International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
27 septembre 2019
ICLMG Calls On Federal Leaders to Commit to Defending Civil Liberties in 2019 Federal Election
ICLMG 26/09/2019 - Federal leaders and their parties must do more to show their commitment to defending civil liberties in Canada, particularly from the impact of national security and anti-terrorism laws, says a national coalition of 46 organizations. “Despite pressing concerns, we have heard very little from Canada’s political leaders about what they will do to address issues like mass surveillance, political and religious profiling, Canada’s complicity in torture, or secret watch lists – all implemented in the name of ‘national security’,” said Tim McSorley, national coordinator of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group. The ICLMG was founded shortly after the adoption of Canada’s first Anti-Terrorism Act in 2001 to serve as a watchdog on the effects anti-terrorism laws and the “War on Terror” have on civil liberties in Canada.

Since then, the coalition has observed a troubling trend of “national security creep”: ever expanding powers for Canada’s secretive national security agencies, with a clear impact on the civil liberties of people in Canada, as well as internationally. To combat this trend, the ICLMG has written to party leaders, laying out ten commitments they could make today in order to ensure civil liberties in Canada are strengthened and promoted heading into the next parliament. These asks are:
  1. Stop and effectively outlaw all mass surveillance.
  2. Stop the surveillance, profiling and harassment of Indigenous people, Muslim communities and environmental defenders.
  3. End all deportations to torture, including Mohamed Harkat’s, and abolish security certificates.
  4. Launch an independent and public inquiry into the case of Hassan Diab and the Extradition Act.
  5. Fix the many problems created by the National Security Act, 2017 (Bill C-59), and address the ongoing issues it perpetuated.
  6. Abolish the No-Fly List and the Terrorist Entities List.
  7. Ensure justice and full redress for victims of torture.
  8. Bring home Canadian citizens being detained in Syria.
  9. Suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States.
  10. Address Islamophobia, xenophobia, hate, racism, gendered and domestic violence, unemployment, poverty and more to create a better society for all. Source

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Lessons from Prison: A Shackled Pipeline Protester Reflects
The Tyee 24/09/2019 - My work for the past decade as a writer and a scholar has been to learn with and from water — to follow what rivers and watersheds teach us. I love the Bow River, the Fraser River, the Peace River, the Columbia River, the Pacific Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, and all the watersheds that British Columbia and Alberta are part of. How do I express this love?

On Aug. 24, 2018, while B.C. was in a state of emergency because of record-breaking wildfires caused by climate change, I sang, prayed, and sat in ceremony for about half an hour in front of the Trans Mountain pipeline project’s Westridge Marine Terminal. For this act of opposition to fossil fuel expansion that no one can afford, on Aug. 16, 2019, I was sentenced to 28 days in prison by Judge Kenneth Affleck in the B.C. Supreme Court, as recommended by the Province of B.C.’s Crown Prosecutor Monte Rattan. After I left the courtroom, I was handcuffed, shackled, and transported in a chilly van with fellow political prisoner Will Offley. He, like me, had argued in our defence that our actions were motivated by necessity due to climate crisis. As I wrote in my sentencing statement, since the federal government has abdicated its responsibility to protect us despite full knowledge of this emergency, it became necessary to act. Our arguments were rejected by Judge Affleck. Read more - Lire plus
Revealed: how the FBI targeted environmental activists in domestic terror investigations
The Guardian 24/09/2019 - Protesters were characterized as a threat to national security in what one calls an attempt to criminalize their actions. Helen Yost, a 62-year-old environmental educator, has been a committed activist for nearly a decade. She says she spends 60 to 80 hours a week as a community organizer for Wild Idaho Rising Tide. She’s been arrested twice for engaging in non-violent civil disobedience.

