International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
30 août 2019
Justice for Hassan Diab: Our New 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.

Immigration lawyers report Canadian Muslims being denied entry to U.S.
CBC 30/08/2019 - A number of Canadian Muslims have been turned away at the Canada-U.S. border in recent weeks, immigration lawyers say. Those denied entry include a prominent Guyana-born Toronto imam who serves as a chaplain with the Peel Regional Police and an Iraqi Turkmen community leader who has family members fighting ISIS in the Middle East. The two men — who were denied entry at different border crossings and were not travelling together — are among at least six Canadian Muslim men who have been denied entry at the U.S. border over the last two weeks. The men and their families, all of whom are Canadian citizens, were given little in the way of explanation by border officials for the decision to deem them inadmissible.

Neither Guyana nor Iraq are among the seven Muslim-majority countries subject to U.S. President Donald Trump's " Muslim ban " executive order, which essentially blocks refugees and visitors from those countries from entering the U.S. Both men were told to apply for visas at the U.S. consulate in Toronto before returning to the border to seek entry — an unusual process for people who hold Canadian passports. The six men are represented by the Toronto-area immigration firm CILF — Caruso Guberman Appleby. Lawyers there say that if they're seeing this level of activity at their law firm, there may be many other Canadian nationals facing similar problems at the border.

"We've seen a lot more in the last few weeks and we don't know what to attribute it to. We know the climate there in the U.S. has changed, it's a bit different, but at the same time there are processes and procedures and people should be afforded opportunities to challenge a case," Daud Ali, a lawyer at CILF, told CBC News. "But it's hard to know what you're going up against when you're not told why you're denied entry. The fact that they're all Muslims, that raises some concerns about whether these people are being targeted or if this is a new form of some sort of ban... Having worked as an immigration lawyer for over 40 years nothing surprises me anymore but, in all my years, I have never seen such a Kafkaesque scenario," said Joel Guberman, a partner at the firm. Read more - Lire plus
The CCR calls on Canada to end the immigration detention of children
CCR 26/08/2019 - The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) today deplored the continuing presence in Canada of children in immigration detention or separated from a parent because of immigration detention. “We are discouraged that, despite the Canadian government’s commitment to reducing the detention of children, we are still regularly seeing children in detention centres, particularly in Montreal,” said Claire Roque, President. “The statistics reinforce the need for Canada to end the immigration detention of children.”

Recently released government statistics show that 118 children were detained or housed in a detention centre in 2018-19. While this is a decrease from previous years, it represents a significant number of children suffering the lasting effects of being detained (studies show that even short-term detention is traumatizing). Also of serious concern is that the average length of detention has increased – to 18.6 days. The overwhelming majority (91%) of children housed or detained in the past year were in Montreal. This heavy regional disparity highlights the unnecessariness of the detention: if other regions can put an end to the detention of children, why not in Montreal?

Children are described as “housed” when they are not legally detained, but accompany a detained parent. This includes Canadian citizen children (9 last year). From the perspective of the child, being housed is no different - and no less harmful - than being detained. Most children in detention in Montreal are there because border officials are not “satisfied” that their parent’s identity has been established – a decision that is not reviewable by any independent tribunal. Montreal has long detained many more people on identity grounds than other regions, highlighting the arbitrary nature of decision-making. Many refugees are unable to travel with identity documents and need time after arrival to have ID sent to them. Read more - Lire plus

Another Reason It’s a Bad Idea to Vet Immigrants’ Social Media
Slate 01/08/2019 - While shocking, the behavior in the Facebook group, which counted among its members Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost , is hardly unexpected. The biases many border agents hold have long been clear in CBP’s interactions with Muslims, who are disproportionately targeted with invasive questioning and searches when entering the United States. Muslims crossing the border have been detained and  interrogated  about their religious beliefs by CBP and asked to hand over their  social media information . This practice, which prompted an ongoing lawsuit by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is part of the playbook for border agents, even though a senior Department of Homeland Security lawyer  admitted  in the suit that such questioning has never led agents to discover any criminal wrongdoing on the part of a traveler.

