International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
19 juin 2020
Prime Minister Trudeau must take decisive action to bring Yasser Albaz home - text & video
ICLMG 17/06/2020 - Yasser Albaz, a Canadian, has been imprisoned without charge in Egypt’s notorious Torah prison for 16 months. The Egyptian government has given no reason for his detention, and his continued imprisonment is a grave violation of his most fundamental human rights. This is without even considering that COVID-19 is spreading throughout the prison, and Yasser has been experiencing COVID-19 symptoms for the past several days. The ICLMG is joining his family and thousands across Canada calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to take action at the highest level to bring Yasser Albaz home. You can take action at . Below is the statement delivered by Tim McSorley, ICLMG National Coordinator, at the rally to bring Yasser Albaz home in front of the Prime Minister’s office on June 17, 2020.

“Thank you everyone for being here, and thank you to Amal, Safaa and the Albaz family for inviting me to join them here today. My name is Tim McSorley, I’m the national coordinator with the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group. I’m here today on behalf of our 47 member organizations – faith based, labour, social justice, environmental groups – to say enough is enough, Yasser Albaz must come home to Canada, and Prime Minister Trudeau needs to make it happen. Sixteen months ago, in February 2019, we were informed about Yasser’s imprisonment. We’ve added our voice ever since in order to denounce his indefinite, illegal imprisonment in Egypt and to demand that the Canadian government take all action necessary to bring him home. We had seen this before with other Canadians. We knew the terrible conditions of Torah prison, and we spoke out with others calling for the government to act. We hoped against hope that Yasser would be home soon.

It is unacceptable and shameful that 16 months later, Yasser remains in prison in Egypt.
And it’s important to be clear: he was arrested without charge. He has never been charged. His ongoing and indefinite imprisonment is illegal, violating his most fundamental human rights and in violation of international law. It is the responsibility of the Canadian government to defend the rights of its citizens, especially those held in such dangerous and illegal conditions as Yasser is facing right now. And this is all without even considering the new urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic and Yasser’s deteriorating health. So far, Canada has repatriated 40,000 Canadians back to our country. But Yasser remains in prison.

Prime Minister Trudeau has said that a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian and stated that no Canadian should ever be subjected to cruel, inhumane punishment. And we should be clear: the conditions that Yasser is held in would be considered inhumane by anyone in the country. Yasser deserves the same protections as everyone else. Prime Minister Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Champagne must act now. Father’s Day is this weekend. I can’t imagine how I would feel if my father was imprisoned, his life under threat, in another country. Amal and her family shouldn’t have to spend another father’s day without their dad. Please go on their site,, look them up on Facebook, and send your own message to Prime Minister Trudeau and to your MPs demanding that they bring Yasser home.” Read more - Lire plus + Watch the video

Deif and Tayler: Canada must work to bring citizens trapped in Syria home – even ISIL suspects
The Ottawa Citizen 15/06/2020 - Amid a deadly global pandemic, at least 47 Canadian men, women and children remain stranded in northeast Syria. While the Trudeau government has successfully facilitated the repatriations of nearly 40,000 Canadians from around the world in response to COVID-19, it has yet to bring home even one citizen from this group. To be sure, these Canadians — eight men, 13 women and 26 children — won’t be easy to evacuate: they include Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) suspects and their relatives held in desert prisons and camps in a war-wracked region.

But their treatment should be of utmost concern to the Canadian government. They are detained by a Kurdish-led regional authority in appalling and often life-threatening conditions, with the tacit approval of the Global Coalition Against ISIL, whose members include Canada. The Canadians are among thousands of suspected ISIL members and relatives rounded up by local, coalition-backed forces in northern Syria. Most have been detained since the March 2019 fall of the Syrian town of Baghouz, the last holdout of ISIL’s self-declared caliphate. Over the past several months, we have interviewed 11 family members of 19 Canadians detained in northeast Syria, four of the detainees, and dozens of aid workers and others who know about their plight. Human Rights Watch researchers, including one of the authors of this commentary, have also seen first-hand the deplorable conditions in the camps.