Yost may not fit the profile of a domestic terrorist, but in 2014 the FBI classified her as a potential threat to national security. According to hundreds of pages of FBI files obtained by the Guardian through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, and interviews with activists, Yost and more than a dozen other people campaigning against fossil fuel extraction in North America have been identified in domestic terrorism-related investigations. The investigations, which targeted individual activists and some environmental organizations, were opened in 2013-2014, at the height of opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline and the expansion of fossil fuel production in North America. The new FOIA documents reveal the bureau’s motivation for investigating a broad cross-section of the environmental movement and its characterization of non-violent protesters as a potential threat to national security.

In 2010, the DoJ’s inspector general criticized the FBI for using non-violent civil disobedience as grounds to open domestic terrorism investigations. US citizens swept up in such investigations can be placed on terrorism watchlists and subjected to surveillance and restrictions on international travel. The designation can also lead local law enforcement to take a more confrontational approach when engaging with non-violent activists. The FBI’s 2013-2014 investigation of Keystone XL activists in Houston violated internal agency guidelines designed to prevent the bureau from infringing on constitutionally protected activities. The investigations opened in 2013-2014 were closed after the FBI concluded that the individuals and organizations had not engaged in criminal activity and did not a pose a threat to national security.

In 2015, the Obama administration rejected the Keystone XL pipeline project, which required state department approval because it would cross international borders, handing the environmental movement a major victory. More large-scale protests followed, including the standoff over the Dakota Access pipeline , which temporarily delayed the project. But those decisions have been reversed in recent years. Donald Trump has approved construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, and his administration has also advocated for stiffer penalties against activists who engage in non-violent direct action targeting fossil fuel infrastructure. Meanwhile, in the wake of the Standing Rock protests, seven states have passed legislation making it a crime to trespass on property containing critical infrastructure. Read more - Lire plus
Justin Trudeau is legitimizing Donald Trump's concentration camps - video
Ricochet 06/07/2019 - On a new episode of Christo Aivalis' Youtube channel, the Kingston academic and activist explains why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is right: Donald Trump's administration is running concentration camps which violate the basic dignity of the migrants held within them.But this video explores how Justin Trudeau is enabling and legitimizing Trump's concentration camps by not suspending the safe third country agreement between Canada and the United States. Because as long as Canada recognizes the USA as a safe place for refugees, we are effectively saying that concentration camps have a place in a safe and dignified refugee policy. They don't. Watch - Regarder

Politicians must stop ‘normalising language of far-right if we want to tackle terror’
Metro 20/09/2019 - The leader of the UK’s largest anti-racism charity is calling on politicians to ‘stop mainstreaming the far right’ if we are to defeat the growing threat posed by far right terrorism. It comes after Britain’s top counter terrorism officer said that the fastest rising terrorist threat comes from far-right groups. The Met’s assistant commissioner Neil Basu said the police and MI5 were carrying out up to 80 investigations to stop far-right terrorism, motivated by white supremacism and Islamophobia.

Nick Lowles, founder of Hope not Hate, says leading politicians have to stop using inflammatory language when talking about immigrants, Muslims and other minorities if the far-right threat is to be defeated. He told Metro: ‘We need politicians to start talking positively about people. ‘When Boris Johnson made his remarks about Muslim women, it made it appear that being anti Muslim is acceptable in modern Britain in 2019. ‘People are talking in a way that normalises far-right terror’. Mr Lowles also said his organisation had been ‘warning for years’ about the threat posed by far right terrorism. [...] He also added that there was a ‘direct link’ between issues around poverty and deprivation, which cause feelings of hopelessness and despair that leads to extremism and that need tackling too. Mr Lowles added: ‘Councils being faced with cuts, the closure of youth clubs, extremist groups prey off this alienation and despair’. Read more - Lire more

Leaders clash over Andrew Scheer’s pledge to end funding for UNRWA at debate
CJN 13/09/2019 - The Maclean’s/Citytv national leaders debate turned testy on Thursday evening, when Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer promised that a Tory government would cut funding to UNRWA, the United Nations’ refugee agency in Gaza.“I will pull the funding from UNRWA and ensure Canadian taxpayers’ dollars are not going to advocate terrorist activities,” Scheer said as NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Green Leader Elizabeth May tried speaking over him, saying “no.”

