International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
October 30, 2020
Home Grown Racism and Indefinite Detention
GJWG/FUGO 01/10/2020 - A discussion with:
- Barbara Jackman, Lawyer for Mohamed Harkat
- Matthew Behrens, Refugee and Indigenous Rights Organizer
- Tim McSorley, International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG)
- Azeezah Kanji, Legal Academic and Journalist

A recorded Zoom event from September 15th, 2020, exploring security certificate legislation as well as bills C-51, C-59, and more, that have plagued refugee, Mohamed (Moe) Harkat, and others. It also explores the broader issue of how refugees, Indigenous people, and Black people are increasingly subjected to arbitrary and indefinite detention in Canada based on racial profiling and over-policing.

Sponsored by the Global Justice Working group of the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa and co-organized with ICLMG, Homes not Bombs & Justice for Mohamed Harkat Committee. Watch - Visionner
Trudeau government appeals ruling that spy service breached duty to court
Canadian Press 20/10/2020 - The federal government is asking an appeal court to overturn a finding that Canada’s spy agency breached its obligation to be fully forthcoming when seeking investigative warrants, a move that is prompting concerns on the part of rights advocates and a national security expert. A Federal Court ruling made public in July said the Canadian Security Intelligence Service failed to disclose its reliance on information that was likely collected illegally in support of warrants to probe extremism. Justice Patrick Gleeson found CSIS violated its duty of candour to the court, part of a long-standing and troubling pattern.

“The circumstances raise fundamental questions relating to respect for the rule of law, the oversight of security intelligence activities and the actions of individual decision-makers,” he wrote. Gleeson called for an in-depth look at interactions between CSIS and the federal Justice Department to fully identify systemic, governance and cultural shortcomings and failures. The government said at the time that while it was fully committed to addressing the court’s recommendations, it would also appeal the ruling “on narrow but important legal grounds” concerning solicitor-client privilege and the government’s ability to provide and obtain legal advice in the future. Federal lawyers acting on behalf of Attorney General and Justice Minister David Lametti do cite these grounds, but also ask the Court of Appeal to “set aside” Gleeson’s finding that CSIS breached the duty of candour in failing to actively identify and disclose information that likely flowed from illegal activities.

National security expert Wesley Wark called the appeal “wrong-headed,” saying it seeks to eviscerate Gleeson’s core conclusion on CSIS’s duty of candour. “This is a wholly unnecessary effort by the minister that is likely to do way more harm than good,” said Wark, a visiting professor at the University of Ottawa’s graduate school of public and international affairs. [...] The government’s appeal raises the question of whether the government is trying to “protect CSIS’s ability to continue to hide information from the courts,” said Tim McSorley, national co-ordinator of the Ottawa-based International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group. [...] The notice of appeal is a “stunning bit of cognitive dissonance,” but not surprising given the dysfunctional relationship among CSIS, Justice and the court, said Matthew Behrens, a spokesman for the Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada, which has long fought against the use of national security certificates to deport people suspected of terrorist ties. “I think that until the court actually holds in contempt the individuals responsible for this illegality … they’ll be issuing similar decisions indefinitely because there is no incentive to change.” Read more - Lire plus
ICLMG's Tim McSorley on "Trudeau government pressed to shield secret operational information in court"
Twitter 26/10/2020 - Missing from this piece, I think, is a discussion of the deep importance of the ability for those charged to be able to challenge the evidence presented against them, and the methods used to collect that evidence.

This is a fundamental part of our justice system that must be protected. The use of secret intelligence and collection methods undermines these fundamental rights, as we've already seen in other cases outside of criminal law, such as security certificates. With growing questions about CSIS' honesty towards the courts when obtaining warrants, the ability to fully challenge them in court becomes even more important. Source

Robin Tress: Policing Protest: A Double Standard
The Council of Canadians 21/10/2020 - Looking closely at the history of policing of Indigenous movements, and now the policing of the settler fishers enacting violence, intimidation and vandalism, one thing becomes clear: When Indigenous Peoples protest, they are considered enemies of the state. When settlers protest, they are treated as sensitive stakeholders critical to the resolution of the conflict. 

We have written about the criminalization of Indigenous land and water defenders many times. Last year, we wrote about CSIS and the RCMP swapping information with fossil fuel company Enbridge about organizations and individuals that were under surveillance because they were protesting pipelines. We wrote: “CSIS is meant only to track and store data on relevant threats to public security. This begs the question: Whose version of public security is behind these motives?” The decision to surveil land defenders is directly tied to the police deciding that these people are threats to public security. 