The federal government argues that social media checks keep the nation safe and ensure that those entering the country do not pose security risks. Such probing is routine for those applying for visas or visa-free travel, seeking asylum or immigration benefits, and crossing borders. But social media content is notoriously  context - dependent and difficult to interpret. Interpreting the social media activity of people from all over the world is hard enough, but trying to use social media to determine whether someone would be a threat to national security or a positively contributing member of society is impossible, especially for an agency plagued with prejudice. As detailed in a recent  report  from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, even DHS’s own  evaluations  of its social media pilot programs discovered that it is difficult to determine “with any level of certainty” whether social media content indicated a security concern. DHS agents don’t seem to know what types of social media posts count as indications of a security risk, and officials have even asked for  additional guidance from the department on how to identify such threats.

Accordingly, the results of screenings are more likely to reflect misinterpretations and biases than actual security threats. For instance, analysts for the Oregon Department of Justice mistook a tweet  with the logo of Public Enemy, a hip hop group popular in the late-1980s and ’90s, as evidence of an imminent threat to law enforcement. It is not hard to imagine how posts criticizing  the current administration could get  flagged  as threatening by an agent lacking clear guidelines. Government social media monitoring is ripe for abuse in any context, but the implications of CBP’s environment of racism and lack of oversight demand action. Computers do no better. DHS has expanded its use of automated tools and algorithms to analyze online accounts to complement its manual vetting of social media. Though algorithms may sound more objective than humans, they retain the biases of the humans who create them. Just as CBP agents had difficulty defining what security threats look like on social media, algorithms rely on  proxies that tend to  reflect  stereotypes and assumptions about the groups being vetted.

And now Immigration and Customs Enforcement is using an automated social media monitoring tool to generate  prioritized rankings of individuals for deportation based on perceived threat level. But there is no public information about the validity of those assessments or whether they are discriminatory. DHS is investigating  70 of the 9,500-member border agent Facebook group, though it is unclear what consequences the agents will face, if any.  Previous instances of egregious conduct within CBP have not led to any meaningful repercussions, and CBP reportedly  knew about the Facebook group since 2016 but took no serious action. Indeed, many ranking CBP officials were members of the group.

By contrast, the migrants, travelers, Americans, and others undergoing social media screenings can face major consequences from tweets taken out of context, mistranslated Facebook posts, and biased vetting by humans or algorithms. Families can be separated through deportation or denial of visas, refugee applications can be denied, and individuals can be indefinitely placed on bloated, secretive no-fly lists. Government social media monitoring is ripe for abuse in any context, but the implications of CBP’s environment of racism and lack of oversight demand action. Congress should require transparency and accountability for DHS’s use of social media and prevent further discrimination. Policymakers and the public need to know how DHS is using, evaluating, and analyzing social media data in order to understand the full impact of these programs. DHS must work in the national interest, and it can do so only if its programs protect rather than infringe on fundamental freedoms and are based on evidence of effectiveness, not xenophobia. Read more - Lire plus
James Risen: To Fight White Supremacist Violence, Let’s Not Repeat the Mistakes of the War on Terror
The Intercept 17/08/2019 - Americans often respond to tragedy by turning to ill-considered, dangerous ideas. But the suddenly popular idea of launching a domestic version of the war on terror — proposed in the wake of mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton — is one of the worst ever. The most ominous call for a new war on terror has come in an opinion article by John Allen and Brett McGurk in the Washington Post. Allen is a former Marine general and, in 2014, was named by President Barack Obama as a special envoy dealing with the Islamic State. In 2015, McGurk succeeded Allen in that role and continued under Donald Trump until last December. [...]

After the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington in 2001, the United States, stunned and angry, decided that it was a good idea to launch a global war on terror. Expansive new powers were granted to the government to fight this worldwide war, while old rules and regulations that were supposedly anachronistic and in the way of the fight against terrorism were eliminated — or illegally skirted. Eighteen years later, the results are in. The global war on terror has been a catastrophe.

