International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
October 16 , 2020
ICLMG 13/10/2020 - The findings in this federal review report paint a troubling, but unsurprising, picture of an intelligence service with a deep disregard for the courts and the safeguards established to protect against the violation of our rights. The report demonstrates clearly that this is not a new issue, pointing to a series of breaches over the past 30 years. It is unacceptable that the government hasn’t acted more swiftly in addressing this problem, and the Public Safety Minister must act immediately to ensure accountability and repercussions when CSIS officers mislead or withhold information from the courts.

In 2015, CSIS was granted new and extraordinary “threat reduction” powers that allow them to carry out a wide array of intrusive actions, from disrupting communications to impeding movement, that could seriously hinder an individual’s rights. Both Liberal and Conservative governments have defended these powers, stating that the need for CSIS to obtain a warrant provided adequate judicial oversight. Given the findings of this report, we maintain our deep concerns about CSIS being granted these new powers, and are again calling on the government to rescind the service’s threat reduction capabilities. Share on Facebook + Twitter 1 + Twitter 2 + Instagram

CSIS withholds information on Wet'suwet'en demonstrations citing national security threat exemption
CBC News 02/10/2020 - Canada's spy agency has refused to release internal records on Indigenous-led actions in support of Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs by using an exemption under the access to information law normally reserved for information related to gathering intelligence to detect or suppress terrorism. 

The use of the exemption by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service suggests the spy agency viewed Indigenous road and rail blockades and demonstrations as threats to Canada's sovereignty, said Jeffrey Monaghan, an associate professor of criminology at Carleton University in Ottawa. "It completely fits the CSIS operational culture that sees these groups as antagonists, political antagonists, especially Indigenous movements, as capable of challenging Canadian sovereignty," said Monaghan, who co-wrote Policing Indigenous Movements examining how Canadian police, military and intelligence agencies surveil Indigenous resistance movements. "Using that section is indicative of the types of language being used in those documents. They are seeing these movements as kind of hostile movements...This reflects a lot more on CSIS and how they understand these movements, really like internal enemies."

CBC News requested internal records from CSIS that discussed the February Indigenous-led protests which flared from coast-to-coast in support of the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs' opposition to a natural gas pipeline. CSIS withheld internal records under a section of the Access to Information Act that allows exemptions for records connected to intelligence activities related to "detecting, preventing or suppressing subversive or hostile activities," according to a letter from the agency's Access to Information branch. The demonstrations began in early February after the RCMP enforced an injunction against Wet'suwet'en camps that were preventing Coastal GasLink contractors from gaining access to the territory. The Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs said the pipeline project did not have the nation's consent to cross its territory. 

Indigenous solidarity actions, in the form of rail blockades, road blockades and demonstrations, sprung up from B.C. to Prince Edward Island. In Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in Ontario, a camp was established along a CN Rail line connecting Montreal to Toronto, shutting down freight and passenger trains for nearly a month. The spy agency used section 15 of the Access to Information Act to exempt some records from release, according to the letter from the branch co-ordinator. Section 15, subtitled "international affairs and defence," defines "subversive or hostile activities" as including sabotage, terrorism, actions directed at a "government change," activities that "threaten" Canadians or federal employees, and espionage. Monaghan regularly files access to information requests with federal agencies but said he's rarely seen section 15 invoked to withhold records. "It's not something I've seen a lot of," said Monaghan. Read more - Lire plus
Don’t Let Orphan’s Canadian Homecoming Be an Exception
Human Rights Watch 06/10/2020 - After months of inaction, the Canadian government announced Monday that it had repatriated a 5-year-old orphan, Amira, who was trapped in a camp for Islamic State (ISIS) suspects and family members in northeast Syria. Amira’s overdue rescue should not become an excuse for the government to stall on repatriating the 46 other Canadian nationals held in northeast Syrian camps and prisons teeming with deadly disease, inhuman treatment, and despair. Amira’s Canadian parents and siblings were killed during one of the final battles against ISIS. Canadian relatives, who will care for her, took the government to court in July to press their plea to bring her home.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that Amira’s case was “exceptional” and a one-off. While Amira may be the only Canadian orphan held in northeast Syria, her fellow citizens – 26 children, 13 women, and 8 men – are also in desperate need. For the past 18 months or more, a cash-strapped, Kurdish-led local authority has detained them in makeshift, overcrowded prisons and camps, alongside tens of thousands of other ISIS suspects and relatives from Syria and 60 foreign countries. These detainees, particularly the children, lived through unspeakable horrors under ISIS. As Human Rights Watch has documented, they now suffer from acute shortages of clean water, fresh food, and health care. Contagious diseases reportedly have killed several hundred detainees since 2019. Two have tested positive for Covid-19 and the United Nations says the number may be far higher. None of the Canadians or other foreign detainees have been brought before a judge.

