International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
19 juillet 2019
The News Digest will resume at the end of August. Have a nice summer!
La Revue de l'actualité sera de retour fin août. Bon été à toutes et tous!
TAKE ACTION: We need your help! Please call Justice Minister David Lametti
Justice for Hassan Diab 17/07/2019 - It’s been almost two months since Murray Segal submitted to the Minister of Justice his “external review” of Hassan Diab’s wrongful extradition to France in 2014. Up till now, the findings of the review have not been shared with Hassan or anyone outside of government. We are very concerned and disappointed about the extensive delays in making Mr. Segal’s report public.

Please help by phoning Justice Minister David Lametti on Thursday July 18 and Friday July 19, 2019, urging him to release Murray Segal’s report immediately and without redaction, and asking him to launch an independent public inquiry into the role that the Department of Justice played in Hassan Diab’s extradition to France.

Please call: Minister Lametti’s House of Commons Office: (613) 943-6636 and/or Minister Lametti’s Constituency Office: (514) 363-0954. See a message template - Voyez un exemple de message
ICLMG joins Hassan Diab's call for release of report on extradition that sent him to French prison
Twitter 17/07/2019 - The ICLMG and our 46 members have joined the call for the Minister of Justice to immediately release the Diab report. The continued delay in the release of the Segal report is completely unacceptable. It raises serious questions about whether the government will be open and transparent about its findings around the ordeal that Hassan Diab has suffered through over the past decade.

We need to ask ourselves whether the government is avoiding the release of this report before the election in order to save face. The report must be immediately released to the public. You can join the call for the Minister of Justice to release the report during the Justice for Hassan Siab Committee's two day phone-in campaign July 18 & 19 . Source

ICLMG's comment on the new national security review mechanism coming into existence
Twitter 18/07/2019 - Yesterday marked an important day for review of Canada's national security activities: The new National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA) came into existence ( All Government of Canada national security and intelligence activities now subject to independent expert review ). For the first time, there will be an overarching review agency that can examine the activities of all National Security agencies, including CSIS, RCMP, CSE, CBSA, Global Affairs & more. This is in contrast to the siloed approach until now: CRCC for RCMP, SIRC for CSIS, etc.

It definitely isn't perfect - ICLMG & others have argued for increased staffing, more independence & greater transparency. There is a fear that problems from the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC), on which NSIRA is modelled, will be transferred to the new body. For example, the current BCCLA court challenge around SIRC's decision regarding CSIS surveillance of Indigenous and environmental activists, and the gag order placed on the original hearings: ‘Protest papers’ lay out CSIS ties to oil sector . The new NSIRA rules wouldn't fix that.

But it does mean that if, for example, there is concern about how CSIS and Global Affairs officials interact with a Canadian detained abroad (for example, complicity in torture), then for the first time NSIRA would be able to look at everything. The NSIRA is also empowered to accept complaints, but is limited to those regarding the CSE, CSIS and the RCMP's national security activities. This limitation creates a serious gap that we hope will be addressed.

Why is the limited complaints system a problem? For example, under their national security mandate, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) interacts with individuals, both in stopping people from entering Canada but also in detention, monitoring and deportation. The current system means that an individual will not be able to submit a complaint regarding the CBSA to an independent review body. Bill #98 would have solved this, but it was introduced with barely a month left in parliament and died on the order paper.

So there's lots to do to ensure the effectiveness & thoroughness of this new body. But for the moment, I think we can also congratulate everyone who has pushed so hard, really since the O'Connor inquiry into Canada's complicity in the torture of Maher Arar, which recommended an overarching review over a decade ago. You can also read more about ICLMG's take on the NSIRA here: Bill C-59: Oversight and Review Mechanisms

And one last note of caution: the implementation of a new review body is positive, but it cannot be seen as balancing out the threat posed by the new powers granted to CSIS and CSE over the past several years. Yes, we need more review and oversight. We've needed it for 10 years (more, really). But that doesn't undo the need to scrutinize, question and challenge new state security powers granted to these agencies. Source + Source
ICLMG's comment on the new Entry/Exit program coming into force
Twitter 15/07/2019 - We at ICLMG spoke out against the new Entry/Exit program, which is now coming into force. It allows Canada Border Services to collect the information of everyone who leaves Canada by land to the US: Border officials to start sharing data about U.S., Canadian travellers.

