International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
20 septembre 2019
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.

Podcast: Why Is The State Of Civil Liberties Missing From Canada's Election Campaign? Featuring ICLMG's Tim McSorley
The View Up Here 18/09/2019 - Tim McSorley is National Coordinator for the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group and he returns to The View Up Here to discuss a few of the many glaring examples in present-day Canada where the rhetoric of Openness and Freedom doesn't match up to the realities. What is at risk to all Canadians in ignoring the problems in our Intelligence Agencies?

No-Fly Lists, Databases and Unaccountability - The problems in these systems have existed from the day they were created. No informing citizens of being on a list. No evidenciary disclosure. No appeal process. No redress for removal from a list. In a word- Unconstitutional. CSIS - Controversy never leaves this agency, with good reason. Recent racial and religious profiling failures with no apparent purpose or result have once again cast the agency in a nefarious light. Will they ever be held to following the rules?

Hassan Diab - Despite the past failures involving Maher Arar, Omar Khadr and countless others the evidenciary, deportation and repatriation processes in Canada have been in need of rewrite for decades. Reports and recommendations are never implemented. ICLMG is at the forefront of these efforts and we will discuss them to advance the cause that Canadians are protected by their own Government by default not demand. Listen - Écoutez + YouTube
The global assault on environmental rights behind Jason Kenney’s war
The National Observer 13/09/2019 - It’s no coincidence that during a speech on Tuesday Jason Kenney described in glowing terms how harshly Russia, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Iran deal with environmental dissidents. It couldn’t be more apparent where his political instincts lie. As environmental citizen groups and non-profit organizations race against time to mount a co-ordinated international response to climate change, they’re encountering a formidable new threat: their own governments.
When Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro proclaimed in August that environmentalists  set the Amazon ablaze  over a foreign funding fracas, he didn't pull the accusation out of thin air.
“Foreign funding” has emerged as a powerful propaganda cudgel for governments to turn on environmental and human rights activists around the world.

The leader of Russia’s Ecodefense  sought political asylum in Germany  this June to avoid imprisonment in Putin’s ruthless crackdown on environmental groups designated as “foreign agents,” a term that in Russian denotes “spy” or “traitor.” In Narendra Modi's India, where flooding and drought threaten more than 100 million lives, a 2014 intelligence report called dissident environmental and human rights organizations a threat to national security, accusing them of "serving as tools for foreign policy interests." To prevent a Greenpeace India activist from testifying in the British parliament about the local impact of a British mining company's Indian operations, Modi's government blocked her  from boarding  her flight to the UK, then put her on a no-fly list. [...] The pattern is clear. Ascendant conservative and autocratic governments around the world are moving, as if in lockstep, to thwart and discredit environmental and human rights networks and to choke off their revenue sources. This is the club Jason Kenney is itching to join.

Nor is Canada any stranger to the practice. In fact, we were early pioneers of the game.
In early 2012, years before Modi and Bolsonaro, and even before Putin's crackdown, the Harper government launched a  blistering offensive  to vilify and isolate environmentalists over their foreign grants. Within weeks,  eco-terrorism was targeted  as a national security threat, foreign foundations were accused of  money-laundering , and Conservative Senators in Parliament openly likened eminent philanthropies to  Al Qaeda and the Taliban . Then came Harper's $13.4-million CRA charity audit program, ostensibly launched to root out foreign funding of environmentalists. The audits, based on claims identical to those Kenney makes today, continued for five years with no substantiation of widespread wrongdoing. A tiny handful of charities, such as  Canada Without Poverty , were stripped of their charitable status. Those revocations were not due to foreign donor improprieties, but the nature of their advocacy. The tiny five-employee Canada Without Poverty, for example, seeks legislative changes to address poverty. That this was deemed too political for the CRA puts the lie to any claim that the government was concerned about foreign funding. The true aim was always to silence and intimidate dissident organizations. The whole enterprise ignominiously fizzled out in 2018 when Canada Without Poverty successfully appealed its loss of charitable status on Charter grounds. By December 2018, the Trudeau government amended federal legislation to permit non-partisan public advocacy by charities.