Local authorities have received scant assistance from the foreign detainees’ home countries, most of which have at best brought home token numbers of citizens – usually orphans or young children, sometimes, unconscionably, without their mothers.
Canada’s duties to protect its citizens – all its citizens – extend beyond its borders. After repatriating its citizens, Canada should help rehabilitate and reintegrate the children, all of whom are ISIS victims. It can monitor or prosecute the adults as appropriate – allowing greater oversight than if they remained in northeast Syria, where hundreds have escaped the camps and prisons. Saving Amira was a valiant decision. But other Canadian lives remain at risk. Read more - Lire plus

‘Caliphate’ podcast and its fallout reveal the extent of Islamophobia
The Conversation 14/10/2020 - On Sept. 25, the RCMP arrested Shehroze Chaudhry, a Muslim man, for allegedly fabricating his affiliation with the Islamic State group (ISIS). Chaudhry — popularly referred to by his supposed nom de guerre, Abu Huzayfah — had been the subject of numerous news stories since 2017. Most notably, in 2018, Chaudhry was the focus of Rukmini Callimachi’s award-winning New York Times podcast, Caliphate. In it Chaudhry provided graphic details of his role within ISIS, the veracity of which is now being questioned. Chaudhry had previously been interrogated about his involvement with ISIS by Canadian national security agencies but was not charged.

Nevertheless, Callimachi’s misleading reporting at the Times prompted debates in Parliament, raising fears about an “ISIS terrorist” and “despicable animal … freely walking the streets of Toronto.” The ensuing media attention fed into panic about the risk posed by returning “foreign fighters,” individuals — mainly Muslim women and men — who travelled to Iraq and Syria to support ISIS. In response to the Times podcast, the Canadian government reversed plans to repatriate Canadian foreign fighters and their families detained in Kurdish-controlled Syrian prison camps. Chaudhry’s case has raised questions about the abruptness of his arrest, the merit of a terrorism hoax charge, the substantial role of the media in the War on Terror and Canada’s obligations to its citizens, including 26 children, held in Syrian prison camps. But the reporting and policy reaction to Chaudhry’s alleged falsehoods reveals a sociopolitical climate where a different standard is applied to the threat posed by Muslims. Chaudhry’s case is not an outlier, but rather a symptom of the system. Callimachi’s faux pas is then just another story of Islamophobia.

Edward Said introduced the concept of Orientalism to capture how western societies imagine and produce reductive and racist representations of Muslims and Arabs. Our research on national security policies in Canada and the United Kingdom suggests that Islamophobia informs and legitimizes an Orientalist approach in the reporting of Muslim terrorism suspects and produces racialized national security policies. Chaudhry’s case reveals how Islamophobia operates beyond individualized instances of discrimination against Muslims. The view that Islamophobia is merely an “irrational fear of Muslims,” as a 2018 report by the House of Commons suggests, is simplistic and outdated. According to legal scholars Reem Bahdi and Azeezah Kanji, Islamophobia “is historically rooted in Orientalism, draws on and perpetuates stereotypes about a Muslim propensity for violence, … is state-driven and persists through a dialectical process of private and state action.”

Rather than abstract disdain for Islam or Muslims, Islamophobia manifests as “concrete social action” by the national security industry, populist politicians, journalists, experts, think tanks and others who benefit from portraying Muslims as “inherently violent … alien and inassimilable.” In this, any political movement connected to — or perceived as connected to — Islam is not only viewed as antithetical to democracy, but as a threat to democracy’s very existence. This Islamophobia was especially evident in coverage by Callimachi, whose success skyrocketed after the Caliphate podcast. Read more - Lire plus

'It breaks my heart': Uighurs wrongfully held at Guantánamo plead to be with families
The Guardian 07/10/2020 - Salahidin Abdulahad, Khalil Mamut and Ayoub Mohammed are desperate to be reunited with their children in Canada. They were captured by bounty hunters, shipped across the world by American soldiers and held for years in Guantánamo Bay. Salahidin Abdulahad, Khalil Mamut and Ayoub Mohammed were eventually cleared by US courts and released. Their time in the notorious prison, however, continues to haunt them.