The new rules means Canada will be collecting and retaining new information about millions of travellers to the US every year. This raises serious concerns about how this information is protected, and how it may be used (or misused). We raised questions about why this new information is now deemed necessary, why it must be held onto for up to 15 years, and with whom the information can be shared (CSIS, RCMP, even foreign governments/agencies). Find out more here: Canada should not collect all travelers' exit data, ICLMG tells Senate Committee.

(And a note that there's what seems to be an error in the CBC piece. The new entry/exit program doesn't allow the US government to collect more information about people traveling to the US from Canada. The US already collects all this information - and more. What it allows is for US border control to send information about people entering the US from Canada back to Canada Border Services, for the Canadian govt to hold onto. This will allow Canada to now track - in near real time - everyone who leaves Canada to the US by land). Source + Source
International Coalition Renews Call for Australian Parliament to Fix its Dangerous Encryption Law

The ICLMG is part of this international coalition
New America 16/07/2019 - Last week, an international civil liberties and technology coalition renewed its call for the Australian Parliament to amend its new encryption law in order to protect digital security and human rights. The international coalition of 36 civil society organizations, tech companies, and trade associations filed comments with the Australian Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) in response to a mandatory review of the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018. The coalition includes large international tech companies that provide encrypted messaging apps and other communications services that rely on strong digital security.

Specifically, the PJCIS is seeking input on seven aspects of the legislation. On behalf of the coalition, New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) submitted comments to address these areas of focus. The coalition’s comments continue to emphasize the negative impact the Act will have on cybersecurity, privacy, and freedom of expression due to the expansive agency powers it creates. They also address the PJCIS’s questions regarding the Act’s interaction with foreign laws, including the U.S. CLOUD Act, and its impact on Australian industry and competitiveness. This submission marks the fifth round of comments OTI has filed with the Australian Parliament on behalf of an international coalition of civil society organizations, tech companies, and trade associations.

In particular, the coalition contends that
  • The Parliament should narrow the scope of powers granted to the government under the Assistance and Access Act 2018;
  • The Parliament should amend the law to provide clear authorization procedures and robust oversight mechanisms;
  • Unless the Assistance and Access Act 2018 is repealed or significantly amended, it would substantially expand the authority of Australia’s intelligence agencies by granting them unprecedented powers without adequate oversight;
  • Unless the Assistance and Access Act 2018 is repealed or significantly amended, it imperils Australia’s ability to qualify for a bilateral agreement under the U.S. CLOUD Act;
  • The new law has a significant negative impact on Australian industry and competitiveness; and
  • The Act be amended to provide for public oversight with additional reporting requirements, including mandatory annual reviews with a publicly-available summary. Read more - Lire plus

Environmentalists felt like ‘enemies of the state’ after cabinet minister’s letter
Coast Reporter 11/07/2019 - A letter by Canada’s former Conservative government’s environment minister left Canadian environmentalists thinking they were under police surveillance and “enemies of the state,” newly released documents show. The groups – among them Dogwood Initiative, ForestEthics (now Stand.Earth), Sierra Club BC, and the Indigenous Idle No More movement – said the fear of monitoring impacted their ability to fundraise, get petitions signed and organize protests.

“The minister of the environment Joe Oliver produced an open letter calling our group, and members of it, essentially ‘foreign-funded environmental radicals,’ and that caused quite a bit of alarm among our supporters and our community, and our staff,” Dogwood organizer Celine Trojand testified before a 2015 inquiry. That probe was looking into allegations Canada’s spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), had targeted activists opposed to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and shared that information with oil companies.

While Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) member Yves Fortier found CSIS had not overstepped its mandate in reporting on several activist groups, newly released documents paint a climate of apprehension and fear among those groups. And while it remains to be seen where the direction to investigate the groups came from, Oliver’s letter appears to be a major concern found throughout the 8,555 pages of heavily redacted documents released by the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA), the "Protest Papers". In addressing Fortier, the BCCLA said Oliver’s references to “environmental and other radical groups" threatening to "hijack" the regulatory system to achieve a "radical ideological agenda" that will "undermine Canada's national economic interest" gave rise to concerns that CSIS's powers were being used to target groups or individuals who say they were peacefully engaged in constitutionally valid activities. Read more - Lire plus 

Civil liberties association looking into the Cedar Hopperton parole case
CBC News 12/07/2019 - The case of a Hamilton anarchist who is behind bars after a fiery speech at city hall has attracted the attention of a civil liberties watchdog. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) is looking into the case of Cedar Hopperton, whose parole was revoked after a speech about Hamilton Pride festival violence. The board decision stated that Hopperton's comments presented an "undue risk" and it cited a "history of similar conduct." 

Cara Zwibel, CCLA's director of the fundamental freedoms program, said Hopperton's right to freedom of expression was denied when the Ontario Parole Board revoked parole for inciting violence. She's not sure how common the case is, she said, because parole board decisions aren't usually public. That's part of what she's researching. The context of Hopperton's speech, and the forum, is what makes it of interest from a freedom of expression perspective, she said. "My sense is the speech was speaking in broader terms, and not about what we should do this instant," Zwibel said. "It was more about 'how do we as a community need to frame these issues?'" Read more - Lire plus

Critics question why Canada's border officers need bulletproof vests to work with migrants
CBC News 14/07/2019 - The defensive gear they are to wear includes steel-toed boots, "soft body armour," a defensive baton, pepper spray and handcuffs. They will not carry firearms. The changes have sparked concern this will create an environment within immigration detention centres akin to jail conditions and encourage the perception that detained migrants in Canada, including some children, are criminals worthy of punishment.

A group of doctors, lawyers, legal scholars and human rights organizations wrote two letters last year to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale urging him to cancel the policy — calls they say have been ignored. "We applaud your efforts to reduce the number of immigration detainees held in provincial jails. But raising security measures in an administrative detention centre to mirror those of a criminal institution defeats the purpose of transferring immigration detainees from jails to IHCs," says one letter, dated June 22, 2018.

"The proposed policy would arm CBSA officers with some of the same tools as correctional officers in maximum-security facilities ... [which] is clearly disproportionate to any potential risk and is not warranted." Concerns have also been raised internally by the union that represents the security officers themselves, who are worried about the increased risks of having weapons in the mix if a high-risk situation or confrontation does arise.

Anthony Navaneelan, a lawyer with Legal Aid Ontario who also works with the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, said it's not every day the border-security union and migrant-advocacy groups agree. Wearing defensive gear when dealing with refugees is "inappropriate and unnecessary," Navaneelan said. Read more - Lire plus

In light of new US refugee policy, Canada must Immediately Suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement
AI 17/07/2019 - Amnesty International is calling afresh on the Government of Canada to immediately suspend the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA), in light of a new US Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security rule that will bar people from claiming refugee protection in the US, if they cross the southern land border and fail to apply for protection in a transit country. The new rule makes it unambiguously clear that the US refugee protection system in no way adequately guarantees the rights of those seeking to make claims in that country.

Under the STCA, refugees who present themselves at a Canada-US border post seeking to make a refugee claim in Canada are, with limited exceptions, denied access to the Canadian refugee system and immediately returned to the United States. It does not apply to individuals who cross irregularly into Canada, other than at a border post, and subsequently make a refugee claim inside Canada. Therefore, a person who claims refugee protection at a Canada-US border post would be sent back to the US to make their claim, even if the new US rule means that they would be ineligible for protection there.

“With the implementation of this policy, there is no single basis upon which the STCA can, in any way, be defended,” said Justin Mohammed, Amnesty International Canada’s Human Rights Law and Policy Campaigner. “The US is choosing to implement a measure that constitutes an automatic bar to refugee protection for a wide-sweeping category of claimants. The operation of the STCA would prevent those very same claimants from obtaining protection in Canada and therefore must be suspended, or otherwise risk complicity in US violations of international refugee and human rights law.”