Unfortunately, this kind of surveillance of Indigenous land and water protectors and their allies is not new. In 2013 the RCMP heavily monitored numerous anti-fracking organizers in New Brunswick/Mi’kma’ki. Activists have long asked to see the Civilian Complaints Report completed in 2019 associated with this surveillance, but have yet to receive that report. Around the same time last year, the Alberta government passed the “Critical Infrastructure Defence Act.” This legislation criminalizes people protesting pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure and levies fines as high as $10,000 a day and up to six months jail time against protestors. These examples demonstrate that when Indigenous Peoples disrupt the status quo  without enacting violence, intimidation or vandalism  in order to defend their rights (which are written into treaties, the Canadian Constitution, and numerous Supreme Court of Canada decisions), they are often treated like public enemies, criminalized to an extreme degree, and punished in the judicial system. 

We are not seeing any of that criminalization or punishment happening to settler people who are engaging in clear acts of violence, intimidation, and vandalism right now in Nova Scotia. Settler people carrying out these acts are not being infiltrated by the RCMP, surveilled by the police, harassed or threatened at gunpoint, as Indigenous land defenders have been on countless occasions in Canadian history. There are two key systems at play that lead to this kind of difference in policing: 

1. Racial identity or racialization matters when it comes to how people experience policing. This case shows us that white protesters can get away with a lot before police will intervene. This can make it feel to those of us who are white that police are friendly and fair. Protesting while Indigenous or with another racialized identity, however, is likely to leave you at risk of massive fines, being brutally arrested by police, or being held at gunpoint. 

2. As we wrote about recently, the conflict in St. Mary’s Bay is a clash between a colonial state and an Indigenous nation. In this case, the Mi’kmaq Nation is working to assert its rights on its unceded  though occupied  territories. The Canadian government and its precursors have demonstrated their interest in controlling and extracting natural resources. Canada consistently tries to maintain control over these resources – often through its police and military forces  so it can have some control over how power and wealth are distributed. Read more - Lire plus

Carleton University student arrested in Turkey: Turkish state repression against political opposition continues
The Leveller 11/10/2020 - On September 25, Turkish prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 82 people, most of them members of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP). One of those arrested, Cihan Erdal, is a PhD student in sociology at Carleton University and a Canadian permanent resident. Erdal’s partner Ömer Ongun, also a permanent resident, has not had contact with Erdal since receiving a phone call from him as he was about to be arrested. Ongun told the CBC that in their last conversation, Erdal phoned and said “I love you. They are at my door. They’re going to take me away.”

Although the specific charges against Erdal have not been made public, Turkish prosecutors allege that the people arrested were involved in inciting protests in 2014, during which dozens of people were killed. While early reports suggested Erdal may have been one of the signatories to a letter supporting those protests, a website campaigning for his freedom now denies that the letter ever existed. A Turkish court ordered the detention of Erdal and 16 other former and current HDP officials and politicians on October 2, apparently on the basis of Twitter posts “calling on people to join the October 2014 demonstrations,” according to Human Rights Watch. According to the Free Cihan Erdal website, Erdal was not even present at the HDP meeting at which the posts were approved. If convicted of “attempting to destroy the unity of the state,” one of many charges levelled by prosecutors at the HDP defendants, Erdal could be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Why has the simple act of allegedly signing a letter or posting on social media led to Erdal’s arrest? The reasons have to do with the long and bloody history of the so-called “Kurdish question” in Turkey, that of the Syrian war, and the increasingly repressive political climate in Turkey since 2016.

Turkish nationalists argued that Kurds were merely “mountain Turks” who had forgotten their true Turkish identity, to which they had to be returned – by force if necessary. The Kurdish language – and even letters used in written Kurdish but not Turkish – were banned from public life. Kurdish place names were changed to Turkish ones. A series of Kurdish revolts against discrimination by the Turkish state occurred over the course of the 20th century. The recent history of Kurdish resistance to the Turkish state begins with the founding of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in 1978. The PKK was founded as a Marxist national liberation organization dedicated to the creation of an independent Kurdish state in the southeast of what is currently Turkey. [...]

