International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
August 22, 2020
ICLMG's Analysis of the COVID Alert App
We are in contact with Health Canada and will update our post in the next week.
ICLMG 07/08/2020 - We’ve seen several people on our social media feeds advocate for downloading the new federal COVID Alert application, based on arguments including the fact our privacy is already violated by Facebook. We don’t believe this should be an argument for using the app: it isn’t because governments have failed to protect our data and privacy while we use Facebook – a very important platform, including for activism – that we should accept other possible privacy violations, especially when the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) of Canada has published a privacy assessment of the app. [...]

In April, with OpenMedia, BCCLA, CIPPIC and BC FIPA, we put together 7 principles to follow for contact-tracing apps to protect human rights. The new app meets some principles but not all of them: the app is not regulated by a law and didn’t go through a parliamentary process; there is no stated recourse if there is a breach of privacy or other issues or rights violations; and there is no commitment from the government to discontinue the app if its found to be ineffective (or there are privacy issues with it) – only a commitment that they will take the recommendation of the Advisory Council into consideration. Read more

ICLMG on the prorogation of Parliament, Bill C-3 and independent review for CBSA
Twitter 18/08/2020 - Today's prorogation of parliament means that, once again, legislation to establish independent review of the Canada Border Services Agecy dies on the order paper. We've reached out to Bill Blair's office to see if they will commit to re-introducing it. The impact of #COVID19 is responsible in part for delaying the bill from moving forward. But it has been years that the need for independent review of CBSA has been an issue. This is just one more delay in achieving accountability in how Canada's borders are policed. The government could also take this opportunity to address the important flaws in the bill that have already been identified and reintroduce an even stronger bill. We'll be sure to update as we learn more. Read more - Lire plus
Eight children die in Al Hol camp, northeastern Syria in less than a week
UNICEF 12/08/2020 - “UNICEF is deeply alarmed by reports that eight children under the age of five died in the Al Hol camp in northeastern Syria just in less than a week. “The deaths occurred between 6-10 August. Four of them were caused by malnutrition-related complications. The others were due to dehydration from diarrhea, heart failure, internal bleeding and hypoglycemia. “Any child’s death is tragic. It is even more so when the death could have been averted. “Nearly 40,000 children from more than 60 countries continue to languish in Al Hol. They lack access to basic services and have to contend with the sweltering summer heat and the trauma of violence and displacement.

“COVID-19, with the resulting movement restrictions and quarantine measures, is making a critical situation even worse. Recent confirmed infections among camp workers have led to a pause in some health and education services, and to a temporary reduction in the number of workers operating in the camp. It is critical that the resumption of health and nutrition services is prioritized and that emergency care options are in place. “Despite these limitations, UNICEF and partners continue to provide essential lifesaving services including water trucking, and health, nutrition and child protection services. UNICEF is also supporting community volunteers to further raise awareness on COVID-19 preventive measures. “But a longer-term solution is long overdue. Children in Al Hol, like all children affected by conflict, have the right to humanitarian assistance. Those born to foreign nationals have the right to be safeguarded, including with legal documentation, family reunification and repatriation to their home countries when it is in their best interest. All children have the right to be protected from the devastating effects the pandemic is having on their survival, learning and protection.” Read more - Lire plus

Her husband was cleared of wrongdoing at Guantanamo Bay. Now, as she fights to bring him to Canada, her health is faltering
The Toronto Star 01/08/2020 - The past year has been hard for Melike Aierken, and it’s just gotten worse.
Amid an immigration application to allow her husband to come to Canada from Albania, Aierken was last week admitted to hospital in Montreal. She has thyroid problems and must wait an indeterminate amount of time for the results of a biopsy on her liver. Until her release Thursday, her two children, ages four and nine, were staying with a friend in lieu of any family in the city. Her medical troubles are not over and the stress of another hospital stint with no firm options to care for her children weighs heavily on her, as does the lack of a regular presence of a father in her children’s lives. “The kids miss their father,” she told the Star through a translator in a video interview in which she frequently fought back tears. “Their father misses the kids.”