Authorities in northeast Syria have never charged these Canadians with any crime or taken them before a judge to review the legality and necessity of their detention, making their captivity both arbitrary and unlawful. Most, if not all of the children — more than half age six or younger, including a 5-year-old orphan — are innocent victims. And with little prospect of fair trials in northeast Syria, any adults who may be implicated in grave crimes are unlikely to be credibly held to account unless they face justice at home.
In makeshift prisons for the men and adolescent boys, food is scarce and overcrowding is so severe that detainees are forced to remain all day in nearly the same position. Scores of prisoners share a cell with a single latrine. In visits to the tent camps for women, girls and younger boys, we found that drinking water is often contaminated or in short supply, garbage and human waste litter the grounds, and illnesses including viral infections are rampant. Medical care in both prisons and camps is grossly inadequate. [...]

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his ministers have said they have not repatriated any of the Canadians because Canada has no consular presence in Syria and the region is too dangerous for officials to enter. Yet at least 20 countries, most without consulates in Syria, have found a way to repatriate some – and, in a few cases, hundreds – of their citizens from the camps and prisons. They include, since mid-October alone, Canadian allies Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Every government must grapple with the potential security risks and political fallout of bringing their nationals home. But these concerns do not absolve Canada of its duties to protect its citizens, which extend beyond its borders. Abandoning citizens to indefinite, unlawful detention in deeply degrading conditions also will not make Canada safer. Instead, it denies ISIL victims or their families their day in court, while creating grievances that could perpetuate cycles of violence.

If Canada can repatriate tens of thousands of citizens from 100 countries in response to COVID-19, surely it can devise a plan to return these few Canadians, too. Once home, they should be offered rehabilitation and reintegration services and, if appropriate, monitored or prosecuted. Ignoring their plight while admirably pulling out all the stops to help evacuate thousands of other Canadians looks like discrimination — a violation of international law, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the values that Canada holds dear. The lives of Canadians are on the line and the time for excuses is over. Read more - Lire plus
Canada doubles weapons sales to Saudi Arabia despite moratorium
The Guardian 09/06/2020 - Canada sold a record amount of military hardware to  Saudi Arabia  in 2019, despite sharply criticizing its poor human rights record and placing a moratorium on any new exports to the kingdom. Newly released figures show Canada sold nearly C$3bn (US$2.2bn) worth of military equipment to Saudi Arabia in 2019 – more than double the total of the previous year,  reported the Globe and Mail . The bulk of the exports were light armoured vehicles, part of a deal with the Saudis worth C$14.8bn. The record figures come despite a moratorium on export permits following the killing of the Saudi journalist  Jamal Khashoggi  and  mounting civilian deaths from the war in Yemen . The government’s decision not to issue new permits does not affect existing permits. A permit can cover multiple items and as a result, companies have existing permits for years.

“I struggle to know what ‘moratorium’ means to this government, because to me, when there’s a moratorium on something, you can’t increase the sales of that thing. And exactly what seems to have happened,” said Mark Kersten, deputy director of the  Wayamo Foundation . “I can’t understand for the life of me, why the government wouldn’t say anything about it, unless it just simply didn’t want the public to know, because it looks awful.” Canada  also exported more than 30 large-calibre artillery systems and 152 heavy machine guns to Saudi Arabia. The multi-billion-dollar arms deal with the kingdom was initiated under a previous Conservative government in 2014, but continued under the Liberals. At the time it was signed, it was the largest export deal in Canada’s history, making the country the second-largest arms exporter to the Middle East. Rights groups, academics and policy advisers have long called on Trudeau to cancel the deal, and follow the example of Germany and Sweden which both cancelled arms contracts with Saudi Arabia following public outrage over Khashoggi’s murder. Read more - Lire plus
Canada, U.S. attorneys general discussed law to speed up police access to data across borders
The Logic 12/06/2020 - The Canadian and U.S. governments won’t say whether they’re negotiating a bilateral agreement that would make it easier for police in each country to access data stored in the other. But Attorneys General David Lametti and William Barr discussed the issue in a June 2019 meeting in Washington, D.C., The Logic has learned. The U.K. and Australia have each struck such a deal with the U.S., and top Canadian law enforcement officials have called for Ottawa to do the same, arguing existing procedures to obtain electronic evidence across borders are slow and cumbersome. Civil liberties advocates and some lawyers warn it could undermine privacy protections in Canada.

