International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
October 2, 2020
ICLMG: New Revelations of RCMP Online Mass Surveillance Raise Troubling Privacy, Civil Liberties Concerns
ICLMG 28/09/2020 - On Sept. 23, the Tyee revealed that the RCMP has awarded a new contract to Babel Street, a US-based company that uses algorithms to track, analyze and translate online communications. It is used extensively by law enforcement agencies in the United States. The RCMP has said in the past that it uses such software to move from “reactive” policing to the controversial practice of “proactive” policing: identifying potential threats before they occur by surveilling and collecting information on individuals who are not suspected of having engaged in criminal activity.

“It is completely unacceptable that the RCMP is moving forward with what can only be described as online mass surveillance,” said Tim McSorley, National Coordinator of the ICLMG. “We are calling on the RCMP to immediately halt the use of Babel Street and other surveillance software used in an attempt to predict crime, and to release the audit of its online surveillance program the force committed to months ago, but never made public. We also believe that the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada should open an investigation into the RCMP’s online activities.” Mass surveillance can never be justified, added McSorley, regardless of what may be included in the RCMP’s report. Read more - Lire plus

ICLMG 25/09/2020 - This report and rhetoric from the Haldimand County police services board is completely unacceptable. They must immediately withdraw their unfounded accusations that those those involved with the 1492 Land Back Lane camp are engaged in "terrorism" and apologize to those targeted by this incendiary language. Given this, we also support the call from Land Back Lane for the board to resign and for county leadership to engage in a resolution that is not led by police. Canada has and does use national security to justify stealing land from Indigenous people, and then uses "anti-terrorism" to undermine and criminalize Indigenous land defenders. It is shameful that Haldimand county officials would continue this disgraceful racist and colonial legacy. Read more - Lire plus

ICLMG has some ideas on how Bill Blair can uphold human rights
ICLMG 25/09/2020 - Glad to see your goal of upholding human rights in Canada & around the world, Bill Blair. Some places to start: drop the appeal of Safe Third Country Agreement, stop
RCMP mass surveillance, end CSIS's threat disruption powers, eliminate the No Fly List, no more deportations to torture, bring in truly independent review for RCMP & CBSA, take real action on systemic racism in policing and intelligence work, ban facial recognition by law enforcement & intelligence agencies, stop secret trials and security certificates, remove CSIS' immunity for breaking the law, hold CSIS officers responsible for when they lie to the courts, etc.

You can send Minister Blair a message to at least make sure CSIS officers are held accountable when they lie to the courts and break the law, by taking action here. Source
Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau on the Ongoing Weapons Exports to Saudi Arabia
The ICLMG is one of the letter's 39 signatories.
Amnesty International 17/09/2020 - Today marks the one-year anniversary of Canada’s accession to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The undersigned, representing a cross-section of Canadian labour, arms controls, human rights, international security, and other civil society organizations, are writing to reiterate our continued opposition to your government’s issuance of arms exports permits to Saudi Arabia. We write today adding to the letters of March 2019, August 2019, and April 2020 in which several of our organizations raised concerns about the serious ethical, legal, human rights and humanitarian implications of Canada’s ongoing exports to Saudi Arabia. We regret that, to date, we have received no response to these concerns from you or the relevant Cabinet ministers on the matter. In the same year that Canada acceded to the ATT, its arms exports to Saudi Arabia more than doubled, increasing from almost $1.3 billion in 2018, to almost $2.9 billion in 2019. Stunningly, arms exports to Saudi Arabia now account for over 75% of Canada’s non-US military exports. [...]