It’s a difficult story — and one that’s unfolding in the lingering shadow of America’s military prison, Guantanamo Bay, where years ago Aierken’s husband was once held. Originally from China’s far-western Xinjiang Autonomous Region, Aierken moved to Canada with the help of her father more than a decade ago. Shortly after coming to Canada, she met Ayub Mohammed online, a Uighur living in Albania. The two eventually married and started a family. For the next few years, Aierken lived in both Canada, where she gave birth to her daughter, and Albania, where she gave birth to her son. Both children are Canadian citizens. In 2014, they decided to move to Canada for good and began the immigration process for Mohammed. Aierken came back for good in 2016, though she has made two short visits to see her husband since then. But the family hit a snag that year when Mohammed’s application was denied by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, leaving Aierken with the lingering worry her family might never be reunited.

The denial was quashed in federal court and is being reassessed by the government department. Mohammed’s PR bid was rejected on security concerns labelling him a possible member of the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, a terrorist organization with the stated aim to establish Xinjiang as a sovereign state. He was kidnapped in Pakistan while there for a short time waiting to continue on to the U.S. shortly after 9/11 and sold to the U.S. military to collect a bounty and sent to Guantanamo Bay. Mohammed was cleared of any wrongdoing by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal and released in 2006 to Albania, because international legal non-refoulement principles prevented his return to China where he faced persecution. Currently, oppression of the Uighur minority in the country has escalated into internment camps, forced sterilization and forced labour, according to reports from newspapers and research institutions.

“They let him go because he was innocent,” Aierken said of her husband. “If he was guilty, they never would have let him go.” Aierken nonetheless thinks it was time Mohammed spent in Guantanamo Bay that’s keeping her husband out of Canada. Mohammed’s case is one of a few in which Uighurs who were held in Guantanamo Bay, and cleared of wrongdoing, are trying to reunite with family in Canada. Mehmet Tohti, executive director of the Uighur Rights Advocacy Project, said in three such cases the men are being victimized a second time by not being granted permanent residency. He believes it is due to the spectre of their Guantanamo Bay detentions. Read more - Lire plus

Matthew Behrens: Federal Court furious with CSIS illegality and lies 20/07/2020 - Since the 1984 creation of Canada's spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), headlines have documented a history of abuse of power, racial and religious profiling, surveillance and disruption of Indigenous, labour, environmental, anti-war and student organizing, exaggerated threat assessments meant to promote bigger budgets, and complicity in torture.
Targeted communities -- Indigenous people, refugees and Muslims, to name only a few -- can testify to such illegality. But their voices are always discounted by systemic white supremacy and state security paranoia underlying weak-kneed institutions tasked with keeping a limited rein on CSIS.

Indeed, parliamentary committees, review agencies, academic "experts" and the Federal Court have always provided CSIS with the tender care and benefit of the doubt more fitting to a senior trying to negotiate a crosswalk than an agency whose actions cause considerable harm and generate widespread fear. But a starkly worded, formerly "top secret" decision released by Federal Court Judge Patrick Gleeson last week reveals that even the denizens of the nominally CSIS-rubber-stamping court have had enough with being lied to in secret warrant application hearings as part of investigations into "Islamist Terrorism" and "OTHER ENTITIES AND NAMES REDACTED FOR REASONS OF NATIONAL SECURITY." In angry language, Gleeson attacked both the justice department and CSIS for "a degree of institutional disregard for -- or, at the very least, a cavalier institutional approach to -- the duty of candour and regrettably the rule of law."

The decision notes that CSIS -- in the name of fighting alleged "terrorism" -- has engaged in illegal activities, including "provision of money" and "provision of personal property" to a person "known to be facilitating or carrying out terrorist activity." Gleeson recommended that: "a comprehensive external review be initiated to fully identify systemic, governance and cultural shortcomings and failures that resulted in the Canadian Security Intelligence Service engaging in operational activity that it has conceded was illegal and the resultant breach of candour." The latter phrase references the fact that CSIS lawyers lied in closed hearings, venues where they have an extra special "duty of utmost good faith in the representations it makes to the court." As Judge Richard Mosely wrote in a prior state security case, the court should not "be kept in the dark about matters it may have reason to be concerned about if it was made aware of them."

A history of illegality
CSIS is not the only organization under fire. Gleeson is equally displeased with justice department lawyers, noting "Service advisors had known for years that the Service was gathering information used for warrant applications through activities that were on their face illegal." Despite years of legal opinions and discussions going back and forth between the two bodies, "experienced [justice department] counsel was apparently unaware that illegality was an issue in April 2018. This demonstrates not only a lack of individual awareness but also a severe institutional failing." The first half of Gleeson's 150-page decision outlines a byzantine bureaucratic odyssey encompassing the justice department, its National Security Litigation and Advisory Group (NSLAG), various ministers and deputy ministers, and the scandal-plagued CSIS. It's an important history lesson that invokes the 1981 McDonald Royal Commission report that documented endless years of illegal activity undertaken by the RCMP Security Service and concluded: "Members of the security organization must not be permitted to break the law in the name of national security."

