International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
11 octobre 2019
ICLMG's National Security Info Card 2015-2019
ICLMG 09/10/2019 - A good way to know what will be a party’s position on national security in the next Parliament, is to know how they have acted on that topic in the past. On our new national security info card , you’ll find:
  • How the federal parties have voted on national security legislation in the last 4 years
  • What non-legislative positions and actions federal parties have taken in the past
  • What are the federal parties’ platform promises on national security, and if and how the parties have responded to ICLMG’s top 10 election asks on national security.

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ICLMG presented at the CCU!
ICLMG 05/10/2019 - Thank you so much to Confederation of Canadian Unions for inviting our national coordinator Tim McSorley to share our work defending civil liberties from the impact of anti-terrorism laws.

Congratulations on 50 years, and thank you for being a steadfast member of our coalition! (and for the great swag!) Contact us if you'd like us to come talk to your organization about our work.
Open letter seeks federal party leaders' promise to launch public inquiry on case of Hassan Diab
Amnesty International 07/10/2019 - Dear federal parties' leaders, we are writing to seek your party’s public commitment to support the establishment of a public inquiry into the case of Dr. Hassan Diab. Amnesty International and the BC Civil Liberties Association consider the outcome of Murray Segal’s external review of the Government of Canada’s handling of Dr. Diab’s case to be deeply unsatisfactory. Unfortunately, due to the inadequate mechanism chosen and the limited terms of reference set, this was the anticipated result. At the time the Minister of Justice announced their decision to establish a review, we voiced our concerns that this would be insufficient to adequately examine how the extradition scheme contributed to the unjust treatment of Dr. Diab; we strongly advocated for the establishment of a public inquiry.

Consequently, Amnesty International and the BCCLA reiterate their support for the call made by Dr. Diab himself for a full and public inquiry into all events leading up to his extradition from Canada, his detention without charge in France for over three years, and related matters since his return to Canada. At this time we seek your commitment to support the establishment of a public inquiry that inter alia would be empowered to:
  • determine the extent and nature of the human rights violations Dr. Diab experienced;
  • explore fully how the application of existing extraditions laws, policies and guidelines facilitated an extradition that resulted in those serious human rights violations;
  • examine the failure of Department of Justice officials to ensure that key exculpatory evidence was disclosed to the court, to Dr. Diab and his counsel;
  • assess the action taken by Canadian politicians, consular personnel and other government officials to intervene with French officials as it became clear his treatment in France was in contravention of international human rights norms;
  • consider appropriate redress, including compensation and an official apology, for Dr. Diab and his family; and
  • make recommendations as to consequential reforms needed to Canada’ Extradition Act, consular guidelines and any other relevant laws or policies. Read more - Lire plus

Diab, who fought terrorism allegations, finally gets new citizenship certificate
Canadian Press 08/10/2019 - Sociology professor Hassan Diab has received a copy of his Canadian citizenship certificate a week after launching a court fight to get it.The Lebanon-born academic had waited 15 months for a replacement copy with no explanation from the federal government, prompting him to head to Federal Court.

Diab's original certificate was seized when the RCMP arrested him in 2008 in response to a request from French authorities, who suspected his involvement in the 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue. Diab has always professed innocence, but he was extradited to France where he spent three years in jail. In January last year, French judges dismissed the allegations against Diab and ordered his immediate release, but his citizenship certificate was not returned. Ayesha Kumararatne, Diab's lawyer, says while she is pleased Ottawa did the right thing in issuing a new certificate, she is disappointed it took court action to get a response. Read more - Lire plus
Statement by Ms. Fionnuala Ní Aoláin at the 2019 Global Counter-Terrorism Forum
Fionnuala Ní Aoláin is the Special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism
Mirror 23/09/2019 - Honourable Chair, Excellencies, Distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am very pleased to be here to address the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum, the second time the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism has done so. My predecessor Ben Emmerson had the opportunity to address this Forum in 2012. As many States know the mandate advances a complementary vision where rights and security are intrinsically integrated. Rights and security are reciprocal, interrelated and necessarily compatible. Excellencies, Distinguished delegatesIn my first Report to the General Assembly in October 2017, I laid out four specific priorities for the mandate including addressing the importance of advancing the rights and protection of civil society in parallel with the work that is done to regulate, counter and prevent terrorism.

I presented a comprehensive report on that issue to the Human Rights Council last March (HRC/40/52). My report moves away from reporting on anecdotal examples of the negative use of counter-terrorism/CVE/PVE measures against civil society but rather is focused on the global (available evidence) on the use, mis-use and challenges to civil society from the use of these measures.I stress that since 2001, civil society space has been shrinking. Civil society as a whole is stigmatised, sometimes discriminated against, its actors are subjected to smear campaigns, defamation, physical harassment, problematically charged and sentenced under various laws, its peaceful actions are criminalised. Its members are simply unable to carry out their work, either because they are detained, tried, or threatened or they are subject to various restrictions on their ability to express themselves, to meet, or to operate. The shrinking space for civil society has become a structural global challenge.According to CIVICUS, civic space is closed, repressed or obstructed in 111 countries across the world, and only four per cent of the global population live in areas where civic space is open. This trend has been accelerating in the past few years, with the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law recording the adoption of 64 restrictive laws on civil society from 2015-2016 alone.