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has declared that the new rule “excessively curtails the right to apply for asylum, jeopardizes the right to protection from refoulement, significantly raises the burden of proof on asylum seekers beyond the international legal standard, sharply curtails basic rights and freedoms of those who manage to meet it, and is not in line with international obligations.” Read more - Lire plus

Fight for the Future: Don’t Regulate Facial Recognition. Ban It.
Buzzfeed 18/07/2019 - Speaking at a conference two years ago, Microsoft’s CEO displayed a slide featuring the book jackets of 1984 and Brave New World . "I do believe it's up to us to ensure that some of the more dystopian scenarios don't come true," Satya Nadella said. Too late. The surveillance dystopia is on the horizon, and companies like Microsoft and Amazon are helping build it. Despite their platitudes of caution and ethics, we’ve seen the consequences of Silicon Valley’s “move fast and break things” ethos. And if we don’t stop the spread of facial recognition, their latest lucrative surveillance product, we’ll soon count our most basic freedoms among the things they’ve broken.

Academics have called facial recognition, the use of artificial intelligence to pick out and identify individuals from vast databases, “the most uniquely dangerous surveillance mechanism ever invented.” And with quickly spreading commercial products like FaceApp and Facebook’s Face-ID raising privacy alarm bells, it’s easy to see how quickly we’ll feed this beast once its unleashed. That’s why my organization Fight for the Future is launching a nationwide campaign to shine a spotlight on where facial recognition surveillance is already happening, and how people can act at the local, state and federal level to stop it.

Company after company in Silicon Valley has been pushing furiously ahead with the development of face scanning surveillance tools. They see money to be made selling this tech to governments, airlines, and other private businesses. Facing growing concern from the public and lawmakers, the industry has disingenuously asked for “regulation.” This is straight out of Big Tech’s lobbying playbook –– asking Congress to pass laws and then swooping in to help write them. By doing so, they hope to avoid the real debate: whether facial recognition surveillance should be allowed at all.

The answer is clearly no. The threat that facial recognition poses to human society and basic liberty far outweighs any potential benefits. It’s on a very short list of technologies — like nuclear and biological weapons — that are simply too dangerous to exist, and that we would have chosen not to develop had we had the foresight. Silicon Valley, however, continues to forge ahead, bidding on lucrative government contracts that are already enabling surveillance the likes of which we’ve never seen. We are on the verge of an unprecedented increase in state and private spying that will be built in plain sight. It will be built in winsome partnership between corporations and government agencies hungry for more data and control. The rich will grow richer, unaccountable authorities will become more powerful, and the rest of us will be subject to deeply invasive monitoring every time we leave our homes.

Tech lobbyists acknowledge some of the flaws in current facial recognition products, but promise they can be fixed or addressed with industry-friendly regulation. But even if these algorithms worked perfectly, ubiquitous face scanning still poses an enormous threat to the future of human freedom. Biometric surveillance powered by artificial intelligence is categorically different than any surveillance we have seen before. It enables real-time location tracking and behavior policing of an entire population at a previously impossible scale. Read more - Lire plus

The network behind state bills ‘countering’ Sharia law and terrorism
The Center of Public Integrity, USA TODAY and The Arizona Republic 18/07/2019 - A lawmaker in Idaho introduces legislation to prevent traditional Islamic law from infiltrating U.S. courts. In Florida, a legislator proposes striking at the foundations of terrorism with a bill bolstering victims’ ability to sue its supporters. The lawmakers’ efforts are seemingly unrelated, their statehouses almost 2,000 miles apart. But both get their ideas, and the actual text of their bills, from the same representative of the same right-wing think tank. And when they introduce the bills, the same activist group dispatches supporters to press for passage. Eric Redman of Idaho and Mike Hill of Florida are among dozens of legislators who have sponsored copycat bills written and pushed by a network of far-right think tanks and activists. 

The legislation was developed by the Center for Security Policy, which was founded by Frank Gaffney, a Reagan-era acting Assistant Secretary of Defense, who pushes conspiracy theories alleging radical Muslims have infiltrated the government. Once the copycat bills are introduced, local chapters of the Washington, D.C.-based ACT for America, which describes itself as the “NRA of national security,” encourage their supporters to show up at legislative hearings and flood lawmakers’ inboxes and phone lines in support of the bills. ACT’s founder, Brigitte Gabriel, has claimed that up to a quarter of all Muslims support the destruction of Western civilization. ACT and the Center for Security Policy are at the center of a broader network that, for over a decade, has waged a successful campaign that’s reached every statehouse and led to the bills they’ve written and supported being introduced more than 70 times. Six states — Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and Tennessee — have passed both the anti-Islamic law and anti-terrorism measures.