State security culture has always reeked of entitlement and contempt both for democracy and the laws of the state it is allegedly "protecting" from "danger." Over three decades' worth of annual reports from the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC, the former CSIS review body), as well as Federal Court decisions, are full of repeated cautions, styled almost like Grade-4 report card speak, that CSIS must try really, really, really, hard to act within the confines of the law. The Federal Court's frustration with CSIS illegality has been building for over a decade. Changes in judicial outlook began as a result of years of grassroots political organizing and outstanding legal work by a small, dedicated team of lawyers to expose the dishonesty and illegality behind CSIS operations.

This context included security certificate proceedings (aka the "Secret Trial Five"), ongoing security inadmissibility proceedings relying on overly broad interpretations of what allegedly constituted state security threats, judicial inquiries into Canadian complicity in the torture of four Canadian citizens, and the Supreme Court finding that CSIS was complicit in the torture of Omar Khadr at Guantanamo Bay. Indeed, it reached a point where, in the Federal Court's "associated data" case (which dealt with CSIS's illegal retention of massive amounts of data and lying about it to the court), an exasperated judge asked what it would take for CSIS to seriously address concerns about CSIS dishonesty: "I wonder what it will take to ensure that such findings are taken seriously. Must a contempt of court proceeding, with all its related consequences, be necessary in the future?" In last week's decision, Judge Gleeson sighs: "I am left with the same question." Read more - Lire plus

Watchdog reported on RCMP surveillance of Indigenous-led action in 2017. Mounties never responded
Global News 18/07/2020 - Jasmine Thomas can provide a simple description of how her community started forming new alliances nearly a decade ago. “Most of our matriarchs (were) sitting in a home, talking around a kitchen table and planning future community meetings and community engagement,” said Thomas, a councillor of the Saik’uz First Nation. Members of her First Nation helped organize public rallies and events to raise awareness about issues such as resource development, human rights, climate change and sovereignty over their territory, she explained. But what they didn’t know at the time was how closely Canada’s national police force was tracking what they were doing in private. The RCMP produced an intelligence report about the activities of the Yinka Dene Alliance, a coalition of six nations, including the Saik’uz, which is located in central British Columbia about 100 kilometres west of Prince George.

In a copy of that report, released through access-to-information legislation, the police force provided a description of a private meeting at a community hall organized by Indigenous leaders. At the time, details of that meeting were not public. “On Nov. 25th, 2011, a meeting was held at Nadleh Whut’en (Fraser Lake) between the YINKA DENE ALLIANCE (YDA), and various environmental groups,” read the intelligence report. “The purpose of the meeting was to strengthen the alliance between First Nations and environmental groups opposing ENBRIDGE.” The Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline project was ultimately rejected by the federal government in November 2016, a few months after the Federal Court of Appeal concluded that the Crown had failed to adequately consult First Nations affected by the project.

But Thomas said the monitoring activity has left scars and a legacy of mental health issues on the targeted Indigenous communities who felt intimidated by the RCMP’s actions. At times, they would see police and security agents watching them at public events, Thomas said. Sometimes, she said they were publicly criticized by members of government and industry proponents, including then-Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, who described pipeline project opponents as foreign-funded radicals in a 2012 open letter. “That (meeting) wasn’t on Facebook. That wasn’t on social media. It wasn’t on anything,” said Jackie Thomas, who is also Jasmine’s cousin. “How the hell did they know (about) that?” Nearly nine years later, the answer to her question still isn’t clear. But new documents are emerging that indicate a federal watchdog put the RCMP on notice three years ago and recommended that it correct or improve how it treats First Nations like the Saik’uz and their allies in the environmental movement.

The latest documents include a heavily censored 88-page interim report released to Global News by the RCMP watchdog, the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission, through access-to-information legislation. The commission produced the interim report in response to a 2014 complaint by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA). The advocacy group had alleged in its complaint that the RCMP was illegally monitoring and spying on peaceful and democratic activities of community groups and First Nations opposed to the Enbridge Northern Gateway oil pipeline project. The watchdog’s investigation included an examination of how the RCMP interacted with members of the Idle No More movement that emerged in 2012 to promote Indigenous rights and protest changes to federal laws that it believed would interfere with existing treaties. The commission delivered the findings to former RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson on June 23, 2017, a few days before he retired from the force. Three years later, Paulson’s successor, Brenda Lucki, has yet to respond. [...]