We are further disappointed that your government has not released any information with respect to the arms-length advisory panel of experts that was announced by Ministers Champagne and Morneau over five months ago. Despite multiple overtures to help shape this process – which could constitute a positive step towards improved compliance with the ATT – civil society organizations have remained outside of the process. We are similarly disappointed that there appear to be no further details about the Ministers’ announcement that Canada will spearhead multilateral discussions to strengthen compliance with the ATT towards the establishment of an international inspection regime. Prime Minister, the decision to resume arms transfers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and only days after endorsing the UN Secretary-General’s call for a global ceasefire undermines Canada’s professed commitment to multilateralism and diplomacy. We again reiterate our call for Canada to exercise its sovereign authority and suspend the transfer of light armoured vehicles and other weapons which risk being used in the perpetration of serious violations of international humanitarian or international human rights law in Saudi Arabia or in the context of the conflict in Yemen. Read more - Lire plus

Matthew Behrens: Canada has a war crime problem 28/09/2020 - Two new reports on Canadian weapons exports reveal that Canadian-based corporate entities (and, by extension, government agencies that support and encourage their exports) are complicit in the commission of war crimes in Yemen, Turkey, Libya, Syria and Iraq. These findings build on previously raised concerns that the Canadian military was complicit in war crimes during the occupation of Afghanistan (including when current Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan operated there as a soldier). Earlier this month, the United Nations criticized Canada, among other nations, for continuing to export weapons to all parties that fuel the commission of war crimes in Yemen. "Yemen has been ravaged in ways that should shock the conscience of humanity," said Melissa Parke, a member of the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen that produced the report, "Yemen: A Pandemic of Impunity in a Tortured Land." "Yemen has now experienced some six years of unremitting armed conflict, with no end in sight for the suffering of the millions of people caught in its grip." Kamel Jendoubi, who chaired the UN group, added: "After years of documenting the terrible toll of this war, no one can say 'we did not know what was happening in Yemen.'"
Trudeau fuels Saudi weapons experts

Yet despite the detailed, years-long public record documenting such crimes, the Trudeau regime has never taken any meaningful steps to end its government's complicity. Indeed, during the April pandemic lockdown, the Trudeau government lifted its temporary suspension of weapons exports to the Saudi regime spearheading the war against Yemen, one imposed after Saudi agents murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Istanbul-based Saudi consulate. Meanwhile, Saudi-bound killer armoured vehicles are still rolling off the London, Ontario assembly line of General Dynamic Land Systems as part of a $15-billion contract that met the federal government's definition of an "essential" workplace during the height of COVID-19's first wave. Those on the receiving end of Canadian-exported weapons are not likely nodding in agreement that their lives have enjoyed greater peace and security. Indeed, a new report from Project Ploughshares on the commission of war crimes involving Canadian-made sensors and targeting equipment produced by Burlington, Ontario's Wescam concludes that: "Canada's export of Wescam sensors to Turkey poses a substantial risk of facilitating human suffering, including violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Canadian officials are obligated by international and Canadian law to mitigate the risks of such transfers, including through the denial of export permits, when such risks are apparent from the outset -- which appears to be the case with Wescam exports to Turkey."

As with the Saudi killer vehicles contract, the news that Wescam is involved in producing technology used in repression and war crimes is nothing new. Indeed, in the early 2000s, Homes not Bombs documented how Wescam (at that time owned by L3 Communications): "supplies human rights violators (Colombia, Egypt, Algeria, China, Iran, Libya, Saudi Arabia, U.S., and U.K), provides components used by the Hellfire-missile-armed US Air Force Predator, Cobra Attack Helicopter, & Vigilante chopper's Low Cost Precision Kill scheme; L-3 Wescam 'border control' products prevent refugees from finding safety; L-3 Wescam outfits police forces to repress demonstrations and ‘public disturbances’; Wescam parent L-3 Communications Canada is ranked #1 war manufacturer (Canadian Defence Review, 2006); and Wescam Parent company L-3 Communications supplies 'interrogation' teams allegedly implicated in torture in Iraq." Situated on a sideroad next to an elementary school in Burlington, the Wescam factory was the focus of years of protests by groups including Homes not Bombs, where dozens were arrested for seeking meetings with company officials to discuss their role in the war crimes of the day. These included the opening salvo of Bush administration use of armed drones to conduct extrajudicial assassinations in 2002, as well as ongoing complicity in the crimes committed by occupation forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and other countries targeted by U.S. and allied forces. [...]