That may seem like a happy ending now, yet for years Canadian environmental and human rights advocates lived with stigma, suspicion and oppressive monitoring.
The legal and accounting expenses of multi-year audits were oppressive, rumoured to be in the millions for some charities. All this merely for accepting international grants, a near-universally accepted practice among Canadian non-profits. Calling this trend a crisis, Amnesty International identifies  50 countries worldwide  that are targeting non-profits with repressive legislation. Brazil, Russia, Australia, Israel, India, Hungary, the Philippines, and scores of others have all used the pretext of foreign interference to silence or intimidate environmental and human rights advocates. In its  most recent annual report , the Geneva-based Oak Foundation, one of the world's foremost human rights and climate funders, notes that NGO conditions have "deteriorated rapidly" since 2017, as activists are subjected to increased monitoring, controls and funding restrictions. Fear of foreigners is the perfect political duct tape: it sticks to anything and holds like glue. Read more - Lire plus

Refugees Explained – Election Reality Check 16/09/2019 -
1. Refugees aren’t responsible for cuts to services or low-wages, the super rich are.
2. Canada doesn’t take its fair share of refugees
3. Canadian corporations profit from displacement
4. Government assisted resettlement is being lowered
5. Refugee decisions are arbitrary, few are accepted
6. Refugees were gravely attacked this year
7. Border crossers from the US is overhyped
8. Refugees don’t get too many services
9. We need a whole new approach to Refugee laws

'Total Massacre' as U.S. Drone Strike Kills 30 Farmers in Afghanistan
Reuters 19/09/2019 - A U.S. drone strike intended to hit an Islamic State (IS) hideout in Afghanistan killed at least 30 civilians resting after a day’s labor in the fields, officials said on Thursday. The attack on Wednesday night also injured 40 people after accidentally targeting farmers and laborers who had just finished collecting pine nuts at mountainous Wazir Tangi in eastern Nangarhar province, three Afghan officials told Reuters. “The workers had lit a bonfire and were sitting together when a drone targeted them,” tribal elder Malik Rahat Gul told Reuters by telephone from Wazir Tangi. Haidar Khan, who owns the pine nut fields, said about 150 workers were there for harvesting, with some still missing as well as the confirmed dead and injured.

A survivor of the drone strike said about 200 laborers were sleeping in five tents pitched near the farm when the attack happened. “Some of us managed to escape, some were injured but many were killed,” said Juma Gul, a resident of northeastern Kunar province who had traveled along with laborers to harvest and shell pine nuts this week. Angered by the attack, some residents of Nangarhar province demanded an apology and monetary compensation from the U.S. government. “Such mistakes cannot be justified. American forces must realize (they) will never win the war by killing innocent civilians,” said Javed Mansur, a resident of Jalalabad city. Scores of local men joined a protest against the attack on Thursday morning as they helped carry the victims’ bodies to Jalalabad city and then to the burial site. [...] The United Nations says nearly 4,000 civilians were killed or wounded in the first half of the year. That included a big increase in casualties inflicted by government and U.S.-led foreign forces. Read more - Lire more
How the FBI Increased Its Power After 9/11 and Helped Put Trump in Office
The Intercept 14/09/2019 - Mike German, a former FBI special agent, had four years on the job when he took an assignment that would change his life forever. It was 1992. A jury in Simi Valley, California, had just acquitted a group of mostly white Los Angeles police officers for the videotaped beating of a black construction worker named Rodney King. Decades of pent-up anger directed at one of the nation’s most notoriously racist police departments spilled out on city streets in a six-day convulsion that left more than 60 people dead. Amid the unrest, white supremacists in southern California saw an opportunity, believing that the riots could be used as cover to launch a race war. The FBI’s Los Angeles office got wind of the plans, and when his supervisor floated the idea of infiltrating the groups, German, who was in his late 20s at the time, enthusiastically volunteered. For more than a year, German lived undercover, embedded in a network of neo-Nazi skinheads plotting the bombing of a popular African-American church and the assassination of prominent Jewish and black figures, including King himself.