After 9/11, the CIA engaged in torture, and the National Security Agency secretly spied on millions of U.S. citizens without court approval. In 2003, the U.S. invasion of Iraq shattered the country and led to a generation of political and social chaos. U.S. troops have gone back to re-fight the same war in Iraq over and over, and now American children born at about the time of 9/11 may be deployed to the same fields in Iraq and Afghanistan where their parents fought. The bottom line: A total of between 480,000 and 507,000 people have been killed in the U.S. post-9/11 conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, according to a 2018 study by the Costs of War Project at the Watson Center for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. [...]

The underlying assumption common among these new arguments is that the global war on terror was a great success, and so should be copied and brought home. Allen and McGurk, for instance, take great credit in their op-ed for having defeated ISIS. It was a grand coalition of “nearly 80 partners” that they brought together and led in a march to victory. The truth is much more squalid. ISIS was a product of the American enterprise in the Middle East. The United States didn’t originally go to Iraq to fight ISIS. It grew out of the chaos and violence unleashed by the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and so the rise of ISIS was an unintended consequence of the global war on terror. To now argue that the global war on terror stopped ISIS is to ignore the fact that the global war on terror is also responsible for its rise in the first place. Read more - Lire plus
Why New Laws Against White Supremacist Violence Are the Wrong Response to El Paso
The Intercept 08/08/2019 - Terrorism prosecutions are a decadeslong story of arbitrary application, which has created a lasting perception that these laws are applicable only to international terrorism defendants.That’s simply false. A host of anti-terrorism laws are available to federal prosecutors whether the accused terrorist is an ISIS sympathizer or a white nationalist. These include laws that bar, and classify as terrorism, the use or attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, attacks on mass transit systems, and hostage-taking, among others. Just this week, for example, Donald Trump superfan Cesar Sayoc , who mailed pipe bombs to Democratic Party politicians and critics of the presidents, was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Federal prosecutors described him in court filings as a domestic terrorist. Among the litany of charges against him was attempting to use weapons of mass destruction, an anti-terrorism law that bans the use of explosives like the homemade pipe bombs Sayoc had mailed.

Sayoc’s case signaled a recent shift within the Justice Department, which has long resisted describing white nationalist and other right-wing attacks as domestic terrorism. In 2015, then-U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and then-FBI Director James Comey both declined to describe Dylann Roof’s massacre of 9 black people at a South Carolina church as an act of domestic terrorism. Before attacking the congregation, Roof wrote a white nationalist manifesto. Like Roof, El Paso shooter Patrick Crusius wrote a racist manifesto before storming into a Walmart armed with an AK-47, killing 22 and injuring 24. The day after the El Paso attack, Josh F. Bash, the United States attorney for the Western District of Texas, said at a press conference that the shooting was being investigated as a domestic terrorism case and that the alleged crime met the legal definition of domestic terrorism : ideologically motivated acts that are harmful to human life and intended to intimidate civilians, influence policy, or change government conduct. A few days later, the FBI disclosed that it was also treating the investigation of Santino William Legan , who allegedly killed three people, including two children, in a mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California on July 28, as domestic terrorism.

A recent Intercept review of federal terrorism prosecutions since 9/11 demonstrates the significance of this change inside the Justice Department. The analysis found that 268 right-wing extremists prosecuted in federal court since 9/11 were allegedly involved in crimes that appear to have met the legal definition of domestic terrorism. Yet the Justice Department applied anti-terrorism laws against only 34 of them, compared to more than 500 alleged international terrorists. [...] Claims that the U.S. government does not have adequate laws to investigate and prosecute domestic terrorism are not new in the wake of the El Paso attack, but they concern Michael German, a former FBI agent who is now with the Brennan Center for Justice. “I do worry that the disinformation being spread by current and former Justice Department officials is an attempt to use these tragedies to claim new authorities that will continue to be used disproportionately against people of color and political opponents of the president,” German said. “The amplification of far-right talking points framing anti-fascist and anti-racist protesters as terrorists by the president and members of Congress indicates how politicized counterterrorism has become.” Read more - Lire plus

What in the world is Adam Schiff thinking with his domestic terrorism bill?
The Hill 26/08/2019 - Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee,  doesn’t trust  Attorney General William Barr . Schiff recently  called Barr “the second-most dangerous man in the country,” for his expansive view of executive power and his apparent willingness to serve President Donald Trump’s personal interests rather than the nation’s. So why has Rep. Schiff introduced  a bill  that would give Attorney General Barr arbitrary discretion to lay domestic terrorism charges against political opponents of President Donald Trump for conduct as inconsequential as mere threats and vandalism? 