Many Syrian Kurds joined the PKK, and it developed covert organizations within Syria, which later formed the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in 2003. When the Syrian war broke out in 2011 in the wake of Arab Spring protests, the PYD formed an armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG). The YPG took control in the mostly Kurdish north of the country (AKA Rojava) as the central Syrian government, under attack by a variety of opposition forces, withdrew to consolidate its control in western Syria. In January 2014, three cantons under the control of a PYD -led coalition, the Movement for a Democratic Society, declared autonomy. [...]

By September 2014, [ISIS] had surrounded the Kurdish town of Kobanê on the Turkey-Syria border, which formed the centre of one of the autonomous cantons. The Turkish government, which viewed the PYD and the autonomous administration it led as extensions of the PKK, took no action to prevent Kobanê from falling to ISIS. And while ISIS fighters were able to cross the border into Turkey to receive medical attention before returning to the battle, Turkish police and border guards prevented volunteers from Turkey from entering Syria to help defend the town. There were also multiple allegations by journalists and opposition politicians that the Turkish intelligence service MİT was providing training, logistical support, and weapons to ISIS. Later, in 2015, three MİT trucks carrying weapons into Syria, allegedly for ISIS or other extremist groups, were stopped by the Turkish gendarmerie. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described the defenders of Kobanê as “terrorists,” ironically equating them with ISIS, and announced that the town was “about to fall.”

The widespread perception that the Turkish state was supporting the ISIS campaign against Kobanê sparked mass protests and riots of Kurds across Turkey in October 2014. At least 35 people were killed when protests turned violent, although the circumstances of their deaths are unclear — and the HDP has called for an investigation into the role of Turkish police and far-right groups in the violence. It is in connection with these protests that the 82 arrest warrants were issued on September 25 of this year. [...]

The HDP, often described as “pro-Kurdish” because of its advocacy for minority rights and peace with the PKK, also campaigns for participatory democracy, feminist and LGBTQ rights, and labour and environmental causes. Although the HDP is a legal party in Turkey – they rose to 13% of the vote in the 2015 general election, becoming the third-largest parliamentary group – Erdoğan has accused it of being a front group for the PKK. The former co-leaders of the party, Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, have been in detention since November 2016 under a variety of charges, including supporting terrorism. Dozens of other HDP officials have been arrested since then and the HDP-affiliated mayors of many towns and cities have been replaced by administrators appointed by the central government. This repression means the post-2016 political environment of Turkey is vastly different from 2014. Calling on the Turkish state to prevent an ISIS massacre in Kobanê is now synonymous with support for the PKK and therefore is itself a form of terrorism in today’s Turkey. The arrest of Erdal and 19 other members of the HDP seems to represent a broader campaign to eliminate the HDP and political opposition in Turkey generally, within a context that has seen accusations of voter fraud by the governing AKP and constitutional changes that centralize power in Erdoğan’s presidential office. Read more - Lire plus

Take action! See Actions & Events section below
Families demand repatriation of all foreign nationals from Syrian camps
MEE 26/10/2020 - Western governments are facing growing pressure to repatriate their own nationals held in dangerous and overcrowded camps and prisons in northeastern Syria after being swept up in fighting between Kurdish-led forces and Islamic State (IS) militants. A newly formed international network linking together relatives of some of those detained will this week call on countries to take responsibility for thousands of foreign nationals, the majority of them young children, stranded in the region after the collapse of IS early last year. The network, Families for Repatriation International (FRI), will highlight the “dire and life-threatening conditions” that have already led to hundreds of deaths, and warn that governments' continuing failure to act risks undermining human rights, global security and the rule of law.

The network brings together family members of foreign nationals held in Syria and family support groups and is being backed by human rights organisations and lawyers involved in legal cases on behalf of those in detention. Family members from five countries - Canada, Belgium, Germany, Australia and the UK - are currently working together in the network, and others in a number of other countries have also been in discussions with the group. Members of the network told Middle East Eye that they were choosing to remain anonymous at this point in order to protect themselves and their relatives in Syria. “It took a lot of courage for many of these family members to join an international coalition,” Letta Tayler, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, which is supporting calls for repatriations, told MEE.