According to Front Line Defenders, at least 321 HRDs were killed in 2018 only. 3 Framed by this broad context, between 2001 and 2018, at least 140 governments have adopted counter-terrorism legislation. To address new or perceived threats, or simply to comply with new international requirements, many governments have adopted multiple legislative and administrative measures to counter terrorism.1The clear link between impact on civil society space and enlargement of the security framework can be seen in the following trends and figures. I made a commitment to ensuring that robust well-defined data would be brought to the attention of States to ground the use and misuse of counter-terrorism law and practice. There has been a tendency to dismiss the sustained, systematic and global character of the assaults on civil society as a ‘bad-apple’ problem. This Report indisputably rejects that assertion. Instead, it grounds and meticulously documents the scope, form and substance of the onslaught on civil society around the world.

Since its inception, 66 per cent of all relevant communications sent by the mandate of the Special Rapporteur related to the use of counter-terrorism, preventing and countering violent extremism (PCVE) or broadly defined security-related measures on civil society. For the last two years, the number is slightly higher, at 68 percent. This is an extraordinarily high figure, which underscores the abuse and misuse of counter-terrorism measures against civil society and human rights defenders over a decade and a half. This robust empirical finding measured from 2005-2018 affirms that targeting civil society is not a random or incidental aspect of counter-terrorism law and practice. It suggests the hard-wiring of misuse into the use of counter-terrorism measures by states around the globe. This upward trend tallies with the findings of Mapping Media Freedom that the misuse of security legislation to silence government critics is growing, with 67 of the 269 cases it dealt with in a four-year period happening in 2018, and only 10 in 2014. Front Line Defenders documented that of the cases it dealt with in 2018; 58 percent of the HRDs charged were charged under security legislation. The mandate of the Special Rapporteur, for its part, finds that over 67 percent of all communications concerning civil society in 2018 related to alleged proceedings under counter terrorism or other broad security-related charges. Such a finding demands fundamental review of the use (and misuse) 4 of counter-terrorism law and practice around the globe, and the implementation of robust oversight and accountability for the attendant human rights violations. Read more - Lire plus
Position of the Special Rapporteur on the Return of “Foreign Fighters” and their Families to Europe
25/09/2019 - The Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism recalls that the urgent return and repatriation of foreign fighters and their families from conflict zones is the only international law-compliant response to the increasingly complex and precarious human rights, humanitarian and security situation faced by those women, men and children who are detained in inhumane conditions in overcrowded camps, prisons, or elsewhere in northern Syrian Arab Republic and Iraq. Such return is a comprehensive response that amounts to a positive implementation Security Council resolutions 2178 (2014) and 2396 (2017) and is considerate of a State’s long-term security interests. States have a positive obligation to take necessary and reasonable steps to intervene in favour of their nationals abroad, should there be reasonable grounds to believe that they face treatment in flagrant violation of international human rights law. This includes flagrant denial of justice, the imposition of the death penalty, torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, sexual violence, or deprivation of liberty in grave violation of human rights standards, including arbitrary detention, incommunicado detention, and detention that fails to comply with the most basic standards of humanity.

In light of the inhumane, degrading and increasingly dangerous situations of detention, the Special Rapporteur cannot accept that stated practical challenges faced by States in the return process, including the lack of consular representation in areas where nationals are present and the shortage of information on the whereabouts of and conditions faced by nationals in conflict zones who frequently find themselves in the power of armed groups operating as de facto authorities, be used as excuses to obstruct returns. The Special Rapporteur has seen first hand that partnerships can be optimized in tracing, identifying and delivering the practical means to extract individuals from territories under the control of non-state actors and ensure their safe return to home countries. She has also seen that a number of steps can be taken to ascertain nationality, to obtain assistance from state and non-state actors to move individuals from camps and assist in air transport, as well as in the provision of humanitarian assistance and medical care before, during and after transit. While effective consular assistance can play a preventive role when facing a risk of flagrant violations or abuses of human rights, the remedial nature of this protection frequently means that they cannot effectively prevent an irreparable harm from being committed.

The Special Rapporteur further stresses that an effective return process includes holding individuals accountable for serious violations of national and international law for serious and systematic crimes committed in Syria and Iraq. It is, in fact, the only way to close the gaping impunity gap for which the inadequate and dysfunctional judicial system in both Iraq and Syria is not an answer. There is an urgent need for justice for all of the victims of the violations of human rights and humanitarian law that has occurred in the region. States thus have a responsibility to prosecute individuals against whom there is sufficient evidence of criminal behaviour, and sanction them appropriately through fair trials that comply with due process. [...] Returning children is a humanitarian and human rights imperative. The argument that children are not deserving of protection constitutes a moral failure by their home countries, particularly those who have ample resources. [...] States must also bear in mind that the distinction between victims and perpetrators can be complex, with returnees being victims of terrorism, trafficking, slavery or sexual violence as well as perpetrators of criminal offences. In the Special Rapporteur’s view, maternal responsibilities should on their own never qualify as ‘material support’ to terrorism. Read more - Lire plus
How Canada’s far right is using anti-Muslim propaganda to target Trudeau
The Guardian 04/10/2019 - The video shows a bearded imam purportedly heralding a plan by Justin Trudeau to implement sharia law in Canada, before cutting to an image of the prime minister sitting cross-legged in prayer amid a group of Muslim men. Shared widely on anti-Trudeau Facebook pages earlier this year, the clumsy montage was presented as evidence that Canada’s 23rd prime minister is bent on subverting the judicial system to please Islamists – probably because he is a closeted Muslim himself. Trudeau was pilloried when images emerged of at least three instances in which he had donned blackface. Yet as Canada heads toward a general election, the prime minister has also become the subject of racist and Islamophobic conspiracy theories. And unlike the 2016 US election – in which a significant portion of online misinformation was created on Russian troll farms – much of the anti-Muslim propaganda aimed at Trudeau is produced and disseminated by Canadians.