Turkey is the third-biggest recipient of Canadian weapons exports (valued at over $152 million). While Ottawa temporarily suspended weapons sales to Turkey in October 2019 after that country's latest invasion of Syria, Canada announced an extension of the embargo in spring 2020. Turkish strongman Recep Erdogan was furious, and confronted Trudeau about it. [...] It did not take long for Global Affairs Canada to grant an exemption for Wescam to continue those weapons exports a month later. Turkey was apparently worried that its capacity to wage drone warfare would be limited given battlefield losses in Syria and Libya. That resumption of weapons sales came just as the group Genocide Watch openly questioned why Turkey was not before the International Criminal Court for war crimes committed during its multiple incursions into Syria. They noted that: "In areas under Turkey's control, civilians have been subjected to horrific crimes against humanity committed by Turkish forces and Turkish supported militias. Kurdish towns have been bombed and destroyed, some with white phosphorus, a war crime. Hundreds of civilians have been summarily executed. Kurdish and Yazidi women have been kidnapped and subjected to sexual slavery. Secret prisons hold hundreds of Kurds who are routinely tortured." Read more - Lire plus
Canada Is Buying A Fleet Of Armed Drones. We Should All Be Worried
Passage 19/08/2020 - As millions prepare for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit to end in September, Canadians need their collective security guaranteed by continued access to food, income, shelter and health care — not by weapons. And yet, it seems that even these pressing challenges aren’t slowing down the government’s attempts to purchase and deploy a fleet of armed surveillance drones by 2025. 
Last week, Vice reported that government representatives recently briefed potential industry suppliers on their list of system requirements for the fleet, which include the ability to strike targets with onboard missiles and surveil domestic protests. Canadians should find this news highly concerning, for several reasons.

The United States’ armed drones, which Canada may purchase under its “Remotely Piloted Aircraft System” procurement program, have been used to wage a targeted assassination campaign across the Middle East and North Africa, killing thousands of civilians and leaving many more without limbsloved ones or livelihoods. Disturbingly, in its “Letter of Interest” to industry suppliers, the Canadian government laid out a potential scenario in which its own drones could be tasked to perform a very similar strike mission to those regularly conducted by the American military. In this scenario, a Canadian drone equipped with Hellfire missiles and laser-guided bombs is tasked with surveilling “suspected insurgent operating locations” in Afghanistan. During its mission, the drone crew spots a “High-Payoff Target” — a pickup truck with a mortar attached to the bed — and destroys it with one of its missiles. 

It’s reasonable to conclude from this that Canada intends to join the U.S. drone war in earnest. And yet, the American drone program — which has evaded serious political and legal scrutiny for decades — isn’t even preventing terrorism. In fact, it’s spurring it on. 
In 2015, Air Force whistleblowers called for an end to the drone war in an open letter to the Barack Obama administration, stating that these strikes “fueled the feelings of hatred that ignited terrorism and groups like ISIS, while also serving as a fundamental recruitment tool.” This common-sense finding has also been corroborated by some of the same military officials who led U.S. counterterrorism operations in the Middle East, including retired generals such as Stanley McChrystal and Michael Flynn. 

Using drones is not only counterproductive and dangerously escalatory, but also a form of terror in itself. A comprehensive 2012 study by Stanford Law School found significantly elevated levels of anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, self-medication, insomnia, hopelessness and suicide in individuals affected by the U.S. drone war in Pakistan. One respondent summarized his community’s collective trauma: “Before the drone attacks, it was as if everyone was young. After the drone attacks, it is as if everyone is ill. Every person is afraid of the drones.” The study also found that parents have pulled their children out of schools, families can’t attend weddings or funerals for loved ones and friends have even stopped congregating in small groups, because, as one interviewee put it, “They usually attack people when they sit in gatherings.” This fear of gatherings is explicitly reinforced by Canada’s own drone specifications: In one of the government’s scenarios, a drone drops a bomb on a group of three “Fighting Age Males” after the crew spots one of them “holding a small radio or cell phone in his hand.” Read more - Lire plus
CAUT decries arrest of Carleton University student in Turkey
CAUT 28/09/2020 - The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has written to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan demanding the immediate release of Cihan Erdal, a Carleton University doctoral student who was visiting Istanbul when he was arrested along with dozens of other academics and politicians for unknown reasons on September 25.