The “Confronting the Threat of Domestic Terrorism Act,” which Schiff introduced last week, would dangerously expand the types of crimes that the federal prosecutors could charge as domestic terrorism if the Attorney General certified they were intended to intimidate a civilian population or influence government policy. Protesters, by their nature, attempt to influence government policies. Given the Justice Department’s history and President Trump ’s recent rhetoric, such groups will be the most likely target of this law if it passes. But federal prosecutors don’t need a new law to prosecute these cases or other deadly white supremacist crimes, as I  explained  in a report published last year. Since the El Paso attack, the FBI has peremptorily arrested a half-dozen  alleged  white supremacists for planning attacks, demonstrating that sufficient legal authority already exists. The fact is that Schiff’s bill would do nothing to increase the possible penalties for these crimes or the aggressiveness with which prosecutors could pursue them.

Where the Schiff bill does expand the law is in giving the Attorney General the power to charge any threat of violence or damage to property that creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury as an act of domestic terrorism. So using heated political rhetoric during a planning meeting or breaking a window during a protest could result in charges carrying a 30-year prison sentence. If you think this possibility is absurd, keep in mind that in 2012 the Justice Department put  two political activists  in jail for months for refusing to testify before a grand jury about colleagues who may have participated in a Seattle May Day protest in which a federal courthouse window was broken. In 2017, the Justice Department  charged  more than 200 protesters at an anti-Trump rally with felony charges for allegedly conspiring to riot because someone broke windows and lit a limousine on fire while they were in the general vicinity. Prosecutors used  selectively edited  undercover recordings of protest planning meetings in which a speaker threatened to turn the inauguration into a “giant clusterf---” as evidence of a broad conspiracy.

The prosecutions  failed  in these  cases , which may partly explain why the Justice Department and FBI have been seeking to expand their domestic terrorism powers. If they were intent on using these new powers to target far-right militants, they could have simply amended current Justice Department policies that de-prioritize the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes. We don’t have to guess how the Trump administration would use the new powers provided in Schiff’s bill. The president has shown an eagerness to use the tools of state to  punish  his political enemies. His administration previously pressed Congress to make it  easier  to prosecute oil and gas pipeline protesters who engage in civil disobedience. Trump has stated that he  does not see  white supremacist violence as a serious problem, and instead  tweeted  that he is considering naming the anti-fascist resistance as a domestic terrorist organization. Two Republican-sponsored bills in the  Senate  and  House  would expand domestic terrorism laws in essentially the same manner as Schiff’s bill. But Republicans who might trust Attorney General Barr with such a broad power might pause to consider how the FBI or a future Attorney General might treat their own supporters. Read more - Lire plus

Alex Neve on "The 'Jihadi Jack' debate: Who has a right to come to Canada?"
Facebook 24/08/2019 - Time for a mini rant. The Charter of Rights (section 6) is crystal clear on this. A Canadian citizen has the right to enter Canada. No exceptions. And it is one of the handful of Charter provisions that cannot be overridden with the infamous "notwithstanding" clause. So can we move beyond the inflamed debate about whether there are certain citizens who should essentially be banished and kept out of Canada, as if we were back in the Middle Ages throwing someone over the castle wall and bringing up the drawbridge.

Instead, let's move on to the real debate that matters here - whether with Jack Letts or any other Canadian who has possibly been involved in groups or activities abroad that may constitute terrorism, war crimes, crimes against humanity or other grave international crimes. Here's what needs to happen: investigate the allegations, gather the evidence, lay charges if borne out and ensure there is a fair trial that leads to true justice & accountability. That is the human rights AND national security response that makes a difference and takes us forward. And the fact that the UK has not done any of this gives us no excuse to follow their dismal example. Source

Canada used citizens travelling to Communist countries to gather intelligence during Cold War: report
The Canadian Press 25/08/2019 - Canada enlisted citizens who travelled to Communist countries during the Cold War to gather needed intelligence — a shadowy element of a little-known government program detailed in a newly declassified history. Officials became sufficiently nervous about the tasking of Canadians — and the prospect of being caught snooping overseas — that they had John Diefenbaker, prime minister at the time, give his blessing, reveals a study by intelligence expert Wesley Wark.