German’s investigation led to multiple prosecutions on federal weapons and bomb-making charges and marked the beginning of a series of undercover operations inside the world of far-right American extremists that spanned more than 12 years. It was a critical time for the FBI, with the trifecta of Ruby Ridge in 1992, Waco in 1993, and Oklahoma City in 1995 having called into serious question the bureau’s domestic counterterrorism tactics and the blowback they had incurred. By the time the new century rolled around, it seemed that the FBI was on track for critical reforms. A bright, clear morning in September 2001 changed that. German was assigned to the FBI’s Atlanta office when the planes hit the Twin Towers. Three years later, he was a civilian, having resigned from the FBI after he blew the whistle on a terror investigation gone wrong and became the target of an internal retaliation campaign. In the decade and half since, he has emerged as a critical voice in the post-9/11 era, challenging the war on terror at home and abroad. [...]

He writes: “The idea of using the law to protect the most vulnerable in society is what drew me to the FBI.” At its heart, German’s book is about the FBI’s failure to reflect those principles. He documents how in the wake of 9/11, FBI leadership embraced a discredited theory of radicalization that had the convenient side effect of ignoring the bureau’s own shortcomings in the run-up to the attacks, while simultaneously laying the groundwork for demands for expanded powers and authorities. The FBI also turned on its own, particularly in cases when agents raised concerns about the legality of operations or failed to match up with the bureau’s overwhelmingly white male demographics . In case after case, German offers examples of the FBI zeroing on agents, particularly Muslim agents and those of Asian descent, as potential threats and would-be turncoats, railroading promising careers without a whiff of evidence. German chronicles the FBI’s shift from a law enforcement agency concerned with criminal investigations, to an intelligence agency primarily concerned with counterterrorism. He focuses heavily on the bureau’s impact in Muslim communities, where civil society groups were targeted as supporters of terrorism, precarious immigration status became a tool to push people into becoming informants, and agents used their expanded authorities to open “assessments” on individuals in the absence of suspected crimes. It was during this same period, German observes, that the FBI began accepting and integrating the discredited theories of an “Islamophobia network” in its official training materials, sending a message to bigots across the country that anti-Muslim hatred was a government-condoned philosophy.

While the September 11 attacks brought new powers, the FBI of the last two decades has also carried on its longstanding tradition of targeting leftists, anarchists, and environmental activists, German writes. So-called eco-terrorism, he points out, was for much of that time the FBI’s  No. 1 domestic terrorism priority , despite the fact that the movement has never claimed a life. For German, that contradiction is precisely the point of the book. While the FBI has devoted enormous time, energy, and resources to filling unconstitutional watchlists with Muslim names and directing its agents to focus on bogus national security threats such as “ black identity extremists ,” important crimes that the bureau is supposed to enforce have fallen by the wayside. War without end, the impotence of Congress, and the financial collapse have all contributed to Americans’ plummeting faith in the government, German notes, but the FBI’s post-9/11 evolution also deserves a place on that list. “I believe the FBI contributed to this breakdown of public trust in government institutions, not just by who it chose to target for disruption but, just as important, who it didn’t,” he writes. [...]