But in a new letter sent on July 8 to the BCCLA’s lawyer, Paul Champ, the commission offered new details about its findings. In that interim report, the commission made 18 findings and seven recommendations to the RCMP. Details about those 18 findings and seven recommendations remain a secret since the commission completely censored 77 out of the 88 pages prior to releasing the document. [...] In an interview, Champ told Global News that the watchdog’s letter indicates that it is frustrated about not having enough power to provide adequate oversight. Champ argued that the delay also prevents his clients from speaking out about what the RCMP did since they have not been told about what’s in the report. This is equivalent to an infringement on their constitutional right to freedom of speech, he said. “It’s a bit of a joke, really,” Champ said. “Here we are, six years later (after the 2014 complaint), and we still don’t know what the findings are of the commission, and the RCMP has been sitting on those findings for three years. I really think it’s a disgrace and it’s showing a lot of disrespect to those Canadian citizens as well as the process itself, in my view.” Read more - Lire plus
$16.5M settlement reached in class action lawsuit over mass arrests at 2010 G20 summit
The Canadian Press 17/08/2020 - A decade-long legal battle over mass arrests at the 2010 G20 summit in Toronto has come to a close after police and hundreds of protesters and others reached a $16.5 million settlement. Lawyers representing those behind the class-action lawsuit said Monday the agreement comes after 10 years of court proceedings and negotiations with the Toronto Police Services Board.

Under the settlement, those arrested will each be entitled to compensation between $5,000 and $24,700, depending on their experiences, the lawyers said in a statement. The deal also includes a public acknowledgment by police regarding the mass arrests and the conditions in which protestors where detained, as well as a commitment to changing how protests are policed in the future. Those who were wrongfully arrested will also have their police records expunged, the lawyers said. The class action represented some 1,100 people who were arrested during the event. Sherry Good, who launched the lawsuit in 2010, said the agreement “does bring about some justice,” and she hopes the right to free expression will be better respected from now on.

“The terrifying way in which I and 400 others were suddenly and arbitrarily surrounded and held by riot police on a street corner for four hours in a freezing downpour changed forever the way I look at police, continues to give me chills,” she said in a statement.
Thomas Taylor, who joined the lawsuit as another representative plaintiff, said the incident showed him “how very fragile civil liberties are for so many of us. For me and hundreds of others, being suddenly surrounded and held captive by frightening numbers of riot police when we had done nothing at all, going through violent and unlawful arrests, and then being thrown into a nightmare detention centre, was a stunning and horrifying experience,” he said in a statement.

Toronto police did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Toronto hosted the G20 summit of world leaders in June 2010. Many public demonstrations were organized to address issues like climate change, globalization, and poverty. Police reacted by encircling large groups of hundreds of protestors in several locations in downtown Toronto with cordons of riot police, holding them for hours, and then transferring many of them to a temporary detention centre in the largest mass arrest in Canadian history. Lawyers for the plaintiffs said Toronto Police Services objected to the class-action proceedings in court, and the suit wasn’t certified as such until a police appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada was dismissed in November 2016. The agreement must still be reviewed and approved by a judge, with a hearing scheduled for Oct. 19. Read more - Lire plus

“Head-On Into Peril”: Connecting 9/11 and Law Enforcement Abuses in Portland
Just Security 19/08/2020 - “When 9/11 occurred, our folks did not quibble about whether there was danger ahead for them[, t]hey ran head-on into peril,” wrote FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich in early June during the first weeks of protest over the extrajudicial killings of George Floyd and other Black Americans. Bowdich’s mention of 9/11 compared protests of systemic racism across the United States by U.S. citizens, to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon by al-Qaeda, a transnational terror organization. His reference to “our folks” analogized our military forces sent to Afghanistan – ostensibly to fight terrorism – with the patchwork of untrained federal officials given generic military uniforms and munitions and instructed to counter the protestors. And “running head-on into peril” is an unmistakable comparison between the federal government’s suppression of protest, and war.