The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act, passed in March 2018, lets the U.S. forge agreements that reduce the number of steps it takes for investigators to obtain information held in other jurisdictions. “With the globalization of communications, Canadian law enforcement is often seeking data held in the U.S.,” states a memo a senior counsel in the justice department’s criminal law policy section wrote for Lametti ahead of the June 2019 meeting, which The Logic obtained via access to information request. The existing process for obtaining such information “can be time consuming and resource intensive and is ill-suited to the digital environment where evidence is more transient, voluminous, and extra-territorial.”
The office of Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, the cabinet point-person on U.S.-Canada relations, declined to answer The Logic’s questions about whether Ottawa was seeking a bilateral agreement under the CLOUD Act. Spokesperson Katherine Cuplinskas directed The Logic to the official readout of the June 2019 meeting, which notes that the attorneys general discussed “important cross-border priorities” including “electronic evidence.” The U.S. justice department also declined to comment. The U.K. signed the first CLOUD Act agreement in October 2019, the same month Australia began negotiating one. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police have called for Ottawa to follow suit. [...]

But rights organizations have expressed concern that such deals remove important due process checks. An agreement could allow U.S. agencies to bypass the Canadian government in their pursuit of data, giving them “the ability to investigate in Canada, even where it would violate Canadian residents’ constitutional rights,” according to Michael Bryant, executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. U.S. authorities may also engage in “fishing expeditions,” which the slowness of the existing process disincentivizes, he said. And “Canadian law enforcement authorities will have a new tool to collect information in a fashion that is going to put a lot of people’s due process rights at risk.”
Advocacy groups also worry about a “race to the bottom” in CLOUD Act negotiations—each side waiving compliance with strict domestic privacy rules to gain greater access. For example, U.S. law protects the contents of private text communications like emails, but Canada has stronger rules on subscriber and financial information and other metadata that service providers store in the cloud, said Gerald Chan, a partner at Stockwoods LLP. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has discussed the CLOUD Act with the justice and public safety departments, but hasn’t been consulted on any specific plans for a bilateral agreement, said spokesperson Vito Picelli. Read more - Lire plus
Clearview AI facial recognition offers to delete some faces — but not in Canada
CBC 10/06/2020 - Clearview AI, the controversial U.S.-based facial recognition technology firm, is quietly allowing Canadians to check whether their face appears in the company's massive image database. Unlike residents of some other countries, however, Canadians do not appear to be eligible to ask for their pictures to be deleted.

Clearview AI first came under scrutiny earlier this year when it  boasted  about collecting billions of photos from the internet to feed its facial recognition app. The firm says the tool is meant to allow police to "identify perpetrators and victims of crimes," but privacy advocates worry the technology could fall into the wrong hands, or lead to a dystopian future in which anyone can be identified within seconds whether they consent to facial recognition or not. Several law enforcement agencies, from the  RCMP  to  Toronto and Calgary  police, acknowledged their members had briefly used the software. But observers questioned its legality. In February, federal and provincial privacy watchdogs opened an  investigation  into the use of Clearview AI's technology in Canada. Read more - Lire plus

Voluntary nationwide contact tracing app coming soon, says Trudeau
CBC 18/06/2020 - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today he hopes Canadians will download a new app on their cellphones that will alert them if they've come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. "It will be up to individual Canadians to decide whether to download the app or not, but the app will be most effective when as many people as possible have it," Trudeau said during his daily briefing this morning. "There are over 30 million smartphones that could take this app in Canada, so we can talk about a significant portion of the Canadian population that could be protected by this app." The federally-backed project has been spearheaded by the Canadian Digital Service, a federal initiative, and the Ontario Digital Service, with help from volunteers from the tech firm Shopify.

It incorporates Bluetooth technology provided by Apple and Google. The app will undergo a security review by BlackBerry. The technology works by having people who test positive upload their results anonymously to the app, called COVID Alert, using a temporary code given to them by a health care provider, said a federal media release. Other users who have the app and who have been near someone who has tested positive will then be alerted that they've been exposed and a notification will encourage them to reach out to their local public health authorities. Ontario will roll out the app first. Officials in that province said they hope to have the app available for download on July 2 for iPhones running iOS 5.0 or later versions, and for Android phones running Android 6.0 or later versions. The federal government said it wants to eventually have it in use across Canada in the coming weeks and months, with the risk of a second wave on the horizon. [...]