Dozens of videos on these pages are a conspiratorial pastiche in which Trudeau coddles Muslim extremists and throws open Canada’s borders at the behest of George Soros. And they have been clicked almost 700,000 times. [...] More recently, the Conservative party candidate Cameron Ogilvie stepped down after the activist group Press Progress unearthed social media posts in which Ogilvie shared a post accusing Trudeau of wanting to turn Canada into an “Islamic state”. Such conspiracies date back to Trudeau’s 2015 campaign pledge to bring in 25,000 mostly Muslim refugees from war-torn Syria by the end of the year. The move was a dramatic reversal from the previous Conservative government, which only agreed to increase the number of Syrian refugees admitted into Canada, from 1,300 to 10,000, provided Syria’s non-Muslim religious and ethnic minorities were prioritized. Soon after, the anti-Trudeau conspiracies began in earnest, echoing US “birthers” who alleged Barack Obama was ineligible for office or was secretly a Muslim. By early 2016, a Toronto-based Facebook group was already speculating that Trudeau wanted to flood Canada’s borders with immigrants from majority Muslim countries, either because he was ignorant to the dangers of radical Islam – or because he was a radical Islamist himself. [...] Now Muslim groups found themselves in a unique situation: criticizing both Trudeau for donning brownface, as well as his enemies on the far right who say he is secretly Muslim. “It was disheartening to see the prime minister engage in blackface/brownface,” said Mustafa Farooq, Executive Director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims. “That said, mislabelling someone as Muslim to castigate them is despicable. It engages in a longstanding hateful mythology about the Muslim community.” [...]

Many of the far right’s most prominent provocateurs are Canadians, including Faith Goldy, Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern – who was banned from Facebook earlier this year.
A 2018 report by the country’s intelligence agency found that Canadians who hold extreme rightwing views – including Islamophobia, anti-immigration and white nationalism – actively use chat forums and social media. “These individuals leverage online chats and forums in attempt to create an online culture of fear, hatred and mistrust by exploiting real or imagined concerns,” the report found. “We strongly expect much of this kind of content to be domestic,” said Taylor Owen, director of the Digital Democracy Project, which is monitoring instances of mis- and disinformation ahead of the election. “As in the EU parliamentary elections, domestic groups saw the tools and tactics which worked for Russia in the US election and simply co-opted them.” All of this has kept fact-checkers busy. The CBC, the country’s public broadcaster, has devoted seven journalists to fact check stories, ads, posts and other media that could have an impact on the election. Earlier this year, the Agence France-Presse news agency debunked a widely circulated story which said the Trudeau government had “pleaded” the Nigerian government to send one million immigrants to Canada. (The same site had Trudeau making similar requests of six other countries.)

Yet the tide of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant rhetoric persists, seemingly spurring the nativist impulses of some mainstream Canadian politicians. In Quebec, Canada’s second-most populous province, the government led by the populist Coalition Avenir Québec has reduced the number of incoming immigrants by 20%, despite the province’s aging population and corresponding labour shortage. The CAQ also passed a “laicity” law banning religious symbols from the bodies of certain government workers, which many see as disproportionately affecting Muslim women in the workplace. Last fall, the former Conservative MP Maxime Bernier launched a populist party that will field a full slate of candidates in the upcoming election. Bernier regularly berates Trudeau’s “cult of diversity”, wants to “make Canada great again” and shares videos from advocates of the baseless “QAnon” conspiracy theory that Donald Trump is battling a global cabal of elite liberal paedophiles. Bernier recently made the evidence-free claim that Islamic extremists have infiltrated Canadian politics, a contention pushed by one of the largest anti-Trudeau sites in the country. In less than a year, his thinly concealed dog-whistling has attracted notorious white nationalists and Canada’s alt-right movement – as well as 5% of Canadian voters, according to one poll. Read more - Lire plus
Police cannot arrest lawful protesters, even to prevent violence by others, Supreme Court rules
The Globe and Mail 04/10/2019 - Police cannot arrest lawful protesters to prevent violence by others, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday. The decision comes in the case of Randy Fleming, who carried a Canadian flag on a pole as part of a counterprotest against an Indigenous occupation of Crown land in Caledonia, Ont., in 2009. It has wide implications for peaceful protests in Canada. The police, the court said, have no authority under the English common law (a centuries-old body of precedents) to arrest provocative but lawful protesters – even when police fear others may engage in violence. It was the first Supreme Court ruling in Canadian history to address police powers in such circumstances, the court said. Two lower courts that dealt with the case both accepted that such an arrest power existed. “This is the authority that police used to justify the biggest mass arrests in Canadian history in the G-20 debacle,” lawyer Sean Dewart said, referring to the preventive arrests of more than 1,000 people in 2010 in downtown Toronto. Mr. Dewart represented the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, which intervened in the Fleming case. “Democracy and freedom of expression are considerably more safe than they were as a result of this ruling.”