From Pine Ridge to Wall Street, the FBI’s prioritization problems run deep, German argues. In 2004, he writes, FBI headquarters received repeated warnings that mortgage fraud was an “epidemic” with the potential to trigger an economic crisis. As FBI director, Mueller had transferred hundreds of white-collar crimes investigators to counterterrorism. “Congress denied the FBI’s requests for more agents,” German writes, meanwhile, “Mueller refused to reprioritize his national security assets.” Even when there was evidence that financial institutions were engaged in actual criminal activity, German writes, executives didn’t go to prison. “Like J. Edgar Hoover’s bureau,” he argues, “The new FBI saw protecting the establishment as its mission and disrupting the political mobilization of dissident and disenfranchised communities as its most potent weapon.” [...] During the Obama administration, which saw a surge in far-right group membership and activity, FBI analysts were reporting a decline in white supremacist violence even as outside researchers, like the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, were reporting the exact opposite. For German, the resurgence of far-right violence and Trump’s rise to power cannot be divorced from the security politics and failures of post-9/11 America. “The Trump campaign grasped that fifteen years of political polarization and constant terror warnings had created an appetite for a strongman candidate, which he could whet with messages of fear and anger,” he writes. Read more - Lire plus
Constitution Day 2019: The Hidden Domestic Surveillance Crisis
Just Security 17/09/2019 - A s we mark the 232 nd anniversary of the signing of America’s governing charter in 1787, we have ample evidence that it continues to be violated by the federal officials charged with upholding it. Last month, The Young Turks (TYT) news and talk network obtained the FBI’s 2018-2020 “Consolidated Strategy Guide,” which not only referenced the targeting of so-called “Black Identity Extremists” (BIE’s) but also those designated as engaged in “Anti-Government/Anti-Authority Extremism,” “Abortion Extremism,” or “Animal Rights/Environmental Extremism.” In a House Oversight and Reform subcommittee hearing in June, FBI Counterterrorism Division Director Michael McGarrity had admitted under questioning that the FBI could not cite a single example of a murder that could be linked to any African American activist group, including Black Lives Matter. He also claimed that the Bureau had eliminated the entire category of “Black Identity Extremists” from its lexicon. The document obtained by TYT casts doubt on McGarrity’s claim, particularly given the use of the term “Black Racially Motivated Extremists” (BRME) elsewhere in the Guide.

The Guide does not disclose the precise criteria the FBI uses to label individuals or groups as extremists or alleged threats, but it does discuss in some detail the aggressive “intelligence collection” posture the FBI took against so-called BIE’s. [...] That the FBI is using an ideological test of its own devising to determine whether a person seeking products or services on “the Dark Web” is a threat raises a host of potential constitutional issues, including whether the monitoring of a person’s online activities based on their ideology runs afoul of the First Amendment [...] Even more troubling, there is now abundant evidence that the FBI’s focus has expanded beyond known or alleged terrorists or “extremists” groups to those involved in America’s immigration controversy. [...] Earlier this year, I submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the FBI on 37 groups publicly working on immigration policy issues, some of them direct client-services organizations. Many of these FOIAs remain outstanding or are in varying stages of appeal or potential litigation. However, FBI FOIA responses received to date indicate that at least five of these groups — Chula Vista Partners in Courage, Pangea Legal Services , Immigration Hub , Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) , and the Transgender Law Center — may have been targeted for surveillance.

For each of the groups listed above, the FOIA appeal response I received from the Department of Justice’s Office of Information Policy (OIP) contained the following language: “To the extent that your request could encompass any national security or foreign intelligence records, I have determined that the FBI properly refused to confirm or deny the existence of any national security or foreign intelligence records responsive to your request because the existence or nonexistence of any such responsive records is currently and properly classified." [...] Congress should investigate whether the FBI is targeting these groups in the absence of a legitimate criminal investigative predicate and is using dubious FOIA evasion tactics to conceal that activity from the public and the courts. As for the courts, federal judges should cease taking executive branch "national security" assertions at face value and should require the production of all relevant documents for in camera reviews whenever a federal agency or department invokes "national security" to dodge a FOIA request. The FBI and other federal departments and agencies are trying to erect an impenetrable legal shield over their potentially illegal surveillance activities via the misuse of FOIA exemptions, either statutory or court-constructed, as in the case of Glomar. For the Constitution to have meaning and force, the public — including the Congress, the courts, and the press — must be able to establish what the executive branch is doing in our name and with our tax dollars, particularly when it comes to the use — or misuse — of federal surveillance powers. If we are on the cusp of a de facto COINTELPRO 2.0, the infamous Cold War-era FBI program of domestic spying and organizational disruption, we need to end it. Now. Read more - Lire plus
Edward Snowden Responds After Trump DOJ Sues Whistleblower Over New Memoir the US Government 'Does Not Want You to Read'
Common Dreams 17/09/2019 - Citing what First Amendment advocates have called an "unconstitutional" system of controlling what federal employees can and cannot say about their work, President Donald Trump's Justice Department on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden over the publication of his new memoir. The day the book Permanent Record was released, the DOJ filed its lawsuit claiming Snowden had published without submitting the book for "pre-publication review." The DOJ is not seeking to block publication of the book but is instead arguing that Snowden should not profit from the story of his 2013 decision to leak files about the NSA's phone and email spying program since he didn't have permission from the government to share the information. The government wants all proceeds from the book and is asking MacMillan Publishers to keep any revenue from being transferred to Snowden.

