International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
24 avril 2020
Reminder: The News Digest is now published once every two weeks
Digital Surveillance & COVID-19 in Canada: 7 Principles to Protect Our Rights
ICLMG 04/04/2020 - The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) has joined a group of privacy experts and civil society organizations to release a set of principles for protecting the rights and privacy of people in Canada throughout the fight against COVID-19. The principles come at a critical time, with Google and Apple committing to tracking COVID-19 exposure through cell phone operating systems; Alberta having announced plans to use cell phone tracking to monitor quarantine compliance during the pandemic; and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirming that ‘all options are on the table.’

Tim McSorley, National Coordinator at the ICLMG, said, “Canada is facing an unprecedented health crisis that requires unprecedented action to flatten the curve and stop the spread of COVID-19. In their pursuit of this important goal, we urge Canadian officials at all levels to use restraint around surveillance activities that infringe on our most fundamental rights, including privacy, freedom of assembly and freedom of movement. As we have seen in other contexts, particularly the so-called War on Terror, in times of crisis new surveillance powers that are meant to be targeted and temporary can become widespread and permanent . Any powers must explicitly contain time-limits and public oversight, and it is crucial that any health-related surveillance be kept separate from law enforcement and intelligence activities.”
The letter urges the government of Canada to follow these seven principles when considering any kind of enhanced digital surveillance or data collection:

  1. Prioritize approaches which do not require any surveillance or data gathering to encourage people to stay at home;
  2. Due process for adopting any new powers;
  3. Favour consent in any data sharing initiatives;
  4. Put strict limits on data collection and retention;
  5. Put strict limits on use and disclosure;
  6. Oversight, transparency and accountability;
  7. Any surveillance efforts related to COVID-19 must not fall under the domain of security, law enforcement or intelligence agencies.

FOI Documents Confirm RCMP Falsely Denied Using Facial Recognition Software
The Tyee 16/04/2020 - The RCMP denied using facial recognition software on Canadians three months after it had entered into a contract with controversial U.S. company Clearview AI, The Tyee has learned. Documents obtained under a Freedom of Information request show an RCMP employee signed a “Requisition for goods, services and construction” form to fund a one-year contract with Clearview AI that began Oct. 29. The RCMP refused to say whether it used Clearview AI when asked by The Tyee in January 2020. And the force went further in an emailed statement in response to questions from the CBC , denying in an emailed statement that it used any facial recognition software. [...]

A New York Times report in January headlined “The secretive company that might end privacy as we know it” focused attention on Clearview AI. It reported the company claimed to have a database of billions of photos scraped from social media. More than 600 police forces — and some private companies — were already using the technology, which allowed them to upload a photo and see any matching images on the web, along with links to where they appeared, the company said. The article also noted the risk of invasion of privacy, abuse and false identifications and arrests. [...] The RCMP revealed its use of the software after Clearview AI was hacked on Feb. 27 and its client list leaked. It acknowledged officers had been using the software for “approximately four months.”

And despite the requisition’s suggestion use was limited to child exploitation cases, the RCMP confirmed three other units were using the software. No information on the other units was provided under the Access to Information request. Clearview AI isn’t the RCMP’s only case of conflicting information around the use of facial recognition technology. The RCMP told The Tyee in July 2019 that the use of facial recognition technology would require approvals from its national headquarters, and that no such request had been made. However The Tyee later confirmed the RCMP had been using facial recognition technology for 18 years. Read more - Lire plus

Canada calls for global ceasefire, while arming Saudi Arabia in their military campaign against Yemen
The Canada Files 10/04/2020 - This morning, two ministers in the Canadian governmen t stated their absolute support for UN-Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ appeal for a global ceasefire, in light of the COVID-19 crisis. The joint statement was made by François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Karina Gould, Minister of International Development.

In the statement, they emphasized their heightened concerns in light of the COVID-19 pandemic: “As COVID-19 continues to spread, Canada is particularly concerned about the plight of women, children and vulnerable civilians caught in armed conflict and humanitarian crises.” Their major focus is on having war torn countries put their battles on hold, to allow them to take necessary measures to fight COVID-19: “Now is the time to put armed conflict on lockdown, to protect the most vulnerable and to focus our efforts together in the fight against this virus.” While this may seem a positive step forward, the reality is that this declaration is nothing more than a smooth PR move.