“They fear being harassed or stigmatised because they have relatives detained in northeast Syria. But they rightly understood that remaining silent only makes it easier for their governments to ignore the plight of their citizens held in appalling conditions that get worse with every passing month.” The launch of the network comes as more than 150 academics from universities across Europe and the US accused European countries of “outsourcing” responsibility for their own nationals and “creating spaces outside the law”. In an open letter published by MEE on Monday, the academics said that a “controlled and coordinated repatriation” was the “only sustainable and durable solution”. Read more - Lire plus

Take action now! See Actions & Events section below
Alberta Court of Appeal rules that searches of electronic devices at the border are unconstitutional
Canadian Lawyer 29/10/2020 - In a case that could upend how phone and laptop searches are conducted at Canadian border crossings, the Alberta Court of Appeal has ruled a federal Customs Act section dealing with inspection of goods violates the Charter when it comes to such technologies. In R v Canfield, the court found the Canada Border Services Agency infringed on the rights of two men after a search of their cell phones at Edmonton International Airport.

It wrote their rights were violated under s 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which says everyone has "the right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure," and s 10, which specifies rights upon arrest or detention, including the right to consult a lawyer and the right to habeas corpus. It also found that statements they made after detention are subject to the protection of s 7 under the Charter guaranteeing "the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice."

"It's a far-reaching decision because hundreds of thousands of people come through the border every year," said lawyer Kent Teskey, who represented the appellants with Evan McIntyre. "Now it has been held that the Canada Border Services Agency must have grounds to search these devices." McIntyre added that the decision is also significant because this is one of a handful of cases where a lower court has revisited a Supreme Court of Canada decision. "The leading case on constitutional protections for travellers dates back to 1988, well before the advent of personal electronic devices and cell phones.
Teskey also noted that the section of the Customs Act challenged, in this case, is the same one that has "become relevant" in the extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

In the decision, released Thursday, the appeal court wrote: "We declare that the definition of 'goods' in s 2 of the Customs Act is of no force and effect insofar as it includes the contents of personal electronic devices for the purpose of s 99(1)(a) of the Customs Act."
However, the court still concluded that the evidence, in this case, should not be excluded, under s. 24(2) of the Charter, because the border guards who detained the two appellants acted in good faith and "reasonably believed that such searches were authorized by s 99 (1) (a) of the Customs Act." The court also suspended the declaration of invalidity of the relevant section of the Customs Act for one year to provide Parliament with the opportunity to amend the legislation to determine how to address searches of personal electronic devices at the border. The Crown or the appellants could also ask for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Read more - Lire plus
The Police Can Probably Break Into Your Phone
The New York Times 20/10/2020 - Officials from the F.B.I. director to rural sheriffs have argued that encrypted phones stifle their work to catch and convict dangerous criminals. They have tried to force Apple and Google to unlock suspects’ phones, but the companies say they can’t. In response, the authorities have put their own marketing spin on the problem. Law enforcement, they say, is “going dark.”

Yet new data reveals a twist to the encryption debate that undercuts both sides: Law enforcement officials across the nation regularly break into encrypted smartphones.
That is because at least 2,000 law enforcement agencies in all 50 states now have tools to get into locked, encrypted phones and extract their data, according to years of public records collected in a report by Upturn, a Washington nonprofit that investigates how the police use technology. At least 49 of the 50 largest U.S. police departments have the tools, according to the records, as do the police and sheriffs in small towns and counties across the country, including Buckeye, Ariz.; Shaker Heights, Ohio; and Walla Walla, Wash. And local law enforcement agencies that don’t have such tools can often send a locked phone to a state or federal crime lab that does.

With more tools in their arsenal, the authorities have used them in an increasing range of cases, from homicides and rapes to drugs and shoplifting, according to the records, which were reviewed by The New York Times. Upturn researchers said the records suggested that U.S. authorities had searched hundreds of thousands of phones over the past five years. While the existence of such tools has been known for some time, the records show that the authorities break into phones far more than previously understood — and that smartphones, with their vast troves of personal data, are not as impenetrable as Apple and Google have advertised. While many in law enforcement have argued that smartphones are often a roadblock to investigations, the findings indicate that they are instead one of the most important tools for prosecutions.