Trudeau stressed that the new app will be completely voluntary and added that the federal privacy commissioner worked on the app. However, in a statement issued later in the day, a spokesperson for the privacy commissioner's office said it's still waiting for more information about the app. "We have requested and are awaiting necessary information and, until such time as we receive that information, we have not provided our recommendations to the government," said Vito Pilieci in an email to CBC. Privacy advocates have raised concerns about contact tracing apps — about the data they collect and how that information is stored. Teresa Scassa, the Canada research chair in information law and policy at the University of Ottawa, said the Bluetooth model is the most "privacy-protective", but it's also the least ambitious. "I think in the current climate it would have been difficult to go with with a different solution other than [the] most privacy-protective one, because I do think that there is a trust deficit," she said.

Scassa said she's also not certain Canadians will rush to the app store to download it. "I'm not convinced that this is going to be a success and I think the important thing to remember is that contact tracing apps have now been launched in many different countries and it's not clear that they've been a success anywhere that they've been launched," she said. "The level of uptake has been relatively low wherever they've been launched." Claudiu Popa, a cybersecurity expert with Datarisk Canada, said he's still waiting to see more information about how the anonymous data is to be stored. "We've seen the use of artificial intelligence and and big data being used around the world, and of course the PR movement towards just how beneficial this is," he said. "That is not what we should be after. We should be after helping individuals and increasing public health while balancing and maximizing public trust." Read more - Lire plus

Canada's border agency shouldn't be using pandemic to impose surveillance on undocumented immigrants
CBC 02/06/2020 - With Montreal a front line in the country's battle against the coronavirus, hundreds of asylum seekers there have  taken up dangerous work  as health orderlies in long-term care homes. While some rightly consider them heroes, Canada's border agency has continued to demonstrate a very different attitude towards migrants.

Undocumented immigrants, held in prisons and detention centres where COVID-19 has spread, have  gone on hunger strikes  demanding to be released for their safety. The vast majority are detained merely because of irregularities in their refugee or immigration claims, not because they've been charged with a crime or were alleged to be a security risk. Yielding to public pressure, the Canada Border Security Agency (CBSA) has conducted release hearings at an  accelerated pace . But there's been a catch.

Over the past several weeks, the CBSA has imposed controversial  electronic monitoring bracelets as a condition for some releases  in Quebec and Ontario. The migrant justice group Solidarity Across Borders is among those who have  denounced the move . It's hard to miss the irony: while some asylum seekers  do jobs  lauded as " guardian angels " by Quebec's Premier François Legault, others are being subjected to treatment lifted straight from the criminal justice system. Read more - Lire plus
Trudeau government must stand up against Trump's escalating attacks on International Criminal Court
CBC 18/06/2020 - Washington has long opposed its citizens being investigated for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity by international tribunals. But the decision of President Donald Trump to issue an  executive order  authorizing economic sanctions against staff at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is a reckless and irresponsible escalation that deserves a strong response. [...]

Since the ICC's creation, its relationship with the U.S. has been  tumultuous . President Bill Clinton signed the Rome Statute of the ICC, but his successor George Bush "unsigned" it. The U.S. has never come close to becoming an ICC member state. No American administration has ever accepted that the Court should be an independent institution, free from the political prerogatives of powerful states and the United Nations Security Council. This position has often translated into  active hostility  towards the ICC, with pressure exerted on states not to cooperate with the Court. Even during the most productive years in the ICC-U.S. relationship, those under former President Barack Obama, the U.S. did not accept that the ICC could have jurisdiction over American citizens, and its support for the Court was  piecemeal . The relationship has reached new levels of toxicity under Trump. [...]