Mr. Fleming had broken no law with his flag protest, police told the Supreme Court. But when eight to 10 people from an Indigenous demonstration headed toward him, Ontario Provincial Police officers ordered Mr. Fleming to drop the flag. He refused, and five officers pulled his arm behind his back, forced him to the ground and handcuffed him. He accused the police of an unlawful arrest, and causing him lasting physical injuries. A charge of resisting arrest was dropped 19 months later, after he had made 12 court appearances. Mr. Fleming sued police in 2011. An Ontario Superior Court judge ordered the OPP to pay him $139,711 in damages – including $5,000 for violation of his constitutional right to free speech – and $151,000 in legal costs. But the OPP appealed, and won 2-1 at the Ontario Court of Appeal, which threw out the damages award, saying the police tactic was effective in preventing violence. The Supreme Court restored the damages order (adding appeal costs of $48,000), and sharply criticized the appeal court for stressing the effectiveness of the police action when constitutional rights were at stake. “That is a recipe for a police state, not a free and democratic society,” Justice Suzanne Côté wrote in a 7-0 ruling. “It would directly undermine the expectation of all individuals, in the lawful exercise of their liberty, to live their lives free from coercive interference by the state.” Read more - Lire more

Arrestations douloureuses pour les militants d'Extinction Rebellion à Montréal
JDM 09/10/2019 - Alors que plusieurs des membres de l’organisation militante Extinction Rebellion Québec se faisaient arrêter mardi soir sur le boulevard René-Lévesque à Montréal, leurs camarades dénonçaient la façon de faire des policiers du Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) pendant une vidéo publiée en direct sur les réseaux sociaux. Bien que les agents du Groupe d’intervention étaient calmes et qu’aucun coup n’était porté, la façon de contrôler les manifestants était douloureuse, dénoncent les militants, qui ont toujours été pacifiques et non violents au cours de la manifestation, soutiennent-ils. 

La technique d’arrestation consiste à serrer les poignets et tenir la tête. Selon les activistes, la pression exercée sur le cou rendrait difficile la circulation sanguine au niveau du cerveau, provoquant des étourdissements. Toutefois, selon l’expert en techniques policières Jean-François Brochu, les policiers n’avaient d’autres choix que de tenir le cou des manifestants pour éviter qu’ils ne se blessent. «On appelle cela de la résistance passive. Ils laissent les policiers les soulever et les transporter les uns après les autres, ça prend pas mal de temps», explique l’ex-sergent de la Sûreté du Québec. Comme on le voit sur les images, plusieurs des activistes restent «mous» lors de leur arrestation. Pour les forcer à avancer, les policiers vont exercer un «contrôle articulaire», dans le jargon policier. «S’ils n’obtempèrent pas aux policiers, ça va faire mal, mais ça dépend de chaque personne. S’ils commencent à marcher et écoutent les policiers, ça va faire moins mal. Normalement, la personne va finir par comprendre», ajoute Jean-François Brochu. [...] 41 militants ont été arrêtés lors de cette manifestation; ils pourraient faire face à des accusations d’entrave. Read more - Lire plus

Canadian Mining Companies Part of the Problem as Repression of Indigenous and Social Movements Escalates in Ecuador
MiningWatch 07/10/2019 - MiningWatch expresses growing concern for the “State of Exception” (State of Emergency) declared by Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno on October 3rd which seeks to grant exceptional powers to the police and military forces to repress Indigenous and civil society mobilizations against the so-called “ paquetazo ” (package) of austerity measures. The elimination of government subsidies to gasoline and diesel last week was the last straw in a series of economic austerity measures which seek to “open” Ecuador to foreign investment as mandated by the International Monetary Fund, the Interamerican Development Bank, and other international lenders that have been re-negotiating Ecuador’s substantial foreign debt. As groups like Comunanalysis denounced earlier today (statement attached), the government has been pressured by international lenders and financing institutions to sign the 2019 agreement with the IMF which privileges foreign investment as a way of providing collateral for the billion-dollar loans. By demonstrating that they have “strategic mining projects” which will generate foreign currency, the government has been able to renegotiate the debt . Ecuadorian officials were also counselled by the IMF to modify the tax regime applicable to the mining sector in order to eliminate “ investment disincentives” actions which have been applauded by the IMF and mining companies alike. 

Communities are caught at the front line defending their territories against the threat posed by mining extraction in their territories, an assault which has the full support of the national government, international lending institutions and financing banks, and foreign (primarily Canadian, although also Australian and Chinese) mining companies.  
Canadian companies are partially to blame for increased violence in Indigenous and peasant communities opposing the government’s strong-arm position. [...] Blockades are still holding strong around many of the major Canadian projects highlighted above, despite active and ongoing attempts by the police and military to gas, abuse, and arrest those involved in the protests. The Peoples Defense Office reports that nearly  5 00 people have been arrested, and of those many showed signs of abuse from the police and military. [...] Canadian companies are attempting to use the government’s foreign debt discourse to justify their projects to investors, despite the human and ecological costs. But this does not reflect the reality on the ground and the undeniable and generalized resistance to mining activities in the country. As I write this, the Shuar Arutam are being gassed by the military at their blockades. The continued presence of Canadian companies in the area causes a real threat to the lives of communities and Indigenous peoples defending their territories from imminent socio-ecological disaster. Read more - Lire plus