In a statement yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister Champagne, and Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that arms exports to Saudi Arabia would be resuming. The original $14 billion deal to export LAVs made by the Ontario-based General Dynamics Land Systems to Saudi Arabia, was brokered in 2014 by the previous Conservative government. The Canadian government has re-negotiated the contract, which was given final approval by Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government in 2015. As a result, General Dynamics Land Systems is now able to sell light armoured vehicles to the Saudi government. As a state party to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, Canada's goods cannot be exported where there is a "substantial risk" that they would be used in violating human rights and humanitarian law. [...]

The Trudeau government is exploiting the chaos and lack of public attention to re-ignite an arms deal which has very likely directly contributed to international war crimes. The Trudeau government must reverse course and re-suspend arms exports to Saudi Arabia, if it views the fight for human rights as more than a cheap PR ploy. Read more - Lire plus

Burkina Faso: Security Forces Allegedly Execute 31 Detainees
Human Rights Watch 20/04/2020 - Burkina Faso ’s security forces allegedly executed 31 detainees on April 9, 2020 in the northern town of Djibo, Human Rights Watch said today. The men were apparently killed just hours after being arrested, unarmed, during a government counterterrorism operation. The government should immediately and impartially investigate the killings and hold to account all those responsible, regardless of rank.The apparent massacre in Djibo, about 200 kilometers north of Ouagadougou, the capital, occurred amid a worsening security and humanitarian crisis in Burkina Faso’s northern Sahel region. The growth of Islamist armed groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahel (ISGS) has fueled violence that had displaced over 775,000 people by late March.

"The Burkinabè security forces apparently executed 31 men in a brutal mockery of a counterterrorism operation that may amount to a war crime and could fuel further atrocities,” said Corinne Dufka , Sahel director at Human Rights Watch. “The government should stop the abuse, fully investigate this terrible incident, and commit to a rights-respecting counterterrorism strategy.” Human Rights Watch interviewed 17 people with knowledge of the April 9 killings, including 12 witnesses to the arrests and later burial of the victims. Witnesses provided a list of victims, all men from the Peuhl ethnic group, as well as maps indicating where the men were executed and later buried. Beginning in 2016, armed Islamist groups, which have largely recruited from the nomadic Peuhl or Fulani community, have attacked security force posts and civilians throughout Burkina Faso, but mostly in the Sahel region bordering Mali and Niger. Human Rights Watch has since 2017 documented the killing of over 300 civilians by armed Islamist groups and the killing of several hundred men by government security forces for their alleged support of these groups.

The residents speculated that they had been targeted because of the recent presence of some armed Islamists around Djibo. “The jihadists have been roaming around lately,” one said. “It’s like we’re punished for their mere presence.” Local residents said scores of security force personnel were involved in the April 9 operation, which lasted from around 10 a.m., when the arrests began, until around 1:30 p.m., when they heard several bursts of gunfire. The victims were arrested from several neighborhoods, or “sectors,” while they were watering their animals, walking, or sitting in front of their homes. They were taken away in a convoy of about 10 military vehicles including pickup trucks, an armored car, and motorcycles. Residents said that around 4 p.m., they ventured to where they had heard the gunfire and found the bodies of 31 men who were last seen in the security forces’ custody. Several had bound eyes or hands. Residents said none of the men were armed. Read more

U.S. Airstrikes Hit All-Time High as Coronavirus Spreads in Somalia
The Intercept 22/04/2020 - In the first four months of this year, U.S. Africa Command has conducted more airstrikes in Somalia than it did during all of Barack Obama’s eight years in office.The massive escalation of America’s undeclared war in Somalia comes as U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has repeatedly appealed for a global ceasefire amid the Covid-19 pandemic . “There should be only one fight in our world today, our shared battle against Covid-19,” he reiterated on April 3. “We must mobilize every ounce of energy to defeat it.”