Now Washington has taken issue, to put it lightly, with the ICC's recent decision to open an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Afghanistan, including by American armed forces and the Central Intelligence Agency. For the first time in history, accusations of atrocities committed by U.S. citizens abroad are being investigated by an international tribunal. [...] Now Trump has put his money where his mouth is.  On June 11 , Pompeo singled out ICC staff members and their families with the threat of sanctions. The result is unprecedented: along with their international colleagues, Canadians will face sanctions – asset freezes and travel bans – for their efforts to bring justice and accountability by investigating allegations of atrocities. Think about that: sanctions, a tool designed to punish human rights violators, will now be  used  to thwart the work of human rights advocates. Read more - Lire plus
Anti-Terror Raids Killing Civilians in West Africa, Amnesty Says
Bloomberg 10/06/2020 - More than 142 people are missing and 57 feared killed after troops in Mali and Niger scaled up counter-terrorism operations in recent months, Amnesty International said. The human-rights group documented 199 cases of abuses, arbitrary arrests and forced disappearances by troops in the two countries, as well as neighboring Burkina Faso, in February and March. The security forces were responding to attacks by groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. The report follows allegations of widespread abuse by West African troops against civilians documented by the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali. The mission documented 101 extrajudicial killings, 32 cases of enforced disappearances and 32 cases of torture by Malian security forces against civilians in the first quarter this year.

“While arbitrary arrests by security forces sweep up dozens of people at the time, some aren’t seen again, and the true scale of the violations committed by the armies is unknown,” Samira Daoud, Amnesty’s West and Central Africa director, said in a statement. On Feb. 7, Malian troops descended on the southwestern village of Massabougou, arresting 22 villagers and killing eight others, according to unidentified people interviewed by Amnesty. Two days later, soldiers began another operation in a nearby village, killing the imam and a local leader. Read more - Lire plus
Trump and Duterte Show Why UN Must Reassess Embrace of Counterterrorism
Just Security 11/06/2020 - As Donald Trump seized on others’ branding of nonviolent protesters in the United States as “ terrorists ,” lawmakers in the Philippines approved President Rodrigo Duterte’s draconian Anti-Terrorism Act that similarly  asserts  a dangerous, overbroad definition of what constitutes terrorism. Here were two leaders, separated by an ocean, using the same abusive counterterrorism playbook in a way that has become so common over the past two decades: legislate or brand your political opposition “terrorists,” delegitimize their grievances, and simultaneously legitimize a heavy-handed, militarized response. We see – yet again – the significant drawbacks of embracing a “counterterrorism” agenda that is so often weaponized against pluralism, fundamental freedoms, and any form of dissent.

Such cases are fresh examples of how counterterrorism is undermining democracy and human rights around the world. It is a powerful illustration of why the United Nations and its member states should be questioning counterterrorism practices rather than embracing and encouraging them. A  report  released last week by the U.K. peacebuilding organization Saferworld, documents how the counterterror agenda has been spreading rapidly throughout the United Nations system over the past few years, despite growing evidence that the war on terror is making the world neither safer nor more secure. In fact, the embrace of counterterrorism by the U.N. is already having a harmful impact on the institution itself, and could lead to a number of dangerous threats in the future. In recent years, with the birth of the Office of Counter-Terrorism, the UN system has seen a dramatic increase in resources, personnel and attention spent on countering terrorism or  preventing violent extremism . This growth added to the U.N.’s three core pillars of peace and security, human rights and development, a fourth, potentially damaging, counterterrorism pillar.

The spread of counterterrorism within the U.N. is undermining its founding three pillars. This growing U.N. buy-in to war on terrorism makes it easier for states to crack down on civil society and civic activism or to ‘blue-wash’ their human rights abuses. It enables terror threats to become  inflated  to justify further counterterrorism work and funding, and risks allowing U.N. support to be  manipulated  to crush dissent. It also stymies the U.N.’s vital role in conflict resolution, puts  peacekeepers in the firing line , and compromises its vital humanitarian and development work. Worryingly, the COVID-19 pandemic is creating the conditions for these trends to worsen. From the  indefinite rule-by-decree power-grab  in Hungary, to Cambodia’s branding of critics of the government’s pandemic response as ‘ terrorists ,’ to the excessive use of force by security units to enforce the lockdown in countries like  Nigeria , governments across the world are responding to the pandemic using the counterterrorism playbook. In this environment, there is a risk that the U.N. will find itself drawn into greater support for these approaches. This is not the role it can or should be playing in the more authoritarian world that may emerge in the aftermath of the pandemic. Read more - Lire plus
Inter-American Commission On Human Rights Issues Historic Decision On Former Guantanamo Detainee’s Case
eurasia review 29/04/2020 - Almost two decades after Algerian citizen Djamel Ameziane was detained and sent to Guantanamo Bay detention center, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued its final report on the human rights violations committed against him. The report,  published on the Commission’s website,  determines the United States is responsible for Mr. Ameziane’s torture, abuse, and decade-long confinement without charge, and issues a series of recommendations.  This is the first decision ever made by a major regional Human Rights body regarding the human rights violations committed at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and marks a historic victory for Mr. Ameziane and the rights of others detained at Guantanamo Bay to judicial reparations. 