More than a decade after the three Uighur men were released to Bermuda and Albania, they are unable to join their families, who have since moved to Canada. Although a string of US court rulings found that the men had no links to terrorism, the government of Justin Trudeau argues that they were once militant separatists – and still pose a threat to national security. “I want to do everything for my family. My kids know they have a daddy, but they can’t live with him or see him,” said Abdulahad. “Knowing that makes me feel so guilty.”

The men, now in the 40s, have suffered more than most can imagine, said Toronto-based lawyer Prasanna Balasundaram, who has taken on their cases. “Living away from their families is having a profound mental toll on them. I meet with their spouses, I meet with their children, and it’s clear the weight everyone bears.” Growing up as Muslims in China, the men say they experienced constant surveillance. Their families were punished by the state for minor infractions. (Mohamed and Abdulahad both have relatives who are currently being held held in China’s infamous “re-education” camps.) Fearing that there was little future for them in China, the three men fled the country in 2001, traveling first to Pakistan and then Afghanistan, where they settled in a small community of Uighurs in a village outside of Jalalabad.

Just a few months later, the US invaded Afghanistan. The village was bombed by coalition forces, and its inhabitants fled into the mountains. After crossing back into Pakistan, they were betrayed by villagers, who sold the men to the US military for a bounty payout – $5,000 per head. They were taken to an American military base in Kandahar, and eventually transferred to the US base in Guantánamo Bay, where Mohamed was held for four years and Abdulahad and Mamut for seven. They spent days under intense interrogation by both US and Chinese officials. Like many captives swept up in the American dragnet, the men were eventually exonerated, guilty of nothing more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Read more - Lire plus

At UN: 39 Countries Condemn China's Abuses of Uighurs 
VOA 06/10/2020 - Western diplomats at the United Nations criticized China for its human rights abuses against ethnic Uighur Muslims and its crackdown on Hong Kong's autonomy Tuesday, while Beijing hit back, focusing its anger on the United States. "We call on China to respect human rights, particularly the rights of persons belonging to religious and ethnic minorities, especially in Xinjiang and Tibet," German Ambassador Christoph Heusgen said on behalf of 39 countries at the U.N committee that deals with human rights issues. 

Xinjiang is the province in northwestern China where the government has detained as many as a million Uighurs in so-called "re-education" camps in recent years. He went on to express grave concern about the increasing number of reports of gross human rights violations there. "There are severe restrictions on freedom of religion or belief and the freedoms of movement, association, and expression as well as on Uighur culture," said Heusgen. "Widespread surveillance disproportionately continues to target Uighurs and other minorities, and more reports are emerging of forced labor and forced birth control, including sterilization." Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Heusgen called on Beijing to close the detention camps. 

He noted that last year, 23 countries joined the condemnation of China on the Uighur issue, and the near doubling of countries this year signaled that there is growing international concern about Beijing's policy toward the ethnic minority. Heusgen was joined by British envoy Jonathan Allen, who said that China must grant U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet's long-standing request to visit Xinjiang to see the situation of the Uighurs. Allen also condemned China's imposition on June 30 of a controversial security law that he said "violates Hong Kong's autonomy, and threatens rights and freedoms." Read more - Lire plus

Land Defenders Are Killed in the Philippines for Protesting Canadian Mining
Vice 01/10/2020 - It was 6:45 a.m. on a Monday in July 2006: Chandu Claver, his wife, and 10-year-old daughter were in their car at a busy intersection after dropping off the youngest daughter at her school in Tabuk, a city in the Philippines about 450 kilometres north of Manila, nestled in the lush and mountainous Cordillera region. Without warning, a dark van pulled in front of them and two armed men with rifles stepped out and opened fire. Claver was shot three times in the shoulder and once in the stomach. His wife was shot seven times in the chest. A bullet grazed their daughter’s head. The ambush was supposed to kill him, but it took his wife’s life instead.

Claver, an Indigenous Igorot man from the tribal town of Bontoc in the Cordillera, said he was targeted for his work as an Indigenous activist, doctor, and politician critical of the government. He resisted many government actions and was part of a group that had been pushing back against “development aggression,” or corporate activities imposed on Indigenous ancestral lands without tribal consent. Many of these ventures are helmed by Canadian corporations.