Wark began work in the late 1990s on the government-commissioned study of how Canada’s intelligence community evolved in the years following the Second World War. Much of the book-length manuscript, based on classified files, was released under the Access to Information Act in 2005, but considerable portions were considered too sensitive to disclose. Additional details of the intelligence effort to conscript travellers were released to The Canadian Press following a complaint to the information commissioner. [...] In the beginning, officials collected intelligence largely from defectors and recent immigrants from the Soviet Union and East Bloc countries. The program got a boost in 1956 with the influx to Canada of refugees fleeing the aftermath of the failed Hungarian uprising, Wark notes. In mid-1958 the program turned to the potential value of intelligence gleaned from travellers, mostly business people and scientists, who ventured to Communist countries, he writes.

Initially, the Joint Intelligence Bureau limited the collection effort to debriefing people upon their return to Canada. But soon it realized there might be greater value in advising travellers, in advance of their visits, of the sort of information desired, the study says.
“This was tricky ground, for it raised the spectre of Canadian citizens abroad being caught and accused of espionage without the protection of any diplomatic status and with attendant political risks and embarrassment.” [...] “What John Diefenbaker made of such shenanigans is hard to say, but Bryce’s memo records a simple ‘approved by the Prime Minister’ dated 1 March, 1961,” Wark writes. Read more - Lire plus

CCR joins protests against North America’s withdrawal from refugee protection
CCR 02/08/2019 - The Canadian Council for Refugees expressed alarm today at North America’s increasing withdrawal from refugee protection, at a time when the refugee crisis worldwide needs leadership and contributions from the wealthiest countries. Particularly in the USA, but also in Canada, doors are closing on refugees, whether they attempt to make a refugee claim in the country or seek protection through resettlement. “Canadians have followed with horror the scenes of children and adults in immigration detention in US,” said Claire Roque, CCR President. “It is less well-known that the US recently introduced a new rule barring refugee claims from people who passed through another country.

This is very similar to a rule adopted this summer by Canada – the two countries are unfortunately on a shared path to shake off their responsibilities towards people in need of asylum.” The CCR is part of a legal challenge of the designation of the United States as a safe third country for refugees: the Federal Court will hear the case this November. Meanwhile, there are reports that the US government is considering reducing to zero the number of refugees resettled next year. The average yearly number of refugees resettled to the US is 95,000, although this has already been reduced to 30,000 under the Trump administration. The impact of eliminating these resettlement places is devastating for refugees around the world. Canada disappointingly has reverted to low resettlement numbers after the Syrian movement in 2015-2016 – just 9,300 Government Assisted Refugees in 2019. The CCR underlines that these regional trends take place in the context of pronounced racism and xenophobia, and Canada is not immune to these problems.

The CCR calls:
  • On Canada to show leadership internationally in promoting resettlement, including by setting a target of 20,000 Government Assisted Refugees as a model to other countries. (There is a particular opportunity and responsibility for leadership, as Canada is chairing the Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement this year)
  • On Canadians to voice support for refugees, recognizing that welcoming and protecting refugees both saves lives and makes Canada a better place. Join our Refugees Welcome Campaign As we enter the election season, this is an important moment to challenge anti-refugee sentiment.
  • On Canada to withdraw from the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement. Given what is happening in the USA, it is clearer than ever that we cannot in good conscience say that the US is safe for refugees. Source

More than 1,700 activists have been killed this century defending the environment
The Conversation 05/08/2019 - According to records compiled by the campaign group Global Witness , 1,738 people described as environmental defenders were killed between 2002 and 2018, across 50 countries. Their latest report for 2018 , released last week, identified 164 killings. Although the figure is slightly down on that for 2017, the group says the number of reported deaths has been increasing over time with about three people killed each week on average. Yet the campaign group says only about 10% of these killings from 2002-2013 resulted in a conviction, compared with about 43% on average for global homicide convictions in 2013.