“Mr. Erdal was in Turkey to visit family and to conduct fieldwork as part of his doctoral research in Canada. His research on youth-led social movements in Europe, including in Turkey, focused on the stories of young activists,” says CAUT Executive Director David Robinson in a letter. “CAUT condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the actions taken against Mr. Erdal and is calling on the Turkish government to immediately drop all charges against him and the other 81 academics, politicians, and activists.”

Carleton’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology is also urging Canadian and Turkish authorities to facilitate release of Erdal and the 81 others arrested, and to ensure Erdal’s safe return to Canada, where he is a permanent resident. Hundreds of scholars have already signed on to the Department’s petition. Erdal is likely being targeted for events dating to 2014 in which he — along with the other 81 individuals who were detained — was a signatory to a letter calling for the Turkish government to step in to protect a Kurdish town from ISIS attacks. Read more - Lire plus

The Man Who Cried ISIS?
Slate 28/09/2020 - From April through June 2018, the New York Times published a 10-part podcast series, titled Caliphate, that featured reporter Rukmini Callimachi discussing her reporting on ISIS fighters as well as her numerous trips to Syria and Iraq. When the podcast was released, many in Canada were shocked to hear the voice of a young Canadian man who claimed to have fought for ISIS and then returned home to Canada. The man identified as Abu Huzayfah, his kunya or nom de guerre, at times sounded reflective and regretful but at other times seemed to betray his ongoing admiration for jihadism and the ISIS caliphate. Even worse, he admitted to Callimachi that he had carried out executions as a member of the group. He went on to do several more interviews with the Canadian media confessing to various terrorism offenses.

Last week, however, all of this media attention came back to haunt him. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), after a lengthy investigation into his claimed stint with ISIS, arrested Huzayfah, charging him with “hoax-terrorist activity.” The implication of this charge is that he made it all up and did so intentionally to “generate fear within our communities and create the illusion there is a potential threat to Canadians.” Whether or not this can be proved, Huzayfah’s claims, and the reporting of them, have had a direct impact on the radicalization debate in Canada and elsewhere. Shortly after the podcast was released, the Canadian political establishment erupted at the prospect of an ISIS fighter cavalierly walking the streets of Toronto. The opposition Conservative Party went so far as to bring a motion in Parliament demanding that the government put forth a strategy to deal with Canadians who had traveled abroad to join or support ISIS, including women and children. In an election year, the government responded that, where possible, returnees would be prosecuted but it had zero obligation to facilitate the return of citizens detained in Syria. This was a far cry from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s refrain during a 2015 debate on the government’s right to revoke the citizenship of ISIS fighters: “A Canadian, is a Canadian is a Canadian.”