“I was tortured for more than a decade at Guantanamo, and still suffer from the trauma of my horrible experience. The Commission’s decision is a significant step towards reparations for me and for other Muslim men and boys who were unjustly detained and abused in Guantanamo Bay during the dark days of the ‘War on Terror’. I urge the United States to honor the Commission’s recommendations, acknowledge the serious harms that we suffered, and close the prison camp. Guantanamo Bay must end. I am especially concerned about my fellow Algerian, Sufyian Barhoumi, who has been cleared for transfer for many years but continues to be held indefinitely. Sufyian, we have not forgotten you, and pray for your safe return home,” said Mr. Ameziane. [...] In its report,  the IACHR determined  that Mr. Ameziane suffered abuse and torture at the hands of prison camp officers; dealt with long periods of solitary confinement; was beaten during interrogation; did not receive medical care for injuries sustained during his confinement; was prevented from practicing and insulted for his religious beliefs; and was denied regular contact with his family. The United States also violated the principle of non-refoulment, when it forcibly returned Ameziane to his home country of Algeria, which he had fled from fear of violence and persecution, particularly for being a member of the Berber ethnic minority. At the time he was sent back, Mr. Ameziane was the beneficiary of protective measures issued by the Commission.

Based on  the IACHR’s conclusions and recommendations , the United States should provide “adequate material and moral reparations” for the human rights violations suffered by Mr. Ameziane for his 12 years of confinement. Some of these measures include the continuance of criminal investigations for the torture of Mr. Ameziane at Kandahar Airbase and Guantanamo Bay detention center; compensation for his years spent in arbitrary detention to address any lasting physical and psychological effects; medical and psychological care for his rehabilitation; and the issuance of a public apology by the United States president or any other high-ranking official to establish Mr. Ameziane’s innocence. In its report,  the IACHR determined  that Mr. Ameziane suffered abuse and torture at the hands of prison camp officers; dealt with long periods of solitary confinement; was beaten during interrogation; did not receive medical care for injuries sustained during his confinement; was prevented from practicing and insulted for his religious beliefs; and was denied regular contact with his family. The United States also violated the principle of non-refoulment, when it forcibly returned Ameziane to his home country of Algeria, which he had fled from fear of violence and persecution, particularly for being a member of the Berber ethnic minority. At the time he was sent back, Mr. Ameziane was the beneficiary of protective measures issued by the Commission. Based on  the IACHR’s conclusions and recommendations , the United States should provide “adequate material and moral reparations” for the human rights violations suffered by Mr. Ameziane for his 12 years of confinement. Some of these measures include the continuance of criminal investigations for the torture of Mr. Ameziane at Kandahar Airbase and Guantanamo Bay detention center; compensation for his years spent in arbitrary detention to address any lasting physical and psychological effects; medical and psychological care for his rehabilitation; and the issuance of a public apology by the United States president or any other high-ranking official to establish Mr. Ameziane’s innocence.

The IACHR also makes several conclusions about the prison camp more broadly: that the United States should establish a truth commission to investigate the prison camp and prosecute all those implicated in acts of torture between 2002 and 2008, among other measures. This report also urges the U.S. to take all steps necessary to comply with the recommendations made in 2015, including providing detainees with adequate medical, psychiatric, and psychological care, access to justice, and, ultimately, the closure of Guantanamo. So far, forty men remain detained at Guantánamo. Twenty-eight of them have never been charged, and five have been unanimously cleared for release by all relevant agencies. None have had access to a fair trial that meets international human rights standards. “Guantanamo Bay is and always has been a gulag created by the United States of America to torture Muslim men like Djamel Ameziane. The Commission’s report is a significant step for Mr. Ameziane’s pursuit of justice and judicial reparations. It provides essential international recognition of the abuse and damage Mr. Ameziane and others have experienced as detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Guantanamo Bay is a human rights disaster and should be closed with the urgent assistance of OAS Member states,” said J. Wells Dixon, a senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights and Mr. Ameziane’s long-time counsel. “Djamel Ameziane`s case is not only emblematic of the abuses committed against men arbitrarily detained during the so-called War on Terror; but of the long struggle towards truth, justice, and reparations many of these men will face and the possibility of obtaining some measure of peace. We will continue to stand in solidarity with Mr. Ameziane and monitor the situation at Guantanamo Bay until the center is shut down and those who suffered abuse at the camp are repaired in full,” said Francisco Quintana, program director for the Andean Region, the Caribbean and North America at CEJIL. Read more - Lire plus