The current Liberal government “has funded UNRWA, that is funding elements within the Middle East that foment and encourage anti-Semitism and terrorism,” Scheer said.
That prompted an interruption from May, who said “they run schools in permanent settlement refugee camps.” The exchange over Israel and UNRWA came as part of the debate on foreign affairs, after moderator Paul Wells asked the leaders a question about Canada’s commitments to NATO. Referring to UNRWA, May said, “They run schools. I have been to the schools.… It is terrifying to see a small school where an illegal appropriation of Palestinian land for giant infrastructure of a big community.… The children throw rocks. The Israeli soldiers are there, armed to the teeth. It is a terrifying situation. It’s a humanitarian crisis." Read more - Lire plus

Fears for Rohingya refugees, a Dutch counter-terror bill that could impede aid, and more news
The New Humanitarian 20/09/2019 - Rights groups say there’s a “ climate of intense fear ” in Bangladesh’s Rohingya camps following the killings of six refugees by police officers. Police officials say the men were involved in the murder of a local Bangladeshi man and killed in “crossfires”; critics say such language is often used to explain extrajudicial killings . Tensions with the host community in southern Bangladesh have risen over the last two years as the refugee emergency evolves into a long-term crisis. This week, six UN rights watchdogs warned of escalating restrictions in the refugee camps following the Bangladeshi man’s murder, a failed attempt to kickstart refugee returns to Myanmar, and a large protest marking two years since more than 700,000 Rohingya were forced out of Myanmar. What the watchdogs called a “sudden crackdown” includes a ban on mobile phone services, suspensions of some NGOs working in the camps, and renewed discussions on surrounding the massive camps with barbed-wire fences . Most Rohingya say they want to return to Myanmar if their safety and citizenship are guaranteed. But a UN rights probe released this week noted that little has changed in the Rohingya homeland of Rakhine State: “If anything, the situation of the Rohingya in Myanmar is worse”, investigators reported .

A controversial anti-terror bill requiring Dutch aid workers and journalists to get permission from the government to work in “terrorist”-controlled areas will be heard at the Dutch Senate next week. The proposed law, prepared by the new Dutch coalition government and approved by the House of Representatives earlier this month, will pose practical and ethical problems for aid workers, says Arjan Hehenkamp, former general director of Médecins Sans Frontières-Holland and now deputy director of the Dutch foundation Stichting Vluchteling. This is the latest in what aid workers describe as an increase in restrictions imposed by counter-terrorism measures . The topic was the focus of this week’s Washington Humanitarian Forum , organised by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Jan Egeland, the secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, told the forum attendees he now needs a “help desk” to navigate how to deliver aid without breaking the law. A new report from CSIS calls for a better balance between national security and humanitarian interests. Some 132 million people around the world are in need of humanitarian assistance, the report said, but aid to them is often blocked. Source
Human rights: Reported reprisals on the rise, says UN
UN OHCHR 19/09/2019 - The UN Human Rights Office said Thursday that it is receiving more information on intimidation and reprisals against victims, members of civil society and activists involving more and more States, reflecting a rise in cases globally. In a new report of the UN Secretary-General, to be presented today to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the UN Human Rights Office says it has documented alleged reprisals against victims as well as members of civil society and activists for cooperating with the United Nations in close to 50 countries. The cases range from activists suffering detention and prison sentences, to acts of intimidation such as filming participants in meetings without their consent even on United Nations premises, among other examples. The report includes some particularly egregious cases of ill-treatment and torture of women in custody. The full report , with annexes detailing the cases country by country*, is available on-line. It is the tenth such annual report of the Secretary-General on reprisals. "We also have some severe cases of authorities threatening and harassing family members of activists," said UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour, who will present the report and engage in a Q&A session with member States later on Thursday. "Some governments seem prepared to go to almost any lengths to punish people who cooperate with us. This may actually underscore the justice of the victims' causes." [...]