That same day, AFRICOM conducted an “airstrike targeting al-Shabaab terrorists in the vicinity of Bush Madina, Somalia,” according to a command press release. The U.S. claimed five members of al-Shabab were killed in the strike. Since the beginning of the year, AFRICOM has announced 39 airstrikes in Somalia. The command announced a total of 36 such attacks from 2009 to 2017, under Obama, peaking in 2016 with 19 declared airstrikes. Last year, under President Donald Trump, the U.S. conducted 63 air attacks in Somalia, the most ever in a single year. Read more - Lire plus
Opinion: Why COVID-19 Spitters Shouldn’t Be Prosecuted as Federal Terrorists
The Daily Signal 20/04/2020 - Since we last wrote on the subject, at least one Florida man has been charged under those federal anti-terrorism statutes after spitting on local police officers while telling them he was infected with the coronavirus. Thankfully, he wasn’t. Nevertheless, federal prosecutors in Tampa, Florida,  charged him with a biological weapons hoax under 18 USC § 1038 (a)(1) . As charged, the offense carries a maximum of five years in federal prison. Again, we’re not here to defend this individual’s despicable actions, or to play the role of his defense attorneys.

We’re here to highlight the problem with using anti-terrorism statutes to deal with this sort of conduct. In short, using these statutes to go after lone coughers is an unnecessary and unwise expansion of federal law enforcement power. The anti-terrorism statute used there makes it a crime to intentionally convey false information that would cause someone to reasonably believe that activity prohibited by other anti-terrorism statutes has occurred or will occur. What are those other federal anti-terrorism statutes that officers would have needed to reasonably believe were being violated? In the Florida man’s case, federal prosecutors identified two.

The first outlaws possessing a “biological agent” for use as a weapon. The definition of biological agent is so broad that the coronavirus arguably meets it. But it’s far from a perfect fit. The second outlaws the use of “weapons of mass destruction” that would affect interstate or foreign commerce. Do federal prosecutors really want us to believe that spittle qualifies as a weapon of mass destruction? True, as defined later in the statute, a weapon of mass destruction can be “any weapon that is designed or intended to cause death or serious bodily injury through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic or poisonous chemicals, or their precursors,” or “any weapon involving a biological agent, toxin, or vector … .” But again, this is far from a perfect fit.

More importantly, where’s the connection to interstate or foreign commerce? This spitter didn’t attack someone delivering mail or packages. He didn’t attack a business person going about his or her day. He didn’t attack someone out shopping. No, he attacked local law enforcement officers while they were responding to a local domestic violence call. Again, it’s shameful conduct all around, but the connection to interstate commerce, or any effect on it, is attenuated at best. You might counter that this spitter is a really bad guy and deserves whatever the government can throw at him, even if the charges are a stretch. That argument isn’t a good one, however, because larger balance-of-power issues are at stake.

The federal government is a government of limited and enumerated powers . In order for Congress to validly pass laws, there has to be some constitutional authority for its actions. Typically, Congress roots its authority in the Commerce Clause , as it did here. Courts have said the Commerce Clause gives Congress a lot of authority, but it has limits . And in prosecuting someone under federal law, requiring prosecutors to show a connection to interstate commerce, if that’s the source of Congress’ authority, isn’t just a mere formality.
It stops the federal government from wielding power the Constitution denies it. Read more - Lire plus
Attorney General Barr Refuses to Release 9/11 Documents to Victims’ Families
TruthOut 18/04/2020 - Months after President Donald Trump promised to open FBI files to help families of the 9/11 victims in a civil lawsuit against the Saudi government, the Justice Department has doubled down on its claim that the information is a state secret. In a series of filings just before a midnight court deadline on Monday, the attorney general, William Barr; the acting director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell; and other senior officials insisted to a federal judge in the civil case that further disclosures about Saudi connections to the 9/11 plot would imperil national security.

But the administration insisted in court filings that even its justification for that secrecy needed to remain secret. Four statements to the court by FBI and Justice Department officials were filed under seal so they could not be seen by the public. An additional five, including one from the CIA, were shared only with the judge and cannot be read even by the plaintiffs’ lawyers. Barr insisted to the court that public discussion of the issue “would reveal information that could cause the very harms my assertion of the state secrets privilege is intended to prevent.” What the various security agencies are trying to hide remains a mystery. [...]