Dakota Access Pipeline Activists Face 110 Years in Prison, Two Years After Confessing Sabotage
The Intercept 04/10/2019 - Two women who vandalized the Dakota Access pipeline in an effort to halt construction have been indicted on charges that carry up to 110 years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. They are among the harshest penalties environmental activists have faced in the last decade. Civil liberties lawyers say the charges are in line with industry-inspired scare tactics meant to deter citizens from participating in direct-action protests or acts of sabotage against oil and gas companies. As the deadly impacts of carbon emissions grow ever clearer, the fossil fuel industry has increased pressure on lawmakers and government officials to penalize those who would inhibit their projects’ operations. At the same time, a growing number of activists have demonstrated willingness to break laws in order to highlight the urgency of the climate emergency and other ecological crises. Ruby Montoya and Jessica Reznicek, who stand accused of damaging pipeline valve sites using a welding torch, “tires ignited by fire, and gasoline-soaked rags,” are part of that trend. The arrests come more than two years after Montoya, 29, and Reznicek, 38, publicly took responsibility for a series of acts of sabotage that they said was necessary to protect the rivers and waterways under which the Dakota Access pipeline passes. Both women had been involved in the Indigenous-led struggle to stop the pipeline, which attracted thousands of people to opposition camps in North Dakota and Iowa in 2016 and 2017.

“We are speaking publicly to empower others to act boldly, with purity of heart, to dismantle the infrastructures which deny us our rights to water, land, and liberty,” Montoya and Reznicek stated at a press conference in July 2017. They told The Intercept at the time that they planned to use a necessity defense to argue that they had no choice but to act. Civil liberties attorneys said they are not aware of such a defense being accepted in a federal case related to climate change or environmental issues. It has, however, begun to gain traction in lower courts, where a handful of pipeline protesters have successfully argued that they acted out of necessity. Lauren Regan, executive director of the Civil Liberties Defense Center, who is representing Montoya, said it’s too early to say whether the activists will follow through with their plan to mount a necessity defense. “It was a couple years ago when those conversations were happening, and now they’re facing 10-year mandatory minimums,” sh e said. The charges inc lude one count of conspiracy to damage an energy facility, four counts of use of fire in the commission of a felony, and four counts of malicious use of fire. “I wish the government would use the same resources to go after the oil companies and pipeline companies, but clearly they’re not interested in that,” said Bill Quigley, an attorney who previously represented Montoya and Reznicek. “They shouldn’t be prosecuted; they should be praised. They’re trying to stop the destruction of the human race." Read more - Lire plus
After Trump Abandoned Kurds, Turkish Invasion Raises Fear of Kurdish Genocide & ISIS Resurgence
DemocracyNow! 10/10/2019 - Turkey has launched an aerial and ground assault on northern Syria targeting Kurdish-controlled areas. The offensive began Wednesday, just days after President Trump ordered U.S. troops to fall back from their positions on the Turkish-Syrian border. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports at least 16 Kurds have been killed so far. Turkey is claiming the death toll is far higher. The Trump administration has faced widespread criticism from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers for abandoning the stateless Kurds who had helped the U.S. fight ISIS.

Turkey is claiming the assault is needed to establish a “safe zone” in northern Syria where Turkey could relocate Syrian refugees who fled over the past eight years of fighting, but the Kurds see the offensive as part of a decades-long attack by Turkey to crush their attempts at greater autonomy. The Kurds have been responsible for holding over 10,000 ISIS fighters and their families in detention. While Trump has claimed Turkey will take control of the makeshift jails, there is growing concern many former ISIS fighters will be able to escape during the Turkish assault. At least one Kurdish prison has already been shelled. To discuss the implications of Turkey’s assault, we speak with Elif Sarican, a Kurdish Women’s Movement activist and anthropologist at the London School of Economics. We also speak with Ertuğrul Kürkçü, honorary chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party in Turkey, known as the HDP. He is a former member of Parliament in Turkey. Read more - Lire plus

Egypt: children swept up in crackdown on anti-Sisi protests
The Guardian 08/10/2019 - More than 100 children are among thousands of people detained in Egypt in an effort to prevent further protests against the rule of Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi. At least 3,120 people have been arrested since hundreds of people took to the streets on 20 September, according to the Cairo-based NGO the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms. Amnesty International said at least 111 children were arrested in the crackdown, “some as young as 11, with several detained on their way home from school”.

Many were held by security services after they were stopped at checkpoints, where officials demanded to see their phones in order to check for “political” material. Local rights groups as well as the government’s own National Council for Human Rights condemned the practice as unconstitutional. Detainees were added to a single charge sheet, accused of aiding a terrorist group, spreading false information, misuse of social media and participation in unauthorised protests. Amnesty International said this included at least 69 minors aged between 11 and 17. Should the case go to trial, it would be the largest criminal prosecution of protesters in Egyptian history. Read more - Lire plus
A Ugandan leader just called LGBT+ people ‘terrorists’
Pink News 05/10/2019 - Uganda’s security minister has called LGBT+ people “terrorists” in an eviscerating attack against a presidential hopeful and his supporters. The country’s current president, Yoweri Museveni, has ruled the African republic for decades but his government faces fervent opposition from the People Power, Our Power group. Helmed by singer and presidential candidate Bobi Wine, the resistance movement aims to bring an end to Museveni’s administration as the 2021 elections loom in the distance.