The consequences for civil society are already grave, the report says. The Secretary-General notes in the report that some people do not engage with the UN "out of fear for their safety or in contexts where human rights work is criminalized or publicly vilified." 
Many individuals have been repeatedly featured in the annual UN reprisals reports after being targeted year after year (see Annex II). As a general trend, the the report notes the Secretary-General's concern at "the use of national security arguments and counter-terrorism strategies by States as justification for blocking access to the United Nations."  The report includes cases of individuals or organizations "charged with terrorism, blamed for cooperation with foreign entities or accused of damaging the reputation or security of the State." While the UN will continue to strengthen its system-wide response, including through improved reporting on allegations and enhanced policy responses, the onus remains on Member States, Gilmour said. "Member States must be accountable for their own actions and practices, and provide remedy when reprisals occur." Read more - Lire plus
Court calls U.S. ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ torture
PBS 19/09/2019 - A federal court in San Francisco has taken the unusual step of using the word “torture” to describe the treatment of a Palestinian man while he was in CIA custody following the Sept. 11 attacks.The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals used the word in a 2-1 ruling to describe the harsh interrogation methods used against a prisoner known as Abu Zubaydah while he was held in clandestine CIA detention facilities overseas. Zubaydah has been held without charge since September 2006 at the detention center on the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. His lawyers were seeking depositions from two private contractors who designed the CIA interrogation program. The Ninth Circuit ruling said the two contractors could face limited questioning. Source

U.S. Military Appoints Panel For Omar Khadr's War-Crimes Appeal
The Canadian Press 25/09/2019 - An American military court has appointed three judges to hear Omar Khadr appeal his war-crimes convictions, signalling a possible end to a years-long delay in the Canadian’s quest to clear his name. The panel appointment comes just days after a civilian court ordered the U.S. government to respond to Khadr’s latest plea to have his appeal heard. Sam Morison, Khadr’s American lawyer, said the Department of Defence has opposed having Khadr’s case decided because it considers him a fugitive. “It’s just irrational. How can Khadr be a fugitive? They transferred him to Canada,” Morison said on Wednesday from Virginia. “They know that their case is vulnerable (and) they’re trying any way they can to avoid having to confront the merits of his appeal”.Since the Americans returned him to Canada in September 2012, the Toronto-born Khadr has been trying to clear his name. He filed an appeal of his convictions in November 2013.

American soldiers had captured Khadr as a badly wounded 15-year-old following a firefight in Afghanistan in July 2002 in which a U.S. special forces soldier was killed. He was moved to the notorious U.S. military facility at Guantanamo Bay within months.
In October 2010, Khadr pleaded guilty to five purported war crimes before a widely maligned U.S. military commission and was sentenced to eight more years in prison. He later said he pleaded guilty as his only way out of Guantanamo Bay. Khadr’s appeal argument — with some support from U.S. courts — is that the commission convicted him of offences that weren’t crimes at the time he allegedly committed them. However, the U.S. Court of Military Commission Review that sits as a first appeal forum for commission verdicts has steadfastly refused to hear his case. That precludes Khadr, who turned 33 last week, from taking his fight to a civilian appellate court where normal rules of evidence apply. Last month, Khadr petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to force the military review court known as CMCR to hear his appeal.