“The extraordinary lengths that they’re going to here suggest that there must be some deep, dark secret that they’re still trying very hard to hide after almost 20 years,” said a lawyer for the families, Steven Pounian. “But who are they protecting? Something might be a Saudi government secret. But how can these be secrets that still need to be kept from the American people after all this time?” [...] The chorus of senior national security officials who wrote in support of the Trump administration’s secrets claim appeared to respond in part to Justice Department guidelines set down by the Obama administration in 2009. Those rules were intended to restrain overly aggressive use of the privilege, which the administration of George W. Bush had often cited after 9/11 to block legal challenges to its policies on torture, extraordinary rendition and warrantless surveillance.

Barr cited those more restrictive guidelines in his statement to the district court, noting that they prohibited the government from asserting a state secrets claim in order to conceal illegalities or potential embarrassment. He assured the magistrate judge in the case, Sarah Netburn, that those guidelines had been met. Read more - Lire plus
The colleague, the girl, the police: Student framed and imprisoned over terror offences tells whole story for the first time
ABC Hack 22/04/2020 - Mohamed Kamer Nizamdeen was held in solitary confinement for a month on terror offences, only to be released after police admitted they'd arrested the wrong person.

It emerged the 25-year-old Muslim man's colleague had framed Kamer because he was jealous of his friendship with a young woman.

In his first in-depth interview since he was arrested, Kamer has told Hack what it was like the day his life suddenly changed. He went from holding down an ordinary office job to being a suspect in a police terror investigation, without access to a lawyer for five days. He went from a sharehouse to sitting in a cell next door to hardened criminals.

Having returned to Sri Lanka, he says the ordeal has ruined his life. The Australian police have not apologised and maintain they were protecting the public." Read more - Lire plus
UK Home Office confirms environmentalists referred to anti-terror programme Prevent
The Irish News 13/04/2020 - Environmental campaigners have been referred to the Home Office's anti-terror Prevent programme amid fears they may become radicalised, it has emerged. Data obtained by The Times newspaper under Freedom of Information laws found at least 45 activists were referred to Prevent over alleged environmental extremism between April 2016 and March last year. [...] The data does not contain information on whether any of those referred to Prevent were aligned to any particular cause or organisation, and the Home Office said the "vast majority" of cases were closed with no further action. [...]
The strategy, launched in 2003, is one strand of the British government's multi-pronged national counter-terrorism programme. It relies on tip-offs from members of the public, schools and other organisations in identifying those who may be at risk of becoming radicalised to commit acts of terrorism. In the vast majority of cases, the person identified will either leave the process requiring no further action, or will be signposted to other services. When authorities conclude there is a risk that the person could be drawn into terrorism, they can be supported through another scheme known as Channel. Prevent has also been criticised for its impact on free speech, placing an additional burden on teaching staff, and has been described as being heavy-handed in its approach.

Allan Hogarth, head of advocacy and programmes at charity Amnesty UK, said the referral of environmental activists was "deeply concerning". He said: "The government must respect the rights of those peacefully protesting and ensure that the voices of those demanding action on tackling the climate crisis can be heard without fear of being labelled 'extremists'. "Under the guise of Prevent and the incredibly vague definition of 'extremism' the government has been able to profile, use surveillance, compile data and infringe on the personal freedoms of many individuals and minority communities. "This cannot go on." Last summer the government ordered a review into the programme, which is due to report back to Parliament later this year. Read more - Lire plus
UK Bill a License for Military Crimes?
Human Rights Watch 20/03/2020 - Given the distractions of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s likely the proposed new law from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government on overseas military operations will get far less attention than it deserves. If passed, the bill would greatly increase the risk that British soldiers who commit serious crimes will avoid justice.

The proposed law, the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill, would create a “presumption against prosecution” for members of the United Kingdom armed forces accused of crimes, including torture, committed overseas more than five years earlier. The government asserts this will protect UK forces from “vexatious” prosecutions – a dubious claim, given there have been hardly any such criminal trials. Even though British civil courts and public inquiries having found extensive evidence of torture by UK forces in Iraq after 2003. In addition, the UK government has paid out millions of pounds to Iraqis who alleged abuse by UK forces.