The special interest groups and lawmakers who sponsor their bills say they’re protecting Americans from Islamic extremism and terrorism. But the bills have had little practical impact. In the case of the bill targeting Islamic law, known as American Laws for American Courts, supporters point to only vague threats. The terrorism bill, known as Andy’s Law, has never been put to use. Instead, say opposing legislators and civil rights activists, the copycat laws aren’t really about court integrity or terrorism. “It is literally government-sanctioned Islamophobia,” said Robert McCaw, government relations director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil-rights watchdog. “The intended target is clear: American Muslims.” Read more - Lire plus
Ethiopia: New journalist arrests put press freedom gains at risk
Amnesty International 09/07/2019 - The Ethiopian government risks rolling back the great progress it made on media freedom last year, said Amnesty International, after the government announced plans to charge journalists and media outlets for their reporting on the armed forces.Since taking office in April 2018, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government has overturned the repressive civil society law and released dozens of detained journalists and bloggers.

By the end of 2018, not a single journalist remained behind bars, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, and, in 2019, Ethiopia leapt 40 places up the World Press Freedom Index. However, following a wave of arrests of journalists in the past weeks, the Ministry of Defence on 8 July announced plans to charge journalists and media houses for “publishing defamatory information about the Ethiopia National Defence Forces”.

“After making great strides on press freedom, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government received glowing tributes, and the honour of hosting this year’s World Press Freedom Day event,” Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes said. “This new round of arrests is a hugely regressive move that risks rolling back the progress witnessed in 2018. All journalists arrested must be immediately released and all charges against them unconditionally dropped.” Berihun Adane, Editor-in-Chief of the privately-owned Asrat TV and the weekly Berera newspaper, was arrested on 26 June, while Elias Gebru, editor of the Enqu magazine, defunct since 2014, was arrested on 6 July.

Both journalists have since been charged under the Anti- Terrorism Proclamation (2009), which was used by previous governments to bring trumped-up charges against its critics.
The latest round of arrests in the wake of the 22 June assassination of the army chief of staff and other high-ranking government officers, has also targeted activists and members of the opposition National Movement of the Amhara. Read more - Lire plus
Crimean Tatars Face Unfounded Terrorism Charges: Raids, Arbitrary Arrests, Torture of Activists
HRW 12/07/2019 - Russian authorities have brought unfounded terrorism charges against 24 Crimean Tatars, 20 of whom were arrested during heavily armed raids on their homes in the spring of this year, Human Rights Watch said today. Security officers tortured four of the men, denied lawyers access to search sites, planted evidence, and later briefly detained two activists who spoke out on behalf of the arrested men. Crimean Tatars are a Muslim ethnic minority indigenous to the Crimean Peninsula.

Many openly oppose Russia’s occupation, which began in 2014. The crackdown in the spring of 2019 is the latest in a pattern of repression to smear peaceful activists as terrorists and to stifle dissent in occupied Crimea. Russian authorities should release the activists and stop misusing the country’s overly broad counterterrorism legislation to stifle freedom of opinion, expression, and religion. “Russian authorities seek to portray Crimean Tatars who oppose Russia’s occupation as ‘terrorists’ and ‘extremists,’” said Hugh Williamson , Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The Russian authorities in Crimea are using terrorism charges as a convenient tool of repression.” Read more - Lire plus
Russian Journalist Feels 'Doomed' by Inclusion on Terror List
VOA 11/07/2019 - A Russian journalist who has been pursued by Russian police since last November following a radio commentary on a bombing said she was stunned to find out that authorities have added her to the official list of "terrorists and extremists." In a telephone interview with the Voice of America from her home in Pskov in western Russia, Svetlana Prokopieva, 39, said she discovered last Thursday that Russia's Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring) has blocked her bank account and put her name on its list of "active terrorists." She said she believes the decision was made in retaliation for her blaming Russia's repressive policies for an incident in October 2018 when a teenager detonated explosives outside the Federal Security Service (FSB) in the city of Arkhangelsk.