Reporting has also made clear that in early 2018, Canadian officials were in contact with Kurdish leadership about some sort of repatriation plan for Canadian ISIS fighters and family members in their custody after the loss of territory by ISIS, but this plan was swiftly and mysteriously shelved in May 2018, after Caliphate had begun airing. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Huzayfah case—the podcast, and also the notion that individuals who had carried out executions for ISIS could make it back to Canada and evade criminal prosecution—profoundly influenced the policy debate about whether to repatriate the men, women, and children in Kurdish custody. To date, Canada has refused to return a single person from northeastern Syria, not even a 5-year-old orphan girl named Amira. No other liberal democracy can match Canada’s abysmal record on this issue. [...] This case also paints an ugly picture of the government of Canada. Seemingly, officials are not prepared to do the work to return and prosecute ISIS members who committed atrocities abroad, nor reintegrate innocent Canadian children, but will go the extra mile to prosecute wannabes who make them look bad. Read more - Lire plus
Biden’s Plan to Roll Back Discriminatory Counterterrorism Policies
Brennan Centre 30/09/2020 - It’s past time for this reorientation. Since 9/11, U.S. policy has been single-mindedly focused on Al Qaeda and ISIS while studiously ignoring other perils. Meanwhile, far-right violence is a persistent problem that regularly produces more U.S. fatalities than attacks carried out by individuals associated with those groups.

But we must also be wary of repeating the mistakes of heavy-handed counterterrorism policies. For example, the 2020 platform suggests that a new administration would “if necessary work with Congress to pass a domestic terrorism law that is consistent with the Constitutional right to free speech and civil liberties.” No such law is needed. As documented in the Brennan Center’s report, Wrong Priorities on Fighting Terrorism, there is ample legal authority to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of white supremacist violence, but there has been a lack of will to do so. A domestic terrorism statute wouldn’t change that. And it wouldn’t just be used against violent white supremacists. It is more likely to be used against protesters, such as the Black Lives Matter movement for which the bureau sought to create a fictitious terrorist threat of “black identity extremists,” as well as environmental activists whom the FBI calls “ecoterrorists” and Muslim Americans who been the focus of the bureau’s attention for the last two decades.

For the first time, the 2020 Democratic platform recognizes the toll that security measures have taken on Muslim communities, stating that “to fully confront the legacy of systemic and structural racism, it is time to examine, confront and dismantle the government programs, policies and practices that have unfairly targeted American Muslims as security threats.” Placing the treatment of American Muslims within the framework of structural racism and recognizing the discriminatory role of the state is a substantial step. It parallels the development of the Democratic party’s views on the treatment of African Americans, which have progressed from condemning individual racism to recognizing its systemic underpinnings. While Democrats have long condemned Islamophobia, they have — until now — mostly refused to acknowledge how the government’s own programs harm Muslims.

For example, the 2016 party platform rejected Trump’s “vilification of Muslims,” but made no mention of the treatment of American Muslims by law enforcement. The Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, ignored these too, preferring to see these diverse communities through a security lens. Muslim Americans were mentioned just once in her platform documents as part of her plan for “Combating Terrorism and Keeping the Homeland Safe.” During the presidential debates, Clinton repeated this theme, promising to “work with American Muslim communities who are on the front lines to identify and prevent attacks.”

The instrumentalization of Muslims as handmaidens in the war on terror rather than as Americans with a range of concerns, including with law enforcement itself, is typical of the Democratic Party’s approach to this community in the last two decades.
Of course, recognizing that the state has systematically targeted Muslim communities as security threats is just the beginning of righting the wrongs they have suffered. The party platform includes some clues as to what remedies might entail, such as a promise to “right-size” the country’s counterterrorism footprint,” a rejection of “the targeting of Muslim, Arab, and other racial and ethnic communities based on their faith and backgrounds,” and a commitment to “not weaponize counterterrorism for anti-immigrant purposes.” Read more - Lire plus
UK Seeks to Stop Justice for War Crimes
Just Security 14/09/2020 - The rule of law means that those responsible for the worst crimes should be promptly and fairly prosecuted. Yet the UK government is seeking parliament’s approval of a law – the Overseas Operations Bill – that would make it nearly impossible to prosecute British soldiers for torture and other war crimes committed overseas. With this bill the government shows contempt for the rule of law, violates the UK’s international commitments to prosecute the worst crimes, and risks creating impunity for grave abuse. 