U.S. police brutality and military aggression: From Black America to the Muslim world
5pillarsuk 12/06/2020 - Hakeem Muhammad from the U.S.-based Black Dawah Network, says the United States has exported the kind of brutality it afflicts on Black Americans to its military activities in the Muslim world.
Ahmaud Aubrey, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd are the names of the most recent Blacks who have tragically been killed by racism and police brutality. So what African-Americans are responding to in protests that have taken the nation by the storm is a police force that occupies Black communities similar to how a foreign army occupies its colony. And there is an inextricable connection between the domestic police brutality perpetrated against Black Americans and the U.S military violence perpetrated against the Ummah overseas. If one has any doubt about the veracity of this proclamation then they should consider how the U.S government has exported racist police officers initially assigned to patrol Black people to later lead the torture and abuse of Muslim detainees in Abu Gharib and Guantanamo Bay. [...]

Charles Graner, a war criminal and former member of the U.S. Army reserve was convicted of prisoner abuse in connection with the 2003–2004 Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal. Prior to becoming a U.S army officer in Iraq, he was a correctional officer in Green County, Pennsylvania where the majority of the inmates were Black. They complained he was a dehumanising corrections officer. [...] Prior to Richard Zuley overseeing the torture of Muslims in Guantanamo Bay, he worked as a detective in the Chicago Police Department for nearly 40 years where he oversaw an enhanced interrogation centre. Many African-Americans in Chicago who had been wrongfully convicted of crimes alleged they had been tortured by Zuley into confessing to crimes that they did not commit. Read more - Lire plus
After Barr ordered FBI to "identify criminal organizers," activists were intimidated at home and at work
The Intercept 12/06/2020 - “I've never had any run-ins with the cops before. I’ve never been to jail and have no criminal record, so when the FBI showed up to my workplace, it scared the piss out of me,” says Katy, a 22-year-old who works for a custodial services company in Cookeville, a small college town in middle Tennessee. “I really thought I was going to lose my job. The whole experience was terrifying.” Moved by the video of the  police killing of George Floyd  in Minneapolis, Katy — who requested she only be identified by her first name — and a friend had created a Facebook event for a Black Lives Matter rally in Cookeville’s public square on Saturday, June 6. She soon connected with several other Cookeville locals who wanted to help with planning the event, and enthusiasm grew as word of the rally spread. “I’ve never organized a rally before, I was just winging it,” Katy said. “I didn’t expect a lot of people to show up, but overnight 600 people had RSVP’d on Facebook.”

Counter-protesters organized their own Facebook group, Protect Cookeville Against Looters, which quickly swelled to over 1,000 members. Some of the members of this group determined that Katy was the main organizer of the upcoming rally and began posting her personal information and making violent threats. “The event for the rally had been up for about four days when we started getting death threats,” Katy said. “It was too much. I was overwhelmed.” Katy eventually backed out of the rally — and a group of local high school students took over planning — but she had already gotten the attention of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, or JTTF, a federally coordinated network of local law enforcement officers who work under the direction of the FBI to gather intelligence about terrorist threats. On June 4, agents turned up unannounced at Katy’s work, pulling her off the job and into a large truck in the gravel parking lot to question her about her connections to the upcoming rally and to antifa — the loose anti-fascist movement recently  labeled as a terrorist organization  by President Donald Trump. Katy had never heard of them.