"I have no access to my money, and they have taken my travel passport so I can't leave Russia," Prokopieva told VOA, adding that authorities since February have also confiscated her laptop, cellphone and other personal belongings. "I know if they take this case to the court, the verdict will most likely be guilty. Over here in Russia, there is no such thing as an independent judicial system. Here you feel trapped and doomed," she told VOA. Working as a freelancer for Radio Free Europe with occasional contributions to BBC Russian Service and local media such as Moscow-based Echo Moskvy radio station, Prokopieva reported on freedom of expression in Russia and the country's military intervention in Ukraine. Read more - Lire plus
China Is Forcing Tourists to Install Text-Stealing Malware at its Border
Motherboard 02/07/2019 - The malware downloads a tourist’s text messages, calendar entries, and phone logs, as well as scans the device for over 70,000 different files. Foreigners crossing certain Chinese borders into the Xinjiang region, where authorities are conducting a massive campaign of surveillance and oppression against the local Muslim population, are being forced to install a piece of malware on their phones that gives all of their text messages as well as other pieces of data to the authorities, a collaboration by Motherboard, Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Guardian , the New York Times , and the German public broadcaster NDR has found.

The Android malware, which is installed by a border guard when they physically seize the phone, also scans the tourist or traveller's device for a specific set of files, according to multiple expert analyses of the software. The files authorities are looking for include Islamic extremist content, but also innocuous Islamic material, academic books on Islam by leading researchers, and even music from a Japanese metal band. In no way is the downloading of tourists’ text messages and other mobile phone data comparable to the treatment of the Uighur population in Xinjiang, who live under the constant gaze of facial recognition systems , CCTV, and physical searches. Last week, VICE News published an undercover documentary detailing some of the human rights abuses and surveillance against the Uighur population. But the malware news shows that the Chinese government’s aggressive style of policing and surveillance in the Xinjiang region has extended to foreigners, too.

"[This app] provides yet another source of evidence showing how pervasive mass surveillance is being carried out in Xinjiang. We already know that Xinjiang residents—particularly Turkic Muslims—are subjected to round-the-clock and multidimensional surveillance in the region," Maya Wang, China senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, said. "What you’ve found goes beyond that: it suggests that even foreigners are subjected to such mass, and unlawful surveillance." 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!

NEW Stop Canada's spy agency from targeting everyday citizens and community groups

A shocking new report revealed that Canada’s spy agency (CSIS) collected over 8,000 pages of documents, spying on everyday citizens like you -- people who exercised their democratic rights by attending a community meeting at a local church or taking peaceful action to stand up for what they believe in. Leadnow’s name is splashed all over the documents. And to make things worse -- CSIS actually shared this information with Big Oil corporations. CSIS is desperate to hide this serious overreach of their mandate, so they’ve redacted most of the information released this week. If they haven't done anything wrong, why are they hiding behind thousands of pages of redactions?

Sign this petiton to tell the goverment to stop using taxpayer funds to unconstitutionally spy on Canadians part of peaceful community groups. We demand greater accountability and transparency from this public agency.
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.
Letter to Justice Minister: Release Report and Launch Public Inquiry into Hassan Diab Case Now
The external review report into the case of Hassan Diab, written by Mr. Murray Segal, has been submitted to the office of the Justice Minister.
Send a message to the Justice Minister calling for the public release of the report, and the launch of a public inquiry into the case of Hassan Diab that will actually examine the Extradition Act and have powers to compel documents and testimonies.
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 .
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.
Iran: Free Saeed Malekpour!
Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian national with permanent residency in Canada, has been imprisoned in Iran since his arrest on 4 October 2008. In late 2010, he was initially sentenced to death for “spreading corruption on earth” in relation to a web programme he created for uploading photos which the Iranian authorities said was used on pornographic websites. This was an open source programme and Saeed Malekpour has maintained that the use of this web programme on other websites was without his knowledge. His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 2012.
Access to information and transparency
Accès à l'information et transparence

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

Kathryn Dingle
Mary Ann Higgs
Kevin Malseed
Brian Murphy
Karen Seabrooke
Bob Stevenson
Chantal Vallerand

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