In a study of the group’s data from 2002-2017, published today in Nature Sustainability , we found many of the deaths related to conflict over natural resources, including fossil fuels, timber and water. All but three of the countries where deaths were recorded are classed as highly corrupt, according to their Corruption Perceptions Index score. [...] But who is actually doing the killing? Violence against defenders may be carried out by those representing their own interests, such as illegal loggers or miners , or on behalf of government interests . In one case, it’s alleged it was police in Pau D’Arco, Brazil who killed ten land defenders in May 2017 , and in Chut Wutty’s case it’s alleged it was the military police who carried out the killing. In our study we found weak rule of law and corruption in a country is closely correlated with environmental defender deaths.

We also found that indigenous people represent a disproportionate percentage of the defenders who are killed. About 40% of deaths recorded in 2015 and 2016, and about 30% in 2017, were indigenous people. Indigenous people manage or have tenure over about a quarter of the world’s surface ( about 38 million square kilometres . Conflict over natural resources is often related to a lack of recognition or acknowledgement of these rights . A well-known recent example in the United States, Standing Rock involved resistance of the Sioux tribe, and allies, to the North Dakota Access Pipe Line. The aggressive response of the authorities, lead to the hospitalisation of many demonstrators . Read more - Lire plus
Halt the use of facial-recognition technology until it is regulated
Nature 27/08/2019 - Earlier this month, Ohio became the latest of several state and local governments in the United States to stop law-enforcement officers from using facial-recognition databases. The move followed reports that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency had been scanning millions of photos in state driver’s licence databases, data that could be used to target and deport undocumented immigrants. Researchers at Georgetown University in Washington DC used public-record requests to reveal this previously secret operation, which was running without the consent of individuals or authorization from state or federal lawmakers.

It is not the only such project. Customs and Border Protection is using something similar at airports, creating a record of every passenger’s departure. The technology giant Amazon is building partnerships with more than 200 police departments to promote its Ring home-security cameras across the United States. Amazon gets ongoing access to video footage; police get kickbacks on technology products. Facial-recognition technology is not ready for this kind of deployment, nor are governments ready to keep it from causing harm. Stronger regulatory safeguards are urgently needed, and so is a wider public debate about the impact it is already having. Comprehensive legislation must guarantee restrictions on its use, as well as transparency, due process and other basic rights. Until those safeguards are in place, we need a moratorium on the use of this technology in public spaces.

There is little evidence that biometric technology can identify suspects quickly or in real time. No peer-reviewed studies have shown convincing data that the technology has sufficient accuracy to meet the US constitutional standards of due process, probable cause and equal protection that are required for searches and arrests. Even the world’s largest corporate supplier of police body cameras — Axon in Scottsdale, Arizona — announced this year that it would not deploy facial-recognition technology in any of its products because it was too unreliable for police work and “could exacerbate existing inequities in policing, for example by penalizing black or LGBTQ communities”. Three cities in the United States have banned the use of facial recognition by law-enforcement agencies, citing bias concerns. They are right to be worried. These tools generate many of the same biases as human law-enforcement officers, but with the false patina of technical neutrality. Read more - Lire plus

Victory for Netpol campaigning as Home Office confirms it has stopped using the term “domestic extremism”
NetPol 09/08/2019 - After almost a  decade of campaigning  for an end to the highly subjective categorisation of campaigners at “domestic extremists”, Netpol has finally received confirmation that the Home Office has decided to stop using the label. In June, we  highlighted  a report by David Anderson QC, a former independent reviewer of UK terrorism legislation, who had called the ‘domestic extremism’ label ‘manifestly deficient’ and indicated the Home Office was under pressure to abandon it.