On October 3, Ugandan Minister of Security Elly Tumwine spoke to  NBS TV and openly slammed the movement, declaring it a “terrorist organisation” with links to cryptocurrency. But the politician saved his sharpest thorn for when he said the group “associates” with LGBT+ people, a damning statement in a country where being gay is punishable with life imprisonment. “I want to warn the public that there is a threat to the world called the Red Movement [People Power],” he said on NBS TV Morning Freeze. “It is a terrorist organisation.” He continued: “It is associated with LGBT and cryptocurrency and things that want to break the established order of things.” Tumwine’s message comes amid a violent crackdown in the landlocked country, where Museveni’s administration is stonewalling support for People Power. Just this week, Ugandan’s military announced that any civilians caught wearing red berets–a symbol of People Power–will be punished with up to five years in prison . Supporters are already pursuing legal action against the ban, local media reported this week . Read more - Lire plus
Ethiopia: Release journalists arrested on unsubstantiated terrorism charges
Amnesty International 04/10/2019 - Five Ethiopian journalists arrested one month ago and arraigned in court on 3 October on charges of “incitement to terrorism” must be released immediately and unconditionally, after the police failed to produce any shred of evidence for their alleged crimes, Amnesty International said today. “It is shocking that after a whole month of arbitrarily detaining the journalists incommunicado, all the Ethiopian police could produce in court was a file containing a letter they sent to the National Intelligence and Security Services asking for assistance in investigating the matter. “The absence of credible evidence points to the fact that there is nothing to investigate. The Ethiopian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release these journalists and let them get on with their lives,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

The five journalists, all men, are Bikila Amenu, Abdisa Gutata; Firomsa Bekele, Gadaa Bulti and Adugna Keso. They were arraigned in court on 3 October for a pre-trial hearing after being arrested at one of their homes in the Gerji neighbourhood of Addis Ababa on 5 September 2019. The journalists who are part of the Sagalee Qeerroo Bilisumaa, or the Voice of Youth for Freedom, have been prolific reporters on human rights violations and political developments in Ethiopia since 2011. They were a key source of information on the sustained protests that erupted in Oromia in 2015, protests that sparked the events that ultimately resulted in a change of leadership in the country. “The use of Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism proclamation to arbitrarily arrest journalists is completely out of step with reforms witnessed in the country. This law must be revised to align with international standards and must no longer be used to harass journalists,” said Seif Magango. Amnesty International has witnessed a surge in the number of arrests based on the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation since June 2019. Read more - Lire plus

New Zealand: Anti-terror measures vs digital freedom
newsroom 04/10/2019 - At the annual NetHui conference, digital freedom advocates raised concerns about the potential to misuse anti-terror initiatives to crack down on legitimate speech, Marc Daalder reports. The presenters at the annual NetHui conference, held this year at Te Papa in Wellington and headlined by Jacinda Ardern, unanimously support the Christchurch Call. At the same time, many worry about the potential for misuse of the Call and similar initiatives like the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT). In particular, these advocates noted that less democratic or transparent governments could justify crackdowns on legitimate dissent as anti-terror measures. They also worried that non-terrorist content - or even just content documenting but not advocating terrorism - could be targeted. Such misuse has the potential to harm the marginalised communities that the initiatives are intended to protect, they say. "Any of these policies that seek to shut down or eradicate terrorism from the internet - and yes, there are absolutely things that we need to take down, I'm in full agreement on that - can also have the effect of harming marginalised communities," said Jillian York, the free expression director at the Berlin-based Electronic Frontier Foundation.

York gave one of the two keynote addresses at the conference. During her speech, she highlighted a drive by the European Parliament to mandate that tech giants remove "content promoting terrorism" within an hour. "That sounds fine in theory," she said. "But in practice, what does that mean? In this case, what does 'content promoting terrorism' mean? What does 'terrorism' mean?" "It sounds like an easy problem but the US, the EU, New Zealand, the government of Jordan, all of these governments all over the world don't agree on what that means." "Jordan I bring up as an example because it's one of the governments that has joined the Christchurch Call, but it's also a government that has used its own terrorism laws to silence journalists." In Indonesia, the government shut down the internet in the disputed territory of West Papua for almost a month in August. Protesters claimed that police had discriminated against ethnically Papuan students but the government asserted it was fighting terrorism.