Claver is one of hundreds of environmental defenders who have been targeted. He said he was red-tagged—falsely labelled a communist—by the Philippine government. The longstanding practice, which has escalated under President Rodrigo Dueterte, is often used to silence and intimidate people critical of the regime—human rights defenders, journalists, even local residents—by alleging ties between them and the national Communist Party’s armed wing of rebels, deemed terrorists. The point is “to scare and terrorize people and try to prevent them from resisting,” Claver said.

At least 272 environmental defenders were killed between 2001 and 2019, according to the Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, a network of Philippine environmental organizations. More than half of them were protesting mines, like the three young farmers in Masbate province on the island of Luzon, who were killed in October 2017 after they were red-tagged. The three farmers had opposed the Masbate Gold Project, the country’s top gold producer, according to Kalikasan. Read more - Lire plus
Free CUPE member Cihan Erdal!
CUPE ON - CUPE 4600 member, Cihan Erdal was arrested on September 25th by Turkish police on unspecified charges related to social unrest in 2014. Erdal is one of 82 people issued arrest warrants in relation to alleged incitement of protests in 2014 which were violently repressed by Turkish police. These arrests are part of a broader effort by the Erdogan government in Turkey to repress the left-wing People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and other labour and social justice activists. The Turkish government alleges with little evidence the HDP has ties to terrorist organizations, and frequently uses the guise of national security to repress popular movements for labour, women, LGBT, and minority rights.

While Erdal was an active member of the HDP in 2014, he has not been involved in Turkish politics for several years since coming to Canada to pursue his studies. He was visiting his family and awaiting ethics approval to conduct in-person interviews in Turkey related to his dissertation. Erdal has been an active member of CUPE local 4600 and the Carleton community. When Erdal first began studying at Carleton, CUPE 4600 assisted him in securing his priority TA-ship and defending his priority status from attempts by administration to revoke it. We call for the release of Erdal and the other unjustly detained individuals. Erdal is a Canadian permanent resident and we demand that Canadian consular services do everything possible to assist in his release. Read more - Lire plus

Canadian military spent more than $1 million on controversial propaganda training linked to Cambridge Analytica parent firm
Ottawa Citizen 13/10/2020 - One contract was awarded last year to Emic and another last month for a total cost of more than $1 million, DND confirmed. Twenty staff members were trained during the first course, according to DND spokesman Dan Le Bouthillier. The second also involves 20 individuals being trained and is currently underway. [...]

The training is part of a wider project originally labelled as the “weaponization of public affairs” by Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance. That got underway in 2015. The Canadian Forces is also developing its skills in “influence operations,” propaganda and data mining for campaigns that can be directed at either overseas populations or at Canadians. The Canadian Forces has already tested some of those skills this year. In July, this newspaper reported a team assigned to a Canadian military intelligence unit monitored and collected information from people’s social media accounts in Ontario, claiming such data-mining was needed to help troops working in long-term care homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

In some cases, the data collected involved basic information about the long-term care facilities. In other cases, the collection involved comments made by the public about the provincial government’s failure in taking care of the elderly in the province. That data was turned over to the Ontario government, with a warning from the team that it represented a “negative” reaction from the public. Facebook, Reddit, Instagram and Twitter accounts were scanned by the five-person group called the Precision Information Team or PiT. Various military sources contacted this newspaper at the time to raise concerns about the Precision Information Team, warning that its operations could be seen as unethical and bordering on illegality.

In addition, this newspaper reported at the same time that the Canadian Forces planned a propaganda campaign aimed at heading off civil disobedience by Canadians during the coronavirus pandemic. The plan used similar propaganda tactics to those employed against the Afghan population during the war in Afghanistan. Planning began for the propaganda operation but it was never put into action. Briant, a specialist in propaganda and how it affects democracy, noted that in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal a number of new firms, using various techniques to manipulate the public, have emerged. “Governments are failing us,” wrote Briant in her opinion piece Monday for the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, a non-governmental group. “Such firms continue to provide training, or engage directly, in tactics to influence the behavior of citizens,” added Briant, who is working on a book about the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Read more - Lire plus
Report Calls for a Reset as Facial Recognition Transforms Border Crossings Around the World
CIPPIC 07/10/2020 - Facial recognition is a highly controversial technology that is transforming border crossings around the world by fuelling an unprecedented level of surveillance & too-often racially biased automated processing of travellers. In a report released today [overview], CIPPIC documents the rapid adoption of facial recognition technologies at borders while outlining its intrusive potential and propensity for being repurposed.