This is an important victory, one that  reinforces the criticism we have made  repeatedly that there is no clear working definition of what ‘domestic extremism’ means, let alone a legally binding set of criteria. Over the years the police have made use of a number of definitions, all of them extremely vague and broad. As a result, “domestic extremism”, so often used in the same context as ‘violent extremism’ or even ‘terrorism’, has encompassed any campaign using civil disobedience or direct action tactics. As we have seen with the anti-fracking movement, designating a campaign as ‘extremist’ means that all those associated with it may also find themselves labelled in this way – even if they do nothing unlawful.

Whilst broadly welcoming the Home Office’s decision, there is every indication that separately, the police continue to apply “domestic extremism” to social and political movements. We are currently seeking clarification on this from the College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs Council. We are also worried that the “new terminology” the Home Office says it is working on may prove just as broad and ambiguous. Read more - Lire plus
The Tragic Story of Jimmy Aldaoud, Deported From the Streets of Detroit to His Death in Iraq
The Intercept 08/08/2019 - Before he was deported, Jimmy Aldaoud had never stepped foot in Iraq. Born in Greece to Iraqi refugee parents, he immigrated to the United States with his family via a refugee resettlement program 40 years ago, when he was just 15 months old. He considered himself American and knew hardly anything of Iraqi society. Still, on the afternoon of June 4, he found himself wandering the arrivals terminal of Al Najaf International Airport, about 100 miles south of Baghdad, with around $50, some insulin for his diabetes, and the clothes on his back.

Aldaoud was used to getting by with little. For most of his adult life, he had experienced homelessness, working odd jobs, and stealing loose change from cars as he grappled with mental illness. But that was in the relative comfort of his hometown — for decades, he rarely strayed more than a few miles from his parents’ house in Hazel Park, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. He had no idea how to survive in Iraq, and he was unprepared to make a run at it; he hadn’t known his deportation would come so soon, and officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement wouldn’t let him call his family before they sent him off. Aldaoud spoke no Arabic, had no known family in Iraq, and nobody knew he was there. Disembarking in Najaf, he was “scared,” “confused,” and acting panicked, according to an Iraqi immigration officer he encountered.

And 63 days later — this past Tuesday — he was dead. For weeks before his death, The Intercept had been digging into Aldaoud’s story. He was one of a number of people who have been deported as a result of an ongoing ICE crackdown on Iraqi communities — a crackdown advocates say has recklessly placed deportees in danger. His mental illness, his lack of language skills and connections, and his struggle with diabetes — the likely cause of his untimely passing — made Aldaoud especially vulnerable. His story was intended to raise alarms about the possible human toll of ICE’s actions. Now, it’s a testament to it. 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!

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

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

Sign this petiton to tell the goverment to stop using taxpayer funds to unconstitutionally spy on Canadians part of peaceful community groups. We demand greater accountability and transparency from this public agency.
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.
NEW 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.
Release Yasser Albaz from arbitrary detention in Egypt
On February 18, 2019, my dad, Yasser Albaz, was stopped at Cairo airport, his Canadian passport was confiscated, and he was kidnapped by Egyptian State Security. My dad remains in the notorious Torah prison where he is forced to sleep on cold, concrete floor. He has not been charged and continues to receive 15-day extensions to his arbitrary detention.

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

And send a message to Chrystia Freeland demanding that Canada actively support an independent and unrestricted international fact-finding initiative to Xinjiang.
Letter to Justice Minister: Launch Public Inquiry into Hassan Diab Case Now
The external review report into the case of Hassan Diab, written by Mr. Murray Segal, has been submitted to the office of the Justice Minister.
Send a message to the Justice Minister calling for the public release of the report, and the launch of a public inquiry into the case of Hassan Diab that will actually examine the Extradition Act and have powers to compel documents and testimonies.
All-in-one action page: Stop Mohamed Harkat's Deportation to Torture
Call PM Trudeau, write a letter to Public Safety Minister Goodale & your MP, and sign Sophie Harkat's petition to stop the deportation of Moe Harkat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 W e, citizens and residents of Canada, call on the government of Canada to henceforth designate January 29th as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia and other forms of religious discrimination or a National Day of Action against Hate and Intolerance .
Les opinions exprimées ne reflètent pas nécessairement les positions de la CSILC - The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the positions of ICLMG.
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