The government has expressed concerns about the conduct of some litigation over military abuses, but these can and have been dealt with through the legal profession’s disciplinary bodies and other sanctions. The UK does indeed have a problem with justice for crimes committed by military personnel and civilian officials overseas – but the problem is that hardly anyone gets prosecuted, let alone convicted. This dates back many years – after the Amritsar Massacre in India in 1919 , a public inquiry found UK forces had committed crimes, but no one was ever prosecuted. As a major media investigation has confirmed, there has been repeated political interference by UK ministers to stop accountability, such as shutting down the UK criminal investigation into alleged crimes in Iraq before it had completed its work.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor recently determined there is a basis to allegations that UK armed forces committed war crimes against detainees in Iraq. The ICC can only step in when national authorities do not genuinely investigate, so the prosecutor should take a very close look at the government’s bill in deciding whether or not to open its own probe. The presumptive time-limit of five years comes close to a “statute of limitations” for grave international crimes. It will encourage a culture of delay and cover-up of criminal investigations. On Iraq, UK courts have found it was the Ministry of Defence that caused delay in investigations, creating unfairness to all involved. The UK government’s proposals are a sad reflection of its record of political interference to prevent justice and accountability. If this law is passed, it would set a terrible precedent for the “rules-based international order” it claims to uphold. Read more - Lire plus
Pakistan Removes Thousands of Names From Terrorist Watch List
Wall Street Journal 20/04/2020 - Pakistan has removed thousands of names from its terrorist watch list in what the country says is an effort to meet its obligations ahead of a new round of assessments by a global anti-money-laundering watchdog. The so-called proscribed persons list, which is maintained by Pakistan’s National Counter Terrorism Authority, or NACTA, is intended in part to help financial institutions avoid doing business with or processing transactions of suspected terrorists. The list, which in 2018 contained about 7,600 names, has been reduced to under 3,800 in the past 18 months. About 1,800 of the names have been removed since the beginning of March, according to data collected by Castellum.AI, a New York-based regulatory technology company. No public explanation was given for the removals as they were made, but a Pakistani official said in an email interview that they are part of the country’s ongoing efforts to comply with a commitment to strengthen its counterterrorism safeguards.

The size and speed of the removals is unusual, according to Peter Piatetsky, a former senior policy adviser for the U.S. Treasury and co-founder of Castellum.AI. “Removing close to 4,000 names without a public explanation is unheard of and it raises significant questions about the listing process,” he said. Global standards call for countries to communicate de-listings to the financial sector immediately upon taking such action. Pakistan, which designates entities and persons with suspected links to terrorism under its Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997, hasn’t historically done so. The Pakistani official, Tahir Akbar Awan, a section officer with the Ministry of Interior, said the list had become “bloated with multiple inaccuracies” because it contained names of individuals who had died and those who may have committed crimes but weren’t associated with a designated terrorist group.

The Financial Action Task Force, an international organization that sets global standards and monitors countries’ anti-money-laundering and counterterrorism-financing policies, is scheduled to evaluate Pakistan’s progress in June, although measures intended to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus could delay the assessment. Pakistan has been under increased monitoring from the FATF since June 2018. If it fails to make progress on an action plan developed by the organization, FATF members could vote to further restrict the country’s access to the international financial system. A FATF spokesperson declined to comment on the removal of names from Pakistan’s terrorist watch list. In February, the group said Pakistan had largely addressed about half of the action items it had agreed to implement to prevent additional sanctions. The organization is famously opaque, and doesn't publicly explain in detail the steps a country must take as part of an action plan, said Michael Kugelman, a deputy director at the Wilson Center, a Washington-based global policy research institution chartered by Congress in 1968. Read more - Lire plus
Pakistani Journalist Freed, But Anti-Terror Laws Still Threaten Media
VOA 14/04/2020 - A Pakistani journalist was freed from prison last week after an appeals court overturned his five-year sentence and conviction under Pakistan's anti-terrorism law.Nasrullah Chaudhry, a journalist for the daily Urdu-language newspaper Nai Baat, was convicted in December of possessing banned literature and helping a terrorist organization.