Facial recognition can surreptitiously identify individuals from a distance and from any live or historical image, posing a serious threat to real-world and online anonymity. Facial recognition is becoming embedded in all aspects of border crossings driven by an attempt to process travellers more efficiently and securely. But members of marginalized communities are often most heavily impacted when the technology goes awry, as some demographic groups experience far higher error rates than the general population due to lingering biases. Around the world, facial recognition systems whose creation was justified in the border control context have been repurposed for law enforcement, national security agencies, traffic safety officials, administrative agencies and even the private sector.

Our current legal framework is simply too outdated and lacking in clear safeguards to mitigate the more problematic elements of facial recognition systems. The report therefore recommends a moratorium on the adoption of facial recognition systems at our borders, and a publicly transparent reassessment of existing systems in Canada. The report, entitled "Facial Recognition at a Crossroads: Transformation at our Borders & Beyond", was finalized with assistance from Rachel Kuchma, William Burke, Ryan Mosoff and Emily Kim. An accompanying Overview document excerpts key aspects of the core report. Read more - Lire plus

The Global Encryption Coalition Reject Time-Worn Argument for Encryption Backdoors
GEC 13/10/2020 - Rehashing time-worn arguments, law enforcement officials of member countries of the “Five-Eyes” intelligence alliance, plus India and Japan, last weekend called on companies to create backdoors to their encrypted devices and services to provide law enforcement with exceptional access. The Internet Society, Global Partners Digital, and the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), members of the Steering Committee of the Global Encryption Coalition, issued the following joint statement:

“The Five Eyes(+) statement is yet another in a long line of ill-considered attempts to undermine use of end-to-end encrypted communications, which would have devastating consequences to the security of people and countries worldwide. While this time the Five Eyes were joined by the governments of Japan and India, their position remains incompatible with the technical reality of encryption. End-to-end encryption keeps communications confidential between the sender and receiver. This way, no third party can access the communications, including the company providing the service. Encryption also protects information stored on computers, cellular telephones, and other digital devices, and helps ensure that if the device is lost or stolen the information on the device is protected.

Public safety can be protected without compromising privacy and cybersecurity, but not by undermining encryption. There is no encryption backdoor that only the good guys can access, and the bad guys cannot. The same backdoor placed in a system or a device for use by law enforcement could be exploited by criminals, putting everyone on that service at greater risk of harm and reducing safety of users. Forcing companies to build backdoors or preventing them from implementing end-to-end encryption on their products or services puts the safety of all their users at greater risk. With public health measures to combat COVID-19, the stakes are higher than ever. Individuals are increasingly reliant on Internet-based communications to conduct their daily lives. People rely on encryption to protect banking transactions, telehealth, and online purchases, in addition to connecting with friends and family. End-to-end encryption also “serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people,” as noted by the Five-Eyes(+) in their statement. At a time when people need digital security more than ever, governments should support end-to-end encryption as the most effective way to ensure the personal security of billions of people and the national security of nations around the world.” Read more - Lire plus
Reaction to the UN High Commissioner report on terrorism and human rights
CIVICUS 14/09/2020 - The Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism examined restrictive and repressive aspects of the security and counter-terrorism framework:

  • Repressive measures against lawful, non-violent civil society activities and targeting “undesirable” individuals.
  • Regulation restricting freedom of expression and opinion, association, and assembly.
  • Limiting civil society access to financial services.
  • Vaguely labelling civil society as “terrorists,” or “threats to national security”.

These measures create a chilling effect on civic space. Given civil society’s essential role in countering terrorism, measures undermining its ability to operate undercut our collective counter-terrorism response.