“The CMCR has obdurately failed to exercise its affirmative statutory obligation to review the validity of his conviction,” Morison states in the petition. “After nearly six years, the CMCR’s continued foot-dragging amounts to little more than a pocket veto of Khadr’s right to direct review, and this court’s appellate jurisdiction.” On Friday, the D.C. Circuit Court gave the U.S. government 30 days to respond. However, the Court of Military Commission Review issued a terse order on Tuesday appointing William Pollard as presiding judge to hear the case along with Chief Judge Paulette Burton and Judge Jan Aldykiewicz. The review court did not respond to a request for comment and it remained unclear when Khadr might finally get a hearing. Read more - Lire plus

Guantanamo Periodic Review Board Hearings Fail to Meaningfully Review Detention
Human Rights First 20/09/2019 - This Tuesday the  Periodic Review Board (PRB)  held a hearing for Guantanamo detainee Mohammed Ahmad Rabbani. Rabbani is a 49-year-old Pakistani citizen who was born and raised in Saudi Arabia. He has been held at Guantanamo for fifteen years, but he has never been charged with a crime. In keeping with a recent trend among Guantanamo detainees in the PRB process, he refused to appear at his hearing. Rabbani’s personal counsel,  Clive Stafford Smith , also declined to attend. President Obama established the PRB by executive order in 2011 to review the cases of Guantanamo detainees not charged under the military commission process. Its goal is to determine whether a detainee poses a “continuing significant threat” to the United States or if he’s eligible to be transferred to a third country. But in recent years, the PRB process has become defunct, serving only to rubber-stamp the government’s requests for continued detention. Even before the recent breakdown, the PRB suffered from inadequacies, including a structure that does not permit detainees to rebut the government’s evidence against them. 

Government documents  allege  that Rabbani was a travel and financial facilitator for al Qaeda leaders Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged masterminds of the 9/11 and USS Cole attacks respectively. The government claims that Rabbani played a supporting role in al Qaeda operations, including an attack in the Strait of Hormuz, and that he ran al Qaeda guest houses with his brother Abdul Rahim Ghulam Rabbani in Karachi, Pakistan. Rabbani apparently undertook hunger strikes in the past, which the government classifies as “noncompliant” behavior, but the documents also note that these strikes were likely “to protest his separation from his brother.” What the government documents leave out is that  Rabbani was captured in a case of  mistaken identity ; he was mistaken for al Qaeda leader Hassan Gul, a fact that U.S. authorities discovered one day after his arrest. Rabbani was nonetheless rendered to a CIA black site where he was tortured. In July 2018, Rabbani wrote  an op-ed  that was published in the Los Angeles Times. In the piece, Rabbani says that he was a taxi driver, not a violent extremist, when he was apprehended by Pakistani forces and sold for a bounty to the CIA. The assertion that he is being falsely imprisoned is deeply troubling considering the harsh treatment he faced in US custody. In the op-ed he explains the torture that he suffered, writing, “my hands were shackled overhead for days on end. Do you have any idea how painful that is, with your shoulders gradually dislocating?” Rabbani’s description of his treatment is corroborated by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s  torture report , which mentions him several times. Rabbani was tied down by guards and force fed while on hunger strikes and can no longer consume solid food. Read more - Lire plus

Egyptian forces fire teargas at anti-Sisi protesters in Cairo
The Guardian 21/09/2019 - Hundreds of Egyptians took to the streets in Cairo and other cities in rare protests against the country’s president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi , responding to an online call for a demonstration against government corruption. Videos shared on social media showed protesters in central Cairo as well as the port cities of Alexandria and Suez, demanding that Sisi leave office. Protests also occurred in the towns of Damietta, Damanhur and Mahalla.