“Law enforcement at all levels has access to technology that it can use to unlock phones,” said Jennifer Granick, a cybersecurity lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union. “That is not what we’ve been told.” Still, for law enforcement, phone-hacking tools are not a panacea to encryption. The process can be expensive and time consuming, sometimes costing thousands of dollars and requiring weeks or more. And in some cases, the tools don’t work at all. Read more - Lire plus

The Enemies Briefcase: Secret Powers and the Presidency
Harper's Magazine 11/2020 - A few hours before the inauguration ceremony, the prospective president receives an elaborate and highly classified briefing on the means and procedures for blowing up the world with a nuclear attack, a rite of passage that a former official described as “a sobering moment.” Secret though it may be, we are at least aware that this introduction to apocalypse takes place. At some point in the first term, however, experts surmise that an even more secret briefing occurs, one that has never been publicly acknowledged. In it, the new president learns how to blow up the Constitution.

The session introduces “presidential emergency action documents,” or PEADs, orders that authorize a broad range of mortal assaults on our civil liberties. In the words of a rare declassified official description, the documents outline how to “implement extraordinary presidential authority in response to extraordinary situations”—by imposing martial law, suspending habeas corpus, seizing control of the internet, imposing censorship, and incarcerating so-called subversives, among other repressive measures. “We know about the nuclear briefcase that carries the launch codes,” Joel McCleary, a White House official in the Carter Administration, told me. “But over at the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department there’s a list of all the so-called enemies of the state who would be rounded up in an emergency. I’ve heard it called the ‘enemies briefcase.’ ”

These chilling directives have been silently proliferating since the dawn of the Cold War as an integral part of the hugely elaborate and expensive Continuity of Government (COG) program, a mechanism to preserve state authority (complete with well-provisioned underground bunkers for leaders) in the event of a nuclear holocaust. Compiled without any authorization from Congress, the emergency provisions long escaped public discussion—that is, until Donald Trump started to brag about them. “I have the right to do a lot of things that people don’t even know about,” he boasted in March, ominously echoing his interpretation of Article II of the Constitution, which, he has claimed, gives him “the right to do whatever I want as president.” He has also declared his “absolute right” to build a border wall, whatever Congress thinks, and even floated the possibility of delaying the election “until people can properly, securely, and safely vote.”

“This really is one of the best-kept secrets in Washington,” Elizabeth Goitein, the co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice, told me. “But though the PEADs are secret from the American public, they’re not secret from the White House and from the executive branch. And the fact that none of them has ever been leaked is really quite extraordinary.” Goitein and her colleagues have been working diligently for years to elicit the truth about the president’s hidden legal armory, tracing stray references in declassified documents and obscure appropriations requests from previous administrations. “At least in the past,” said Goitein, “there were documents that purported to authorize actions that are unconstitutional, that are not justified by any existing law, and that’s why we need to be worried about them.”

Part of what makes the existence of PEADs so alarming is the fact that the president already has a different arsenal of emergency powers at his disposal. Unlike PEADs, which are not themselves laws, these powers have been obligingly granted (and often subsequently forgotten) by Congress. They come into force once a president declares a state of emergency related to whatever crisis is at hand, though the link is often tenuous indeed. For example, to fight the war in Vietnam, Lyndon Johnson used emergency powers originally granted to Harry Truman for the Korean War. As Goitein has written, the moment a president declares a “national emergency”—which he can do whenever he likes—more than one hundred special provisions become available, including freezing Americans’ bank accounts or deploying troops domestically. One provision even permits a president to suspend the ban on testing chemical and biological weapons on human subjects.

Thinly justified by public laws, these emergency powers have become formidable instruments of repression for any president unscrupulous enough to use them. Franklin Roosevelt, for example, invoked emergency powers when he incarcerated 120,000 Americans of Japanese ethnicity. One of them, Fred Korematsu, a twenty-three-year-old welder from Oakland, California, refused to cooperate and sued. His case reached the Supreme Court, which duly ruled that the roundup of U.S. citizens had been justified by “military necessity.” Justice Robert Jackson, one of three dissenters, wrote that though the emergency used to justify the action would end, the principle of arbitrary power sanctified by the court decision “would endure into the future, a loaded weapon ready for the hand of any authority that can bring forward a plausible claim of an urgent need.” Read more - Lire plus
Fionnuala Ní Aoláin: The Necessity of Enforcing Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in the Context of Counterterrorism
Just Security 29/10/2020 - The report addresses a number of hot-button challenges to human rights and humanitarian law enforcement resulting from counterterrorism practice across the globe. I particularly stress the negative impact on accountability for serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law, which follows from the outright denial of IHL applicability by States in favor of counterterrorism rules and regulations particularly in the prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. This, in my view, has particularly functioned to produce inconsistencies in the identification and prosecution of war crimes, which is unacceptable given the need for prosecution and meaningful accountability for the victims of terrorism. It is not enough to be solicitous to the victims of terrorism, and then primarily prosecute persons for offenses related to travel and organizational membership, when the need for specific accountability for specific crimes is overwhelming.