The treatment of protestors as combatants to be battled, a framing echoed by Attorney General Bill Barr and President Donald Trump, should surprise no one. While the militarization of the police began long before 9/11, the hasty passage of the PATRIOT Act meant that major constitutional threats (such as Section 213’s authorization of warrantless searches by law enforcement in some situations) escaped sufficient national (and judicial) scrutiny. In the post-9/11 era, the National Guard and private contractors have been deployed alongside, and in some cases instead of, local law enforcement to monitor communities of color, such as in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Long before military-grade munitions were used on peaceful protestors in Lafayette Square, weapons and tanks flooded police departments that considered themselves the domestic counterparts of the military sent abroad in the “War on Terror.” Instead of being part of their communities, police departments have acted as an oppositional – even occupying – force, simulating wartime roles. It was no accident that people of color (primarily Black and Latino Americans, and Muslims around the world) were the primary targets of both military and police agencies post-9/11 – allowing the militarization of law enforcement to largely escape censure from the majority even as it became entrenched in American society.

While American police were militarized, elements of the federal response in Portland that have so horrified the nation became core features of – rather than aberrations from – post-9/11 counterterrorism, immigration, asylum and refugee policies. These shifts began with President Clinton’s “War on Drugs,” escalated under President Bush’s “War on Terror,” and became normalized under President Obama. The Trump administration’s response to the Portland protests and its manifestly bigoted, discriminatory “Muslim ban” policies, along with the more general destruction of asylum rights, among others, has predictably woven together different threads of post-9/11 national security policies (with widely disparate impacts at home and abroad) into a single ugly tapestry. Read more - Lire plus

Two More Philippine Activists Murdered
Human Rights Watch 18/08/2020 - On August 17 in the central Philippine island of Negros, unidentified gunmen fatally shot Zara Alvarez, a legal worker for the human rights group Karapatan. Alvarez, 39, was the thirteenth human rights defender killed in the Philippines in the past four years. A week earlier, unidentified assailants killed peasant leader Randall Echanis, 72, inside his home in Quezon City, in Metro Manila. The victims shared similar backgrounds. They both worked in leftist, grassroots organizations that authorities allege are linked to the communist insurgency. They had also been subjected to “red-tagging,” a form of political harassment against activists in which authorities label them “communists” – a label that often results in death.

Both murders underscore the widespread impunity for killings of leftist activists in the Philippines. The Department of Justice under the Duterte administration had listed Echanis and Alvarez on a terrorist list, although their names were subsequently removed. Another activist on that list, Randy Malayao, was shot dead in January 2019. The murders of Alvarez and Echanis also show how the government’s new anti-terrorism law can be misused. The Anti-Terrorism Council, the chief enforcer of the law, is empowered to designate individuals as terrorists. The council is composed of officials from the executive department – some of whom belong to agencies long engaged in “red-tagging.” The Philippines has a long list of leftist activists whom state security forces have extrajudicially executed on the pretext of combatting the country’s communist insurgency. These deaths occur because government and military officials perceive activists like Alvarez and Echanis, who work to uphold or reform the law, as stand-ins for armed insurgents. The government has an obligation to ensure that all activists in the Philippines have the full protection of the law, and not be subject to harassment, attack, and murder. Read more - Lire plus

The UN Security Council Is About to Dangerously Undermine Fair Trial Guarantees
Just Security 20/08/2020 - Fair trial rights are hard won, the pinnacle of centuries of legal battles, reforms, and campaigns. Yet in one fell swoop, the United Nations Security Council risks undermining these crucial safeguards. The Security Council is currently considering a draft resolution, proposed by Indonesia, that appears to seek to have States introduce classified evidence in criminal justice proceedings. In short, this appears to be yet another attempt by States to water down human rights protections in the name of countering terrorism. The draft U.N. Security Council resolution relates to so called “foreign fighters,” and rather than providing that those accused of crimes recognizable under international law be brought to justice through fair trials without recourse to the death penalty, it, in fact, risks dangerously undermining the right to a fair trial globally. It’s staggering that a 13-page draft resolution, which is meant to be focused on criminal prosecution, does not mention fair trial standards once.