Demonstrations are all but illegal in Egypt after a broad crackdown on dissent under Sisi, who seized power following the overthrow of former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
Sisi’s rule has been marked by the repression of political opposition, civil society and any perceived criticism. Those taking to the streets risked arrest as well as the lingering threat of force by the Egyptian authorities. Security forces moved to disperse the small and scattered crowds in Cairo late on Friday using teargas but many young people stayed on the streets in the centre of the capital. Read more - Lire plus

Hong Kong: Arbitrary arrests, brutal beatings and torture in police detention revealed
Amnesty International 20/09/2019 - A new Amnesty International field investigation has documented an alarming pattern of the Hong Kong Police Force deploying reckless and indiscriminate tactics, including while arresting people at protests, as well as exclusive evidence of torture and other ill-treatment in detention. After interviewing nearly two dozen arrested persons and gathering corroborating evidence and testimonies from lawyers, health workers and others, the organization is demanding a prompt and independent investigation into the violations, which appear to have escalated in severity since the mass protests began in June. “The Hong Kong police’s heavy-handed crowd-control response on the streets has been livestreamed for the world to see. Much less visible is the plethora of police abuses against protesters that take place out of sight,” said Nicholas Bequelin, East Asia Director at Amnesty International.

“The evidence leaves little room for doubt – in an apparent thirst for retaliation, Hong Kong’s security forces have engaged in a disturbing pattern of reckless and unlawful tactics against people during the protests. This has included arbitrary arrests and retaliatory violence against arrested persons in custody, some of which has amounted to torture.” More than 1,300 people have been arrested in the context of the mass protests that started over proposed legislative amendments that would have allowed for extradition to mainland China. While the vast majority of protesters have been peaceful, there has been violence, which appears to be escalating alongside excessive use of force by the police. Most people who spoke to Amnesty International requested anonymity, citing fears of reprisals from the authorities amid a climate of impunity. Interviews of arrested persons and lawyers by Amnesty International show that police violence most commonly occurred before and during arrest. In several cases, detained protesters have also been severely beaten in custody and suffered other ill-treatment amounting to torture. In multiple instances, the abuse appears to have been meted out as “punishment” for talking back or appearing uncooperative.

A man detained at a police station following his arrest at a protest in the New Territories in August told Amnesty International that after he refused to answer a police intake question, several officers took him to another room. There, they beat him severely and threatened to break his hands if he tried to protect himself. “I felt my legs hit with something really hard. Then one [officer] flipped me over and put his knees on my chest. I felt the pain in my bones and couldn’t breathe. I tried to shout but I couldn’t breathe and couldn’t talk,” he said. As the man was pinned to the ground, a police officer forced open the man’s eye and shined a laser pen into it, asking, “Don’t you like to point this at people?” This was an apparent reprisal for some protesters’ use of laser pens amid the protests. The man was later hospitalized for several days with a bone fracture and internal bleeding. Amnesty International interviewed a different man who was arrested on another day in August in Sham Shui Po. The arresting officer repeatedly asked him to unlock his phone for inspection; angry at the refusals, the officer threatened to electrocute the man’s genitals. The man told Amnesty International he was “scared” the officer might follow through, “as the times are so crazy, I suppose anything is possible.” Read more - Lire plus
Live facial recognition surveillance 'must stop'
BBC 18/09/2019 - UK police and companies must stop using live facial recognition for public surveillance, politicians and campaigners have said.
The technology allows faces captured on CCTV to be checked in real time against watch lists, often compiled by police. Privacy campaigners say it is inaccurate, intrusive and infringes on an individual's right to privacy. But its makers say it helps protect the public as it can catch people like terror suspects in a way police cannot. The Home Office said it supported the police "as they trial new technologies to protect the public, including facial recognition, which helps them identify and locate suspects and criminals".

A letter, written by privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, has been signed by more than 18 politicians, including David Davis, Diane Abbott, Jo Swinson and Caroline Lucas. Twenty-five campaign groups including Amnesty International and Liberty, plus academics and barristers also signed. They argue facial recognition is being adopted in the UK before it has been properly scrutinised by politicians. The director of Big Brother Watch, Silkie Carlo, told the Victoria Derbyshire programme: "What we're doing is putting this to government to say: 'Please can we open this debate and have this conversation. "'But for goodness sake, while it is going on, there is now a surveillance crisis on our hands that needs to be stopped urgently'." The Kings Cross estate has recently been at the centre of controversy, when it was revealed its owners were using facial recognition technology without telling the public. It then emerged both the Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police had supplied the company with images for their database. Both had initially denied involvement. Read more - Lire plus