Around the same time, India shut down internet access for weeks in Kashmir, an area it controls but which is also claimed by Pakistan, amid protests over the upcoming annexation of the territory. Protesters against the new military government in Sudan also experienced an internet shutdown in June. York also examined how a kneejerk reaction to censor all "terrorism" content can backfire. "We've got tech companies deleting evidence of war crimes," she said. She works with Syrian Archive, a non-profit that has been "mining YouTube to find videos that could potentially be used in war crimes tribunals against the government of Syria, Libya, Ukraine and now a few others". "What they've found is that YouTube is systematically deleting those videos. Now, these are videos that capture the actions of terrorists but they're not promoting terrorism and yet they fall under these policies - both the EU policy and YouTube's own standards." Read more - Lire plus
Iraq: Lethal Force Used Against Protesters
HRW 10/10/2019 - Iraqi security forces have used excessive and unnecessary lethal force in confronting at times rock-throwing protesters, killing at least 105 and wounding over 4,000 since October 1, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. Security forces followed protesters as they dispersed, shooting at them and spraying them with scalding water cannons.The protests started in Baghdad and southern cities on October 1, with protesters demanding improved services and more action to curb corruption. Apparent members of security forces interfered with media coverage of the protests, and the authorities blocked the internet. After Baghdad’s governor resigned on October 6 , in response to complaints about forces in the capital resorting to excessive force, Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi formed a committee to investigate allegations of excessive use of force, ordered certain army units out of specific Baghdad neighborhoods, and stated that investigations of certain officers had begun. “For more than a decade, Iraqi governments have said they would investigate abuses by security forces but haven’t done so,” said  Sarah Leah Whitson , Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The killing of at least 105 protesters requires a transparent investigation that results in public findings and accountability for abuses.” Read more - Lire plus
Hong Kong: Emergency powers are an extreme attempt to quash protests
Amnesty International 04/10/2019 - The Hong Kong government announced in a press conference today that it will invoke a colonial-era law, the Emergency Regulations Ordinance, in order to ban face coverings at public gatherings. The law also grants the Hong Kong government sweeping powers relating to detention and to restriction of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Joshua Rosenzweig, Head of Amnesty International’s East Asia Regional Office, said: “This is yet another attempt by the Hong Kong government to deter protesters, who have so far been undaunted by unnecessary and excessive use of force and the threat of prosecution, from exercising their rights. “It is thanks to the climate of fear Hong Kong authorities have created that protesters feel the need to wear masks in the first place. This ban is especially worrying in a context where protesters fear arbitrary arrest, surveillance and the indiscriminate use of tear gas and other projectiles.  

During protests on 1 October a young man was shot in the chest by police and over 1,400 rounds of tear gas and approximately 900 rounds of rubber bullets were fired. Since then protesters have continued to gather daily across Hong Kong. “Rather than deescalating the situation, Hong Kong’s authorities have chosen to grant themselves sweeping new powers to quash protests, demonstrating the extent of their growing intolerance for freedom of peaceful assembly,” said Joshua Rosenzweig. “The Hong Kong authorities should not use emergency rules as a smokescreen for further tightening restrictions on protesters. We reiterate our call for the Hong Kong authorities to respect protesters’ rights to peacefully express their opinions and to refrain from using excessive and blanket powers to silence them.” The new law, which comes into effect on 5 October, will ban protesters from covering their faces in full or partially during protests. There will be an exemption for those who cover their faces owing to illness or for religious reasons. Violation of the law will be punishable with up to one year in prison. Read more - Lire plus
What we've been up to!
What we've been up to so far and what's to come for the second half of 2019!
ICLMG - 2019 has been very busy so far, and it's not looking to slow down for the second half of the year!

As I write these lines, we are continuing to work on, among other things:

  • The immediate public release of the report from Murray Segal's external review of the case of Hassan Diab, and the launch of public inquiry into Dr. Diab's case and the Extradition Act overall.

  • Stopping Mohamed Harkat's deportation to torture and getting the Public Safety minister to allow him to stay in Canada.

  • Obtaining a strong and effective review mechanism for the Canada Border Services Agency, and more restrictions on the collection of Canadians' data by military intelligence.

  • The repeal of the Canadian No Fly List, as well as putting a stop to the use of the US No Fly List by air carriers in Canada for flights that do not fly over the US, let alone land there.

  • An information card detailing how the different federal parties have voted on national security legislation since 2001, and calling on federal parties to commit to protecting human rights and civil liberties in the context of national security. Campaign coming soon!

ICLMG Top 10 Asks for the 2019 Federal Election
ICLMG 19/09/2019 - In Canada and around the world, politicians continue to use the spectre of "national security" and the "War on Terror" to justify attacks on fundamental rights, including freedom of expression, freedom of association, the right to equality under the law, and the right to privacy. Xenophobia and racism are used to sow fear and division, and to further justify repressive laws. Sadly, we're also seeing these tactics during the 2019 federal election campaign. We need candidates to guarantee that they will defend our rights, and the rights of people around the world. Here is our list of top 10 asks:

  1. Stop and effectively outlaw all mass surveillance.
  2. Stop the surveillance, profiling and harassment of Indigenous people, Muslim communities and environmental defenders. Stop perceiving and treating them as a threat.
  3. End all deportations to torture, including Mohamed Harkat’s, and abolish security certificates.
  4. Launch an independent and public inquiry into the case of Hassan Diab and the Extradition Act.
  5. Amend the new National Security Act, 2017 (Bill C-59) to fix the many problems it created, and address the ongoing issues it perpetuated.
  6. Abolish the No-Fly List and the Terrorist Entities List.
  7. Ensure justice and full redress for victims of torture.
  8. Bring home Canadian citizens being detained and imprisoned in Syria.
  9. Suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States.
  10. Address issues surrounding Islamophobia, xenophobia, hate, racism, gender-based and domestic violence, unemployment, poverty and more.