Under the auspices of allowing for battlefield evidence to be used in criminal proceedings, U.N. member States would be urged to develop systems for it to be kept classified. This may lead to the use of secret evidence to convict defendants. At no stage does the draft explicitly safeguard the right of the accused and their counsel to see the evidence being used against the accused in order to effectively challenge it. This is taking one step further the dangerous procedures we see in countries like the United Kingdom for admitting “secret evidence” in court – although prior to this draft resolution that system was rarely, if ever, the basis of criminal convictions and was mainly used in immigration proceedings. It’s a safe bet that what may be introduced as a means of admitting battlefield evidence will quickly develop into a broader system for the use of classified evidence in court. The ability to effectively challenge the evidence being presented against you is a key component of the right to a fair trial, as is the requirement that justice not only be done but be seen to be done through open proceedings. Read more - Lire plus

Counter-terrorism and the Arts: How counter-terrorism policies restrict the right to freedom of expression
TNI 22/07/2020 - Counter-terrorism and the Arts is a framing paper, aiming to set out the main concerns regarding the impact of counter-terrorism policies, legislation and national security measures on freedom of expression, specifically in relation to the arts. [...] This paper will firstly explore the contexts of freedom of expression and counter-terrorism legislation, establishing the importance of both and their development and interaction in national and international law. Then, the application of restrictions to freedom of expression under counter-terror measures will be introduced and the legitimate grounds for doing so, in general and during states of emergency, will be analysed. The case studies of laws passed in Turkey, France, Spain and the United Kingdom are then briefly used to demonstrate a cross section of approaches to the threat of terrorism across the continent, before analysing how these approaches have impacted on freedom of expression, especially in the arts, in these and other European States. Finally, the scoping paper ends with a brief synthesis of trends and impacts across Europe, suggesting further research and recommendations. [...]

Spain’s 2010 Criminal Code Reform reorganised and clarified the criminal law treatment of terrorist acts, including as crimes “extolling or justifying”, by whatever means of public expression, terrorist offences and the perpetration of acts that discredit, contempt or humiliate victims or their families. Provocation, conspiracy or solicitation to commit terrorist offences and public distribution or dissemination of slogans or messages aimed at provoking, encouraging and favouring said offenses or increasing the risk of their occurring are also illegal under the Code. Convictions based on this code have steadily increased. In 2011, three individuals were convicted, rising to 39 in 2017, and from 2018 to the present there have been nearly 70.4

Operación Araña (Operation Spider) was a Spanish initiative that searched for communications through social networks that could fall within the definition of “glorifying terrorism”.60 In France, the offence of “apology of terrorism” has led to charges against hundreds of individuals, including children, for comments posted on social media, despite the fact that they did not incite violence. Through both the use of media and the likelihood of an inquisitive mind, the effect of these measures on children and minors is of concern. In 2013, Cassandra Vera Paz published the first in a series of tweets making jokes about the nature of the assassination of Prime-Minister Luis Carrero Blanco by Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) in 1973, and joined a five-decade thread of jokes about Carrero Blanco’s death shared socially and even publicly by comedians.

In 2016, Vera Paz was charged with “injury to victims of terrorism” for the tweets published between 2013 (when Vera Paz was 18 years of age) and 2016. In 2017 the National Court found Vera Paz guilty of humiliation of victims of terrorism and their families. Critics of the decision included Carrero Blanco’s granddaughter, who lamented that public expression, while disagreeable, could lead to a year in prison, a year’s revocation of voting rights, and seven years of inhabilitación absoluta – exclusion from government grants (including scholarships) and holding public sector jobs. The case was appealed at the Supreme Court in 2018, argued based on violation of the Constitution of Spain, Article 20, protecting the right to “freely express and spread thoughts, ideas and opinions through words, in writing or by any other means of reproduction”, as well as violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19, and article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

The Supreme Court reversed the National Court’s ruling because the tweets did not incite violence or hatred against any specific group (i.e. they were not hate speech), nor did they encourage new attacks or justify the assassination. As the tweets did not focus on the personal or public circumstances of Carrero, they could not constitute a humiliation for his relatives. The Supreme Court determined that the National Court had improperly applied Article 578 of the penal code (the law against praising terrorism and the humiliation of victims of terrorism), introduced by the ley orgánica 7/2000 Dec. 222, and undue application of Article 14.3 of the penal code (feasibility of ignorance of the crime). 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.

NEW Handwrite 4 Harkat's Human Rights: Send Stop-Torture Letter Mail
1. Get a pen and paper and an envelope. No postage required!
2. Write a letter (sample below, feel free to personalize it).
3. Put your return address in the upper left hand corner of the envelope. Don't put any slogans or messages on the envelope—we want each one opened!
4. Send the letter for FREE to Bill Blair
5. Email to let us know you sent a letter so we can keep track of our numbers.
6. If you are comfortable taking a selfie and holding up your letter and sending it to us, we would love to post it on social media
7. Share this callout with friends, family and on social media.
NEW 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.
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.
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.

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.
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