Citizens can't be sued for filing access to information requests, court rules
Ottawa Citizen 23/09/2019 - Ken Rubin, a n Ottawa man can’t be sued for defamation just because he asked questions in an access to information request, a court has ruled. The decision was immediately welcomed by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. [...] In a nine-page decision, Donald E. Short says that Rubin’s requests for information “do not state or imply that particular conduct took place, they merely request documents that may or may not exist.” He wrote that making Rubin a defendant in the case would “be unjust given the seriously harmful effects on access to information and freedom of expression,” and would waste the court’s time.

He added: “If those filing requests under access to information legislation were faced with the prospect of civil liability simply for making a request, the purpose of access to information legislation would be frustrated, the defences available to a defamation claim would be unduly limited, and the s. 2(b) Charter guarantee of freedom of expression would be impacted.” This would be “an injustice,” the decision says. “The purpose of access to information legislation would be frustrated if requesters were faced with the possibility of civil liability for filing a request,” it says. The legislation is an important tool for “journalists and those communicating on matters of public interest,” it adds. And it says people filing requests can not be expected to know all the facts before asking what the facts are. It ends by quoting Rubin’s lawyer’s argument that “the Supreme Court of Canada has repeatedly recognized that freedom of expression is intimately linked to access to information. The spectre of civil liability simply for filing freedom of information requests would have serious implications” for freedom of expression. Read more - Lire plus
What we've been up to!
What we've been up to so far and what's to come for the second half of 2019!
ICLMG - 2019 has been very busy so far, and it's not looking to slow down for the second half of the year!

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

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

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

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

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

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

ICLMG Top 10 Asks for the 2019 Federal Election
ICLMG 19/09/2019 - In Canada and around the world, politicians continue to use the spectre of "national security" and the "War on Terror" to justify attacks on fundamental rights, including freedom of expression, freedom of association, the right to equality under the law, and the right to privacy. Xenophobia and racism are used to sow fear and division, and to further justify repressive laws. Sadly, we're also seeing these tactics during the 2019 federal election campaign. We need candidates to guarantee that they will defend our rights, and the rights of people around the world. Here is our list of top 10 asks:

  1. Stop and effectively outlaw all mass surveillance.
  2. Stop the surveillance, profiling and harassment of Indigenous people, Muslim communities and environmental defenders. Stop perceiving and treating them as a threat.
  3. End all deportations to torture, including Mohamed Harkat’s, and abolish security certificates.
  4. Launch an independent and public inquiry into the case of Hassan Diab and the Extradition Act.
  5. Amend the new National Security Act, 2017 (Bill C-59) to fix the many problems it created, and address the ongoing issues it perpetuated.
  6. Abolish the No-Fly List and the Terrorist Entities List.
  7. Ensure justice and full redress for victims of torture.
  8. Bring home Canadian citizens being detained and imprisoned in Syria.
  9. Suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States.
  10. Address issues surrounding Islamophobia, xenophobia, hate, racism, gender-based and domestic violence, unemployment, poverty and more.

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Justice for Hassan Diab: Webcomic and Campaign!
Hassan Diab, a Canadian university professor and father, was extradited to France based on weak, confusing evidence, where he spent more than three years in prison, without charge or trial. He is thankfully free and back in Canada, but justice hasn't been served. Dr. Diab deserves answers and we need changes to Canada's broken extradition act.
Read the whole webcomic on Hassan Diab's ordeal and click below to urge candidates to commit to launching a public inquiry into his case if they are elected!
Take the Pledge: Unite Against Racism
We are struggling to make ends meet, while the rich keep getting richer. Instead of fixing this, politicians are using anti-immigrant racism to distract us. Sign this pledge to tell politicians that you will not tolerate racism. By signing this pledge, you commit to talking to your friends and co-workers, and to contact politicians or media if they use anti-immigrant messages during the federal election. We will send you tools to help you have these conversations. All of us deserve decent work, universal public services, equal rights, permanent status, and freedom from displacement and discrimination.
Discourse on refugees and migrants in upcoming elections
Refugees and migrants are easily victimized in political debates. In many countries around the world, especially during election campaigns, refugees and migrants have been talked about in ways that insult their dignity and humanity, contribute to xenophobia and racism, and are frequently grounded in distortion and misinformation.

