alienation and mistrust in the communities we need most to address the global challenges of extremist violence,” she said.

Her report pays particular attention to the lack of robust scientific data underpinning many of the claims made by States and international institutions to justify their prevention practices. It severely criticizes these programmes for lacking any kind of systematic and empirically grounded evaluation process, including assessing their human rights impact.
She is deeply concerned that in addition to deficits at national level, such deficits are also found in programmes supported by UN entities. “The United Nations counter-terrorism architecture must do better in protecting human rights and the rule of law when they support and engage with national programmes,” she said.

In addition, the Special Rapporteur expressed serious concerns about the absence of precise legal definitions of extremism and violent extremism in national legislations and the widespread abuses of human rights that it entails. She found that “in many countries definitions of extremism extend to rights that are directly and absolutely protected by international law”. Finally, Ní Aoláin denounced the commodification of women and girls in some States policies aimed at countering violent extremism. She says that “ethical shortcuts and misidentification of preventing programmes as women’s empowerment sets back women’s rights and equality rather than advancing it”. Read more - Lire plus

Chelsea Manning Ordered Free From Prison — but Will Still Have to Pay Massive Fines
The Intercept 12/03/2020 - On Thursday afternoon, a District Court judge in Virginia ordered that Chelsea Manning be released from jail, where she has been held since last May for refusing to testify before a grand jury.The ruling itself is striking in what it fails to recognize. “The court finds Ms. Manning’s appearance before the Grand Jury is no longer needed, in light of which her detention no longer serves any coercive purpose,” the judge noted. The fact that the coercive purpose of Manning’s detention had long been shown to be absent — Manning has proven herself incoercible beyond any doubt — was not mentioned. Nor was the fact that on Wednesday, Manning attempted suicide . It was the most absolute evidence that she could not be coerced: She would sooner die.

While Manning’s release is vastly long overdue and most welcome, the framing and timing of the decision are galling. On Friday, Manning was scheduled to appear at a court hearing on a motion to end her continued imprisonment, predicated on her unshakeable resistance proving coercion to be impossible, and her incarceration therefore illegal. She endured months of extreme suffering, driving her to near death, but never wavered on her principled refusal to speak. The day before this hearing — and the day after she made an attempt on her own life — the judge ruled that Manning is “no longer needed” by the grand jury. The court did not recognize that she is incoercible, nor that her detainment had become punitive. Indeed, a profoundly punitive element of her treatment will remain, even after her release: The judge denied a motion to vacate the exorbitant fines Manning faces. She owes the state $256,000, which she is expected to pay, even though the fines were only accrued on the condition that they might coerce her to speak.

Again and again, Manning and her legal team showed that her imprisonment was nothing but punitive, and thus unjustifiable under the legal statutes governing federal grand juries. Yet for nearly a year, Manning has been caged and fined $1,000 per day. Ever since she was subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury, which is investigating WikiLeaks, Manning has also insisted that there was never any justifiable purpose to asking her to testify. As her support committee noted in a statement last May, “Chelsea gave voluminous testimony during her court martial. She has stood by the truth of her prior statements, and there is no legitimate purpose to having her rehash them before a hostile grand jury.” For the court to admit, after nearly a year of torturous treatment, that further testimony from her is unnecessary adds insult to very real injury. The government’s treatment of Manning has been putrid and continues to be — especially as she remains under the yoke of state-enforced financial ruin. For her unwavering resistance to government oppression, in the name of social justice struggle and press freedom, Manning is owed our deepest admiration and all the support we can muster. Read more - Lire plus

United Nations: More Than 20,000 Migrants Have Died Crossing Mediterranean Sea Since 2014
TIME 06/03/2020 - The U.N. migration agency said Friday that a shipwreck off Libya and other recent maritime incidents have raised its estimated death toll among migrants who tried to cross the Mediterranean past the “grim milestone” of 20,000 deaths since 2014.Paul Dillon, spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, pointed to incidents including the presumed drowning of 91 people who went missing from a dinghy that left Garabulli, Libya, on Feb. 9, and the disappearance of a ship that set off from Algeria on Feb. 14.

IOM noted Friday that the yearly death toll has declined each year since 2016, when over 5,000 people lost their lives while attempting Mediterranean crossings. The agency reiterated its call for “expanded safe, legal pathways for migrants and refugees” to help reduce the incentive of migrants to choose irregular channels, and “to help prevent the unnecessary and avoidable loss of lives.” IOM also lamented cases of “ghost boats” or “invisible shipwrecks” that are often reported by nongovernmental organizations tahat receive calls from migrants facing trouble at sea, or from relatives searching for lost loved ones. “Two-thirds of the fatalities we have recorded are people lost at sea without a trace,” said Frank Laczko, director of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Center. “The fact that we have reached this grim new milestone reinforces IOM’s position that there is an urgent need for increased, comprehensive (search and rescue) capacity in the Mediterranean,” he added. Source
Freedom in the World 2020: A Leaderless Struggle for Democracy
Freedom House 2020 - Democracy and pluralism are under assault. Dictators are toiling to stamp out the last vestiges of domestic dissent and spread their harmful influence to new corners of the world. At the same time, many freely elected leaders are dramatically narrowing their concerns to a blinkered interpretation of the national interest. In fact, such leaders—including the chief executives of the United States and India , the world’s two largest democracies—are increasingly willing to break down institutional safeguards and disregard the rights of critics and minorities as they pursue their populist agendas.