Government approval is required of federal employees before they write or speak publicly about their work—a requirement that the ACLU says has kept millions of Americans from being able to speak openly about the government. Snowden tweeted about the lawsuit shortly after it was reported, including a link to his book's page on Amazon and the words, "This is the book the government does not want you to read." "Mr. Snowden wrote this book to continue a global conversation about mass surveillance and free societies that his actions helped inspire," said Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project and a lawyer for Snowden. "He hopes that today's lawsuit by the United States government will bring the book to the attention of more readers throughout the world. "This book contains no government secrets that have not been previously published by respected news organizations," added Wizner. "Had Mr. Snowden believed that the government would review his book in good faith, he would have submitted it for review. But the government continues to insist that facts that are known and discussed throughout the world are still somehow classified."

The ACLU and the Knight First Amendment Institute are currently challenging the pre-publication review in court, arguing it violates the First and Fifth Amendments.
"The prepublication process in its current form is broken and unconstitutional, and it needs to go," Brett Max Kaufman, staff attorney with the ACLU's Center for Democracy, said in April when the groups filed suit. "It's one thing to censor the nuclear codes, but it's another to censor the same information high schoolers are pulling from Wikipedia. Prepublication review gives the government far too much power to suppress speech that the public has a right to hear." Jameel Jaffer, executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute, called the agreement that demands federal workers' silence a "far-reaching censorship system" that "simply can't be squared with the Constitution." "The government has a legitimate interest in protecting bona fide national-security secrets," said Jaffer, "but this system sweeps too broadly, fails to limit the discretion of government censors, and suppresses political speech that is vital to informing public debate." Read more - Lire plus

5 rights groups urge UN chief to condemn China over Muslims
Associated Press 17/09/2019 - Five human rights organizations are urging Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to condemn the Chinese government’s detention of more than a million Muslims in the Xinjiang region and call for the immediate closure of government detention camps. In a letter to the U.N. chief released Tuesday, the organizations said these actions would be an important contribution to addressing “one of the most pressing human rights issues of our time.” It was signed by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists, the International Federation for Human Rights and the World Uyghur Conference.

Criticism has grown over China’s internment of the Uighurs and members of other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups, and Guterres has been criticized previously by human rights groups and some governments for his behind-the-scenes approach and failure to address their plight publicly. China’s government insists the detention sites are “vocational” centers aimed at training and skills development. It has sharply criticized 22 Western countries that called for an end to mass arbitrary detentions and other abuses of Uighurs and other Muslims in the Xinjiang region. The five rights organizations cautioned Guterres “against any action that might lend credence to Beijing’s narrative that the unlawful detention of over a million Uighurs and other Muslims is a necessary measure to counter terrorism.”

“The public silence over the mass detention in Xinjiang in the context of such a glowing commentary sends a distressing message of abandonment to the millions of Turkic Muslims who live in constant fear for themselves and their families,” the rights groups said. They urged Guterres to meet with Uighur representatives to hear firsthand of their plight. The rights groups said it was important for the secretary-general speaking out about the situation. “By actively contributing to the growing chorus of global criticism you could help end this large-scale repression of a marginalized community, which may prove to be one of the defining issues of your tenure as secretary-general,” they said. Read more - Lire plus
Trump pushes tweet falsely claiming Ilhan Omar partied on 9/11 anniversary
CBS 19/09/2019 - President Donald Trump on Wednesday used Twitter to share  an edited video made by a conservative comedian that falsely accused Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of dancing and partying last week on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The inaccurate video provoked new Twitter criticism of the Muslim congresswoman from Minnesota, who has regularly faced accusations from her critics that she is unpatriotic. Omar's supporters, meanwhile, rallied around her. Some called for Twitter to scrub the misleading content from its site, fearing the video could lead to attacks against the congresswoman. "The President of the United States is continuing to spread lies that put my life at risk," Omar wrote on Twitter. "What is Twitter doing to combat this misinformation?"