We believe that every leader, every candidate, and every political party, has a role to play in preventing this from happening in Canada.
Stop CSIS from targeting everyday citizens & community groups
A recent report revealed that CSIS, Canada’s spy agency, collected over 8,000 pages of documents, spying on citizens like you, people who exercise their democratic rights by attending a community meeting at a local church or taking peaceful action for what they believe in. And CSIS shared this info with Big Oil corporations.

Sign this petition to tell the govt to stop using taxpayer money to unconstitutionally spy on Canadians part of peaceful community groups.
Stop Facial Recognition in Canada
Facial recognition is invasive, biased and unreliable. But Canadian agencies and law enforcement have started using the tech despite the huge controversies.
Canada’s out-of-date privacy laws don’t yet cover facial recognition tech, leaving our government free to experiment on us with no oversight or regulations. We need to slam the brakes on the spread of this dangerous technology before it’s too late. Demand a moratorium on the use of facial recognition technologies and a full review of our privacy laws — before it becomes entrenched as a surveillance method in Canada.
Release Yasser Albaz from arbitrary detention in Egypt
On February 18, 2019, my dad, Yasser Albaz, was stopped at Cairo airport, his Canadian passport was confiscated, and he was kidnapped by Egyptian State Security. My dad remains in the notorious Torah prison where he is forced to sleep on cold, concrete floor. He has not been charged and continues to receive 15-day extensions to his arbitrary detention.

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

And send a message to Chrystia Freeland demanding that Canada actively support an independent and unrestricted international fact-finding initiative to Xinjiang.
Free Ahmed Mansoor
Ahmed is an award winning human rights defender and blogger. The UAE has said Ahmed had been arrested for using his social media accounts to “publish false information that damages the country’s reputation” and to “spread hatred and sectarianism”.
Right now, Ahmed is being held in solitary confinement and has not had access to a lawyer, an d he is on hunger strike.

Act now and demand that the UAE release Ahmed immediately and unconditionally.
All-in-one action page: Stop Mohamed Harkat's Deportation to Torture
Call PM Trudeau, write a letter to Public Safety Minister Goodale & your MP, and sign Sophie Harkat's petition to stop the deportation of Moe Harkat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tell ministers to stop their attacks, and commit to protecting our privacy and security.
Call on Justin Trudeau to ensure justice for Abousfian Abdelrazik
In September 2003, Canadian citizen Abousfian Abdelrazik was arrested in Sudan, while he was back in the country visiting his ailing mother. Over the next three years he was imprisoned for nearly 20 months and was held under house arrest for 12 months. He was denied a lawyer, and was never charged or brought before a judge. During that time he was badly tortured in three different prisons. Not only did Canada fail to take steps to protect him, CSIS officials frequently obstructed efforts to secure his release.
Make January 29 a National Day
On Jan. 29, 2017, a lone gunman entered a mosque in Quebec City and opened fire on dozens of Muslim-Canadian worshipers. By the time the shooting had ended, six had been tragically killed, and 19 more injured. 

 W e, citizens and residents of Canada, call on the government of Canada to henceforth designate January 29th as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia and other forms of religious discrimination or a National Day of Action against Hate and Intolerance .
Les opinions exprimées ne reflètent pas nécessairement les positions de la CSILC - The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the positions of ICLMG.
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