Pakistan's journalism community described the Karachi court ruling on April 8 as a breath of fresh air, but said cyber and anti-terrorism laws are still being used to intimidate the media. The laws were enacted amid a surge in terror attacks during the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Rights groups criticized sweeping powers that allowed security agencies to detain and question suspects without court approval and warned that the laws could be used to silence those who criticize security and military agencies. More than 60 journalists were charged under anti-terror laws last year, including 50 from Sindh province, according to the Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors' media freedom report . The headquarters of many Pakistani news outlets are based in Sindh province's capital, Karachi. 

Journalists said the charges were connected to their reporting that offended ruling officials and security agencies, the report found. In Chaudhry's case, the charge sheet accused him of having books about the Taliban and links to an alleged al-Qaida leader. At the appeal, Chaudhry's lawyer Muhammad Farooq denied that the journalist published, printed or disseminated banned literature, or that he acted as editor for books that incited hatred against the state and state institutions. The alleged links to the al-Qaida leader were also discredited. Farooq told VOA the prosecution failed to prove the allegations in the appeals court. Read more - Lire plus
Ethiopian police hold journalist Yayesew Shimelis pending terrorism investigation
CPJ 16/04/2020 - In response to Ethiopian authorities’ new terrorism allegations against broadcast journalist Yayesew Shimelis today, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement:“Ethiopian police had no business arresting journalist Yayesew Shimelis in the first place, and now they are doubling down on his detention by introducing new dubious accusations, revealing how little they care about due process,” said CPJ sub-Saharan Africa Representative Muthoki Mumo. "Yayesew should be released immediately and unconditionally, and authorities should stop weaponizing the legal process to retaliate against journalists, which will chill the flow of information."

Police first arrested Yayesew, who hosts a weekly political program on Tigray TV and contributes a column to the privately owned Feteh magazine, on March 27, on allegations that he alarmed the public by spreading false information about the COVID-19 pandemic, according to media reports and CPJ research from the time. Yesterday morning, a court in Addis Ababa ordered Yayesew be released on bail, but police appealed the order, and then accused him today of violating anti-terror laws, according to news reports and the journalist’s lawyer, Tadelle Gebre Medhin, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app. The Federal High Court ordered him to remain in custody until April 20, according to Tadelle. Tadelle told CPJ that over the past three weeks Yayesew had suffered medical problems in custody, including back pains and a stomach ailment. Read more - Lire plus
NEW CFE Virtual Forum Series: Pandemics and Civil Liberties
Wednesday May 6, 2020 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Zoom link to event:

The coronavirus poses a threat to our individual and collective future. As governments attempt to deal with the pandemic, they face apparent trade-offs between collective wellbeing and individual human rights and civil liberties. Join a panel of experts to explore options and alternatives.

Tim McSorley, National Coordinator, International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
Brenda McPhail, Director, Canadian Civil Liberties Association's Privacy, Surveillance, and Technology Project.
Stephanie Perrin, President, Digital Discretion Inc.
Renu Mandhane, Chief Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Commission 
Moderator: James L. Turk, Director, Centre for Free Expression, Ryerson University
This is a free event and no registration is required.
Co-sponsored with PEN Canada and Canadian Civil Liberties Association. Source
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 law enforcement and agencies have started using the tech despite its dangers. 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 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 now.

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 .
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.

Les opinions exprimées ne reflètent pas nécessairement les positions de la CSILC - The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the positions of ICLMG.
to our amazing supporters!
We would like to thank all our member organizations, and our patrons who are supporting ICLMG on Patreon ! As a reward, we are listing our patrons who give $10 or more per month (and wanted to be listed) directly in the News Digest. Without you, our work wouldn't be possible!

Kathryn Dingle
Mary Ann Higgs
Kevin Malseed
Brian Murphy
Karen Seabrooke
Colin Stuart
James Turk
Jo Wood
Late Bob Stevenson

Nous tenons à remercier nos organisations membres et toutes les personnes qui soutiennent la CSILC sur Patreon ! En récompense, nous nommons ci-dessus nos mécènes qui donnent 10$ ou plus par mois directement dans le News Digest. Sans vous, notre travail ne serait pas possible!