I also examine at length the consequences for the provision of impartial humanitarian activities in armed conflict and fragile settings resulting from the application of broadly based domestic and international regulation on terrorism. I confirm that the consequences have been extensive and negative. Impartial humanitarian action — particularly the provision of medical supplies, shelter, and food — is essential in multiple parts of the world for the exercise of essential social and economic rights, including the right to food, safe drinking water, and adequate access to health. Designating certain non-State armed groups in NIACs as terrorists and linking the provision of humanitarian activities — protection and assistance – as a form of support to terrorism or to persons/entities designated as terrorist results in the lowering of fundamental human rights and humanitarian protections for the weakest and most vulnerable.

I also address practices of listing and sanctions requirements for known or suspected terrorists through watchlisting practices at the national, regional, and global level. My report confirms that listing and sanctions have both led to serious human rights deficiencies and are inconsistent with the minimal due process guarantees found in international law. I urged States to strengthen due process and procedural protections in their listings (as well as their delisting process of individuals), greater attention to the effects on families and women as a result of these processes. The recommendations made in my report respond to and echoes the deficiencies and challenges affirmed by previous and current Ombudsman.

I make many concrete recommendations to States and international entities including the U.N. They include the obvious obligation for States to implement their human rights and humanitarian law obligations as demanded by customary international law and human rights treaty law. I stress the importance of transparency and openness in the advice given by U.N. counterterrorism entities concerning human rights and humanitarian law obligations by States. Unlike human rights guidance to States through the treaty bodies and this mandate, counterterrorism assessments (assessing the compliance of states to the Security Council resolutions on terrorism) made by the Counter-Terrorism Committee through UNCTED remain opaque and secret, and we should therefore not be surprised at the suspicion and concerns about U.N. governance, transparency, and accountability in this realm. Read more - Lire plus
From January to July 2020
ICLMG - The first half of 2020 has been very difficult given the impact of the pandemic, but we continued working hard to protect our civil liberties. Below you can see what we have accomplished so far this year, but first here is a sneak-peek into what we plan to do for the rest of 2020:

  • We will continue to protect our civil liberties and human rights against the threat of digital surveillance in the response to COVID-19, as well as the growing dangers of facial recognition technology.

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

  • We will continue to push for greater accountability and transparency for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), including the establishment of a strong, effective and independent review mechanism.

  • We will continue advocating for the repeal of the Canadian No Fly List, 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.

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

  • We will continue to pressure lawmakers to protect our civil liberties from the negative impact of national security and the “war on terror”, as well as keeping you and our 47 member organizations, informed via the News Digest.

Two recent court decisions revealed the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) engaged in potentially illegal activities and lied to the courts. This is utterly unacceptable, especially given that this is not the first time these serious problems have been raised. CSIS cannot be allowed to act as though they are above the law.

Send a message to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair demanding that he take immediate action to put an end to this abuse of power and hold those CSIS officers involved accountable. Your message will also be sent to your MP and to Minister of Justice David Lametti.
Read our full statement on the issue here for more information. Please share it on:

NEW Protect Encryption in Canada
Our ability to use the Internet safely, securely and privately is under threat. Canada wants to create 'back doors' into encryption like some of our partner countries in the Five Eyes Alliance have already done. This weakens Internet safety for all of us. If we don’t act, Canada could be next. We need a policy that explicitly protects our right to encryption.
NEW Repatriate Canadian Children from Syria
Official Parliamentary petition to the Canadian government:

We, the undersigned citizens of Canada , call upon the Government of Canada to immediately repatriate the 25 innocent Canadian children living in inhumane conditions in the camps of northeast Syria.
Reject Dr. Carvin's Offensive Actions and Promote Anti-Racism
On September 3, 2020, Dr. Stephanie Carvin, Assistant Professor at Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University, proudly shared on her Twitter account gruesome depictions of killings of Muslim and Brown bodies as terrorists on cakes. As members and allies of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) community, we are denouncing her actions and we are calling on Carleton University and NPSIA to publicly denounce Dr. Carvin's actions and to commit to an anti-racist environment by offering the necessary training and resources to its faculty members.
#FreeCihanErdal #LiberezCihanErdal
Cihan Erdal, a queer youth activist and a PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University, was detained in Istanbul, Turkey on September 25, 2020 along with 81 other politicians, academics and activists. We call on Canadian and Turkish authorities to take urgent action and demand Cihan’s immediate release and Cihan’s safe return to Canada!