The video of Omar dancing to popstar singer Lizzo's "Truth Hurts" was taken Friday at an event celebrating Omar and four other congresswomen, according to Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, who originally shared the clip to his Twitter account that evening. Omar also shared the video that day to her Twitter account. "I never thought that a video taken on 9/13 would be linked to 9/11 and used as one more racist smear" against Omar, Green said of the false tweet that followed. In the video retweeted by Trump, comedian Terrence K. Williams showed the clip of Omar dancing and added: "I need to talk to Omar. Girl, what in the world were you celebrating on the anniversary of 9/11?" When Trump shared the video with his 64 million Twitter followers, he tweeted, in part, "The new face of the Democrat Party!"

Social media users quickly pointed out that the video had been taken on Friday, two days after the anniversary, while Omar was attending events related to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Legislative Conference in Washington. Others called for Twitter to remove the tweet or suspend Williams' account. Hours after Trump retweeted Williams' video, the original tweet was removed. The video was deleted by the user, and Twitter did not take action on the tweet, the tech company said in an email. The president's tweet remains live, although without the video, and users have continued to respond. Williams responded Wednesday to a request for comment by expressing his support for the president. He did not comment on the video or why he took it down. Trump has used his Twitter account to spread misinformation from Williams before. In August, Trump shared another one of Williams' videos, which disputed, without evidence, that the late financier Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide while in federal custody. Read more - Lire plus
Oxfam faces $160 million legal threat over Palestine aid project
The New Humanitarian 12/09/2019 - Oxfam faces a $160 million counter-terror claim in a New York court. The case, brought by a pro-Israel lawyer and activist, alleges that the NGO contravened US law during its work in the Palestinian territory of Gaza. The lawyer behind the case told The New Humanitarian he has filed five other similar cases, which remain under seal in the US courts. David Abrams, who runs the Zionist Advocacy Center, alleges that Oxfam’s work on an agriculture policy project in Gaza constituted “material support” to Hamas, a US-designated terrorist group.

The seven-page filing claims that Oxfam should have acknowledged the Gaza project when signing other grants with USAID, the US federal government department that administers aid and development projects, amounting to $53 million. In response to questions, Oxfam emailed TNH a statement saying, “Oxfam takes such matters extremely seriously. We are aware of the lawsuit and reject the allegation made in it." In the Oxfam case, the government has left its options open – it can dismiss the case, according to Department of Justice guidance , but has chosen to allow Abrams to proceed without committing itself, rather than joining as a co-plaintiff at this stage. Abrams declined to speculate on the reasons. He told TNH he intended to pursue his “meritorious” case, which he described as “reasonably strong”, but added, “it’s more difficult to prevail in these cases if the government declines.”

Critics say Abrams’ legal technique amounts to “lawfare” and has already had a chilling effect on humanitarian response in the occupied Palestinian territories, where the UN says some 2.5 million people are in need of aid. Joel Charny, US executive director of the Norwegian Refugee Council , said “attacks spearheaded by Abrams and other groups must be seen in the context of the overall dehumanisation of the Palestinian people and efforts to delegitimise Palestinian institutions. “[While] the threat to the NGO sector is real and concerning, it is the people of Palestine who as usual bear the brunt of the impact.” Israel severely restricts trade and movement in and out of Gaza, and its border crossing with Egypt is mostly closed. The enclave, which has been governed by Hamas since 2007, is heavily reliant on aid, with food security precarious and the economy collapsing .
In a Twitter thread, Lara Friedman of the think tank Foundation for Middle East Peace said the attempt to define working with the PA as support to terrorism would be an attempt at “tarring” all agencies that engage with it. She wrote: “ the entire humanitarian/civil society sector is in the crosshairs.” 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!

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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