We remind states of their obligation to ensure counter-terrorism measures comply with international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, pursuant to HRC resolutions 37/27 and 42/18. Criminalization and repression of civil society must be urgently addressed as a misuse of law and an abuse of power. Any effective counter-terrorism policy must engage with and strengthen, not weaken, civil society. Read more - Lire plus
From January to July 2020
ICLMG - The first half of 2020 has been very difficult given the impact of the pandemic, but we continued working hard to protect our civil liberties. Below you can see what we have accomplished so far this year, but first here is a sneak-peek into what we plan to do for the rest of 2020:

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

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

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

  • We will continue advocating for the repeal of the Canadian No Fly List, and for putting a stop to the use of the US No Fly List by air carriers in Canada for flights that do not land in or fly over the US.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Despite posing no threat to Canadian national security, these men have been waiting over five years to reunite with their families and find a safe place to live.
China: Free Canadian Huseyin Celil
The Chinese authorities accused Huseyin of offences related to his activities in support of Uighur rights. They held Huseyin in a secret place. They gave him no access to a lawyer, to his family, or to Canadian officials. They threatened him and forced him to sign a confession. They refused to recognize Huseyin’s status as a Canadian citizen, and they did not allow Canadian officials to attend his trial. It was not conducted fairly, and resulted in a sentence of life in prison in China. His life sentence was reduced to 20 years in February 2016. Huseyin has spent much of his time in solitary confinement. He lacks healthy food and is in poor health. Kamila needs her husband, and the boys need their father back.
Canada must act to end Islamophobia in Xinjiang, China
There is credible evidence that up to one million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other mainly Muslim groups in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region are being detained in secret internment camps. Detainees are brainwashed, tortured and are forced to renounce their religion and culture.

And send a message to Chrystia Freeland demanding that Canada actively support an independent and unrestricted international fact-finding initiative to Xinjiang.

Ban Police Use of Facial Recognition in Canada
For years, Canadian law enforcement has been secretly using controversial facial recognition technology—that’s been shown to be discriminatory and biased—without any laws governing its use. Now, some of the very companies that make these tools are refusing to sell them to the police until the government creates laws that regulate their ethical use. It is absurd it has come to this. To protect the rights of everyone, we need our lawmakers to act now. Sign the petition to ban the police use of facial recognition technology in Canada!
All-in-one action page: Stop Mohamed Harkat's Deportation to Torture
Call PM Trudeau, write a letter to Public Safety Minister & your MP, and sign Sophie Harkat's petition to stop the deportation of Moe Harkat.

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

No one should be deported to torture. Ever.
Defund the police & the RCMP
More and more people are calling on their city councils to reduce and eliminate budgets for policing. We are no longer going to pay for police to harm our communities. These funds can be re-directed to support the recovery and provide much need improvements to public housing, transit, and food security programs among other basic needs. Please use this e-mail tool to tell your City Councillor to act now to defund the police in your communities. Together we keep each other safe.

Philippines: Junk the terror bill and uphold human rights!
The Anti-Terrorism bill is a clear and direct attack against our academic freedom, right to organize, and freedom of expression to air out our grievances towards the inefficiencies and deficiencies of the government's mandate to serve its people through government services.This positions the government to silence the any dissenter or organizer and given the rich history of harassment of law enforcement agencies and military personnel, harassment and terror-tagging has been a step further for even more killings and silencing.
Stop CSIS from targeting everyday citizens & community groups
A recent report revealed that CSIS, Canada’s spy agency, collected over 8,000 pages of documents, spying on citizens like you, people who exercise their democratic rights by attending a community meeting at a local church or taking peaceful action for what they believe in. And CSIS shared this info with Big Oil corporations.

Sign this petition to tell the govt to stop using taxpayer money to unconstitutionally spy on Canadians part of peaceful community groups.
Stop Facial Recognition in Canada
Facial recognition is invasive, biased and unreliable. But Canadian law enforcement and agencies have started using the tech despite its dangers. Canada’s out-of-date privacy laws don’t yet cover facial recognition tech, leaving our government free to experiment on us with no oversight or regulations. We need to slam the brakes on this dangerous technology before it’s too late. Demand a moratorium on the use of facial recognition technologies and a full review of our privacy laws now.

Five Eyes: Save encryption
Ministers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the U.S. have gone public with their plans for a huge attack on our personal security.

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

Tell ministers to stop their attacks, and commit to protecting our privacy and security.
Your phone is not safe at the border
Canada’s border agents can search your phone and laptop at borders and airports, including looking through your private photos, personal messages, and call history.

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

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

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

Kathryn Dingle
Mary Ann Higgs
Kevin Malseed
Brian Murphy
Karen Seabrooke
Colin Stuart
Bob Thomson
James Turk
Jo Wood
The late Bob Stevenson

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