NEW Petition to Turkey - click below!
Pardon Edward Snowden for exposing the government's illegal surveillance
Edward Snowden exposed the U.S. government’s illegal mass surveillance programs, along with shocking collusion between large technology companies and spy agencies. He risked everything to blow the whistle and help protect all of our basic human rights. He’s been in exile for long enough. It’s time to bring him home. Everyone from the ACLU to Senator Rand Paul has spoken out in support of the embattled whistleblower, and now even President Trump has indicated his potential support for a pardon. The administration is testing the waters. If we show overwhelming support to #PardonSnowden right now, we could finally get justice for him, and set a precedent that protects whistleblowers, journalists, and defenders of human rights in the future.
Reunite Ayub, Khalil, and Salahidin with their families
Ayub Mohammed, Salahidin Abdulahad, and Khalil Mamut are three Uyghur men who left China after childhoods of discrimination, persecution, and hopelessness.

They were sold by Pakistani bounty hunters to the US military in 2001 and taken with 19 other Uyghurs to Guantanamo Bay. Despite being exonerated as early as 2003, they were kept in Guantanamo for years.

Now in forced exile - Ayub in Albania, and Salahidin and Khalil in Bermuda - their families are here in Canada; and their kids growing up without their fathers.

Despite posing no threat to Canadian national security, these men have been waiting over five years to reunite with their families and find a safe place to live.
China: Free Canadian Huseyin Celil
The Chinese authorities accused Huseyin of offences related to his activities in support of Uighur rights. They held Huseyin in a secret place. They gave him no access to a lawyer, to his family, or to Canadian officials. They threatened him and forced him to sign a confession. They refused to recognize Huseyin’s status as a Canadian citizen, and they did not allow Canadian officials to attend his trial. It was not conducted fairly, and resulted in a sentence of life in prison in China. His life sentence was reduced to 20 years in February 2016. Huseyin has spent much of his time in solitary confinement. He lacks healthy food and is in poor health. Kamila needs her husband, and the boys need their father back.
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.

Ban Police Use of Facial Recognition in Canada
For years, Canadian law enforcement has been secretly using controversial facial recognition technology—that’s been shown to be discriminatory and biased—without any laws governing its use. Now, some of the very companies that make these tools are refusing to sell them to the police until the government creates laws that regulate their ethical use. It is absurd it has come to this. To protect the rights of everyone, we need our lawmakers to act now. Sign the petition to ban the police use of facial recognition technology in Canada!
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.
Defund the police & the RCMP
More and more people are calling on their city councils to reduce and eliminate budgets for policing. We are no longer going to pay for police to harm our communities. These funds can be re-directed to support the recovery and provide much need improvements to public housing, transit, and food security programs among other basic needs. Please use this e-mail tool to tell your City Councillor to act now to defund the police in your communities. Together we keep each other safe.

Philippines: Junk the terror bill and uphold human rights!
The Anti-Terrorism bill is a clear and direct attack against our academic freedom, right to organize, and freedom of expression to air out our grievances towards the inefficiencies and deficiencies of the government's mandate to serve its people through government services.

This positions the government to silence the any dissenter or organizer and given the rich history of harassment of law enforcement agencies and military personnel, harassment and terror-tagging has been a step further for even more killings and silencing.
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.

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.
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.
Facial recognition
Reconnaissance faciale

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 the hundreds of people who have supported us over the years, including on Patreon! As a reward, we are listing below our patrons who give $10 or more per month (and wanted to be listed) directly in the News Digest. Without all of you, our work wouldn't be possible!

Kathryn Dingle
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The late Bob Stevenson

Nous tenons à remercier nos organisations membres ainsi que les centaines de personnes qui ont soutenu notre travail à travers les années, y compris sur Patreon! En récompense, nous nommons ci-dessus nos mécènes qui donnent 10$ ou plus par mois et voulaient être mentionné.es directement dans la Revue de l'actualité. Sans vous tous et toutes, notre travail ne serait pas possible!