As The Intercept has previously reported, FBI agents have been  questioning arrested protesters  about their political beliefs, apparently at the behest of U.S. Attorney General William Barr. Barr, following Trump’s repeated  false assertions  that there is a sophisticated, national network of antifa operatives infiltrating local protests against police brutality to enflame violence,  announced  that antifa is a domestic terrorist organization on May 31. Barr also directed the JTTF to “identify criminal organizers and instigators,” even though antifa has no organizational structure and the FBI’s  own internal assessments  don’t support the claim that antifa is somehow weaponizing protests. The following week, over the span of four days, Katy and at least three other activists in Cookeville, whose population is just 34,000, received unannounced visits by agents who questioned them about their political affiliations and whether they had information about outside agitators planning to hijack local protests. “What the JTTF is doing is shocking, but we saw this happen before during the McCarthy era, when the FBI and other various agencies investigated activists with the purpose of discouraging or chilling free speech,” said Will York, an attorney who specializes in free speech cases and is a founding member of the National Lawyers Guild’s Nashville chapter. “If the movement for police reform and racial justice has legs in Cookeville, Tennessee, then it clearly has touched a deep nerve in this country. Federal and local police agencies trying to counter that momentum are likely to use these tactics to make activists think twice about organizing such an event again, especially in rural communities.” Read more - Lire plus

China: National security law must be scrapped to save Hong Kong’s freedoms 
Amnesty International 17/06/2020 - China’s proposed national security law for Hong Kong is a devastating assault on human rights and must be abandoned, a group of 86 civil society organizations including Amnesty International told Chinese authorities ahead of a key meeting of Beijing lawmakers on Thursday. The proposed national security legislation is likely to be discussed at this week’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) session, which starts tomorrow. The proposed law could come into force as early as this month and quickly be used to crack down on Hong Kong’s freedoms.

“Although China has revealed few concrete details about the national security law, everything we know about it so far suggests it will threaten the basic rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong,”  the groups wrote in a letter to the NPCSC . “It criminalizes broad, vague ‘offences’ that can encompass any criticism of the government and be used against people peacefully exercising and defending their human rights.” The decision to draft a national security law, passed by the National People’s Congress at its last session in late May, proposes to outlaw acts of “splittism, subversion, terrorism,” and activities of “foreign and overseas intervention in Hong Kong affairs”. It is anticipated that the legislation will be debated at a special NPCSC session next week – after which it could come into force. Read more - Lire plus
NEW March for JusticeForAbdirahman - Calls to Action for Black Lives
The Justice for Abdirahman Coalition, in collaboration with community partners, will be holding a march to stand against the violence inflicted on Black and Indigenous bodies that has been willfully ignored by our institutions.
The trial of Const. Daniel Montsion, who is charged with the brutal killing of Abdirahman Abdi, will resume soon. This constable was charged with manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. Nearly four years later, the trial is still in progress. We continue to wait for justice to be served.
The march will take place on Saturday June 20th from 3pm to 4pm. The crowd will gather at the Ottawa Police Station (474 Elgin street) where we will hear opening statements and then walk to City Hall (110 Laurier) where there will be short speeches, a symbolic gesture in memory of Abdirahman, and the delivering of our calls to action.

Please practice social distancing and bring your own mask. If you don't have one, there will be some distributed at the march.
Protect our rights in the fight against COVID-19!
ICLMG - As all levels of government across Canada seek to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are considering using smartphone tracking or other mass public data collection to track infections or ensure compliance with rules.
The pressure to adopt extraordinary measures in response to extraordinary situations is understandably high. But government officials must make sure to protect our privacy, values and human rights by following seven straightforward principles on privacy & surveillance.

Federal, provincial and municipal officials are deciding NOW whether to bring in new surveillance measures to counter COVID-19. Send them a message telling them to follow these principles in any decisions they make.
Share and like on Facebook + Twitter + Instagram + YouTube
NEW Defund the police
As the whole world grapples with what to do in the aftermath of this pandemic, people of conscience 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.
NEW 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.
NEW 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.

Release Yasser Albaz from arbitrary detention in Egypt
In February 2019, Canadian Yasser Albaz was kidnapped by Egyptian State Security. He 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.

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.
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.

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.
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.
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 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
Mary Ann Higgs
Kevin Malseed
Brian Murphy
Karen Seabrooke
Colin Stuart
James Turk
Jo Wood
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!