As a result of these and other trends, Freedom House found that 2019 was the 14th consecutive year of decline in global freedom. The gap between setbacks and gains widened compared with 2018, as individuals in 64 countries experienced deterioration in their political rights and civil liberties while those in just 37 experienced improvements. The negative pattern affected all regime types, but the impact was most visible near the top and the bottom of the scale. More than half of the countries that were rated Free or Not Free in 2009 have suffered a net decline in the past decade.

Ethnic, religious, and other minority groups have borne the brunt of government abuses in both democracies and authoritarian states. The Indian government has taken its Hindu nationalist agenda to a new level with a succession of policies that abrogate the rights of different segments of its Muslim population, threatening the democratic future of a country long seen as a potential bulwark of freedom in Asia and the world. Attacks on the rights of immigrants continue in other democratic states, contributing to a permissive international environment for further violations. China pressed ahead with one of the world’s most extreme programs of ethnic and religious persecution, and increasingly applied techniques that were first tested on minorities to the general population, and even to foreign countries. The progression illustrated how violations of minority rights erode the institutional and conventional barriers that protect freedom for all individuals in a given society.

The unchecked brutality of autocratic regimes and the ethical decay of democratic powers are combining to make the world increasingly hostile to fresh demands for better governance. A striking number of new citizen protest movements have emerged over the past year, reflecting the inexhaustible and universal desire for fundamental rights. However, these movements have in many cases confronted deeply entrenched interests that are able to endure considerable pressure and are willing to use deadly force to maintain power. The protests of 2019 have so far failed to halt the overall slide in global freedom, and without greater support and solidarity from established democracies, they are more likely to succumb to authoritarian reprisals. Read more - Lire plus
2019 has been very busy, and we are looking at a busy year 2020! Before giving you the summary of what we've been up to in the second half of 2019, here are a few things we will do in 2020:

  • We will continue to call for justice for Dr. Hassan Diab’s case and for the reform of the Extradition Act.

  • We will monitor the implementation of the National Security Act, 2017 (formerly Bill C-59), especially around mass surveillance and immunity for CSIS employees, in order to protect our civil liberties.

  • We will continue to push for a strong and effective review mechanism for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

  • We will continue advocating for the repeal of the Canadian No Fly List, as it violates mobility rights and due process, and for putting a stop to the use of the US No Fly List by air carriers in Canada for flights that do not land in or fly over the US, as it violates both our rights and Canada’s sovereignty.

NEW Say NO to facial recognition in your community
Click on the Action button and send a letter to your city council to stop invasive, biased and unregulated facial recognition surveillance in your community!

Controversial facial recognition technology is spreading in Canada, even though our privacy laws don’t regulate its use. 

If we can get cities to ban facial recognition, we’ll ramp up the pressure on the Canadian government to take action nation-wide. Send the letter below to take action!
Stop CSIS from targeting everyday citizens & community groups
A recent report revealed that CSIS, Canada’s spy agency, collected over 8,000 pages of documents, spying on citizens like you, people who exercise their democratic rights by attending a community meeting at a local church or taking peaceful action for what they believe in. And CSIS shared this info with Big Oil corporations.

Sign this petition to tell the govt to stop using taxpayer money to unconstitutionally spy on Canadians part of peaceful community groups.
Stop Facial Recognition in Canada
Facial recognition is invasive, biased and unreliable. But Canadian agencies and law enforcement have started using the tech despite the huge controversies.
Canada’s out-of-date privacy laws don’t yet cover facial recognition tech, leaving our government free to experiment on us with no oversight or regulations. We need to slam the brakes on the spread of this dangerous technology before it’s too late. Demand a moratorium on the use of facial recognition technologies and a full review of our privacy laws — before it becomes entrenched as a surveillance method in Canada.
Release Yasser Albaz from arbitrary detention in Egypt
It's been more than a year since Yasser has been detained without charge - take action now!

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 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.

Saudi Arabia: Free jailed activists
In Saudi Arabia, human rights violations are legitimized through the ‘Specialized Criminal Court’. The past 2 years have seen an unprecedented crackdown on Saudi activists, and this court acts to legitimize this oppression. Now is our chance to put pressure on King Salman to end grave human rights violations.

Sign the petition and demand that the King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman immediately and unconditionally releases all those who have been imprisoned for peacefully protesting.
All-in-one action page: Stop Mohamed Harkat's Deportation to Torture
Call PM Trudeau, write a letter to Public Safety Minister & 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.
Send a letter opposing cameras in the ByWard Market
Send a letter in support of CAMS Ottawa's response to Mayor Watson. While we share concerns about ongoing violence in the Market, installing surveillance cameras is not an appropriate solution. The very premise that CCTV can deter violent crime is highly doubtful. Video surveillance also raise significant concerns regarding the treatment of marginalized members of our community. We urge you to take the above problems and the following evidence into consideration and reconsider implementing such an ineffective, costly, and intrusive system.
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 .
Migrant and refugee rights
Droits des et des réfugié.es

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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