Britain has a long and shameful history of failing to prosecute its nationals responsible for major crimes overseas – such as Reginald Dyer, the general who ordered the Amritsar massacre that killed hundreds of Indians. In 1950s Kenya, the British colonial state was responsible for widespread torture – the UK acknowledged this, 50 years later, but none of the alleged torturers ever faced trial. More recently, the evidence is overwhelming that some British forces in Iraq committed serious abuses, often amounting to war crimes. Public inquiries and court rulings have found that British forces abused detainees, sometimes causing their deaths. Commanders and government ministers should have known about and prevented such abuse. Such failure to prevent war crimes is itself a criminal offense.

Despite this evidence, virtually no British soldier has been prosecuted, let alone convicted for war crimes. A public inquiry found that Baha Mousa, an Iraqi hotel receptionist, was beaten to death in British custody in 2003, but only one British soldier, a corporal, was convicted and sentenced to one year in prison. British governments have directly interfered to prevent UK nationals being prosecuted, shutting down investigations into alleged crimes committed by forces in Iraq and Afghanistan before they had completed their work.

The Overseas Operations Bill would make it nearly impossible to prosecute genuine cases. It would create a “presumption against prosecution” after five years for torture and other war crimes allegedly committed by members of UK forces overseas. The law would increase the power of the attorney general, a member of the government, to protect soldiers from prosecution. This new law would send a clear message that the government’s aim is to prevent justice for the most serious crimes committed by British nationals against foreigners. Parliament should reject it. Read more - Lire plus

China's still building detention camps in Xinjiang — and they're getting even bigger
ABC News 24/09/2020 - China appears to be expanding its network of secret detention facilities for Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, despite official claims that all detainees have been released from the camps. New research from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) suggests that China has continued to build new detention centres in Xinjiang, with a focus on what the thinktank said were high-security "prison-style" facilities. Researchers for ASPI's International Cyber Policy Centre have used satellite imagery to locate and analyse a total of 380 suspected detention facilities in Xinjiang. And despite Beijing's claim late last year that all detainees had "graduated" from the facilities, the thinktank said major detention camps were still in operation across Xinjiang. "Our satellite evidence showed … at least 60 camps saw construction, and at least 14 remain under construction as of the latest satellite imagery available," ASPI researcher Nathan Ruser told the ABC.

More than 1 million Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities are believed to have been detained in Xinjiang's sprawling camp system since the security crackdown there began in 2017. Despite denying the existence of the camps for years, Chinese officials later took to describing the detention facilities as "vocational education and training centres", where would-be terrorists were to be reformed and turned into productive members of society. However, survivors, family members and camp whistleblowers have told a very different story, describing a system of arbitrary detention, political indoctrination, human rights abuses and forced labour. In a surprise twist, local officials announced in December 2019 that all detainees had in fact "graduated" from the centres, a claim activists and human rights groups were quick to dispute. "The idea that they've released everyone, and that there's no people currently extrajudicially detained in Xinjiang, is quite ludicrous … there's so many people that still have no news of their families that were detained," Mr Ruser said. [...]

At the same time that some of the lower tier facilities were being wound back, ASPI said "prison-style" Tier 3 and 4 facilities have undergone significant new construction and expansion. Tier 3 and 4 facilities are purely focused on the detention of prisoners, and feature high concrete walls, extensive barbed wire, watch towers and are often arranged in cell blocks. ASPI's research found that most of the 14 facilities still under construction in Xinjiang in 2020 were prisons, and around half of the 61 facilities that received recent construction work have been high-security camps. The thinktank said this may suggest a shift toward "higher-security prison-style facilities", as opposed to the low-security re-education centres. 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:

Join BCCLA & Amnesty International Canada to hear from academic, community, and legal experts as they discuss anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, surveillance, and criminalization through the rise of invasive digital technologies. ASL Interpretation: One interpreter confirmed, 2nd interpreter TBD. The event will be live streamed on YouTube. Register below to receive the link or tune into our YouTube Channel the day of the event!
NEW 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!
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.
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.
Migrants and refugee rights
Droits des et des réfugié.es

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!