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Justice for Hassan Diab: Webcomic and Campaign!
Hassan Diab, a Canadian university professor and father, was extradited to France based on weak, confusing evidence, where he spent more than three years in prison, without charge or trial. He is thankfully free and back in Canada, but justice hasn't been served. Dr. Diab deserves answers and we need changes to Canada's broken extradition act.
Read the whole webcomic on Hassan Diab's ordeal and click below to urge candidates to commit to launching a public inquiry into his case if they are elected!
Take the Pledge: Unite Against Racism
We are struggling to make ends meet, while the rich keep getting richer. Instead of fixing this, politicians are using anti-immigrant racism to distract us. Sign this pledge to tell politicians that you will not tolerate racism. By signing this pledge, you commit to talking to your friends and co-workers, and to contact politicians or media if they use anti-immigrant messages during the federal election. We will send you tools to help you have these conversations. All of us deserve decent work, universal public services, equal rights, permanent status, and freedom from displacement and discrimination.
Discourse on refugees and migrants in upcoming elections
Refugees and migrants are easily victimized in political debates. In many countries around the world, especially during election campaigns, refugees and migrants have been talked about in ways that insult their dignity and humanity, contribute to xenophobia and racism, and are frequently grounded in distortion and misinformation.

We believe that every leader, every candidate, and every political party, has a role to play in preventing this from happening in Canada.
Stop CSIS from targeting everyday citizens & community groups
A recent report revealed that CSIS, Canada’s spy agency, collected over 8,000 pages of documents, spying on citizens like you, people who exercise their democratic rights by attending a community meeting at a local church or taking peaceful action for what they believe in. And CSIS shared this info with Big Oil corporations.

Sign this petition to tell the govt to stop using taxpayer money to unconstitutionally spy on Canadians part of peaceful community groups.
Stop Facial Recognition in Canada
Facial recognition is invasive, biased and unreliable. But Canadian agencies and law enforcement have started using the tech despite the huge controversies.
Canada’s out-of-date privacy laws don’t yet cover facial recognition tech, leaving our government free to experiment on us with no oversight or regulations. We need to slam the brakes on the spread of this dangerous technology before it’s too late. Demand a moratorium on the use of facial recognition technologies and a full review of our privacy laws — before it becomes entrenched as a surveillance method in Canada.
Release Yasser Albaz from arbitrary detention in Egypt
On February 18, 2019, my dad, Yasser Albaz, was stopped at Cairo airport, his Canadian passport was confiscated, and he was kidnapped by Egyptian State Security. My dad remains in the notorious Torah prison where he is forced to sleep on cold, concrete floor. He has not been charged and continues to receive 15-day extensions to his arbitrary detention.

Sign to tell PM Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to do everything in their power to bring this Canadian citizen home to his family.
Canada must act to end Islamophobia in Xinjiang, China
There is credible evidence that up to one million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other mainly Muslim groups in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region are being detained in secret internment camps. Detainees are brainwashed, tortured and are forced to renounce their religion and culture.

And send a message to Chrystia Freeland demanding that Canada actively support an independent and unrestricted international fact-finding initiative to Xinjiang.
Free Ahmed Mansoor
Ahmed is an award winning human rights defender and blogger. The UAE has said Ahmed had been arrested for using his social media accounts to “publish false information that damages the country’s reputation” and to “spread hatred and sectarianism”.
Right now, Ahmed is being held in solitary confinement and has not had access to a lawyer, an d he is on hunger strike.

Act now and demand that the UAE release Ahmed immediately and unconditionally.
All-in-one action page: Stop Mohamed Harkat's Deportation to Torture
Call PM Trudeau, write a letter to Public Safety Minister Goodale & your MP, and sign Sophie Harkat's petition to stop the deportation of Moe Harkat.

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

No one should be deported to torture. Ever.
Canada: Don't roll back refugee rights
The federal govt plans to significantly roll back the human rights of refugees, and is hurrying these rights restrictions into law by including them in the federal budget (Bill C-97).

The new restriction would stop any refugee claimant from having an independent hearing to decide on their claim, if they previously filed a refugee claim in the United States and in certain other countries.

Using the quick tool below, call on Parliament to reject the rights-violating amendments to IRPA proposed in Bill C-97.
Your phone is not safe at the border
Canada’s border agents can search your phone and laptop at borders and airports, including looking through your private photos, personal messages, and call history.

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

Fight back with us: demand updated laws , learn more about your rights, and make a complaint if your privacy has been violated at the border.
OPP must be held accountable for violent repression of land defenders
The terrifying incident happened in April 2008 during a land occupation and road blockades by members of Tyendinaga Mohawk Nation, near Belleville, Ontario. Although the road blockades involved only a small number of community members – none of whom were armed -- the Ontario Provincial Police sent more than 200 officers, including the Tactics and Rescue Unit (TRU), tasked with responding to “the most serious threats to peace and order”. The UN Committee against Torture called on Canada to launch a thorough and impartial review to ensure accountability.
Five Eyes: Save encryption
Ministers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the U.S. have gone public with their plans for a huge attack on our personal security.

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

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

 W e, citizens and residents of Canada, call on the government of Canada to henceforth designate January 29th as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia and other forms of religious discrimination or a National Day of Action against Hate and Intolerance .
Les opinions exprimées ne reflètent pas nécessairement les positions de la CSILC - The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the positions of ICLMG.
to our amazing supporters!
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Nous tenons à remercier nos organisations membres et toutes les personnes qui soutiennent la CSILC sur Patreon ! En récompense, nous nommons ci-dessus nos mécènes qui donnent 10$ ou plus par mois directement dans le News Digest. Sans vous, notre travail ne serait pas possible!