International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
March 15, 2019
Mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand
CNN 15/03/2019 - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced 40 people have been killed, and at least 20 injured, in Friday's attacks on two Christchurch mosques. Ardern described the incident as a terrorist attack. Here's what we know so far:
  • Police quickly locked down the city in response, including schools and government buildings. Within hours, police said four people were taken into custody -- three men and one woman.
  • In a social media post just before the attack, an account that is believed to belong to one of the attackers posted a link to an 87-page manifesto that was filled with anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim ideas and explanations for an attack [it shouldn't be shared as manifestos have been known to inspire others to commit similar atrocities].
  • According to Ardern, bombs were found attached to the attackers' cars. They have since been disarmed by New Zealand's armed forces.
  • One of the attacks appears to have been livestreamed on social media. The graphic video has since been removed and police are requesting that people refrain from sharing it.
  • Little is known about the attackers so far. At least one has been confirmed as an Australian citizen, while witnesses said one of the attackers was white and wearing a uniform. Ardern confirmed the attackers were not on security watch lists. Read more - Lire plus

Palestinian protester shot in the head near Gaza border: ministry
Al Jazeera 08/03/2019 - Israeli forces have shot and killed a Palestinian man and wounded more than 40 as thousands protested near the Gaza Strip's perimeter fence, the enclave's health ministry has said. Tamer Arafat, 23, died from his wounds on Friday during the 50th week of demonstrations, said Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesman for the ministry. Qidra also said that 48 Palestinians had been wounded by Israeli gunfire, including four medics, two women and 15 children. [...] Palestinians have staged weekly protests near the border with Israel as part of the Great March of Return protests, which began in March last year. The demonstrators are calling for the lifting of an Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed on Gaza since 2007 and for the right to return to their ancestral homes in Israel, as stipulated in UN Resolution 194. Read more - Lire plus
Arriving to the wrong conclusion: ICLMG’s response to ex-CSIS analyst’s PR piece
ICLMG 11/03/2019 - ICLMG and the Stop Secret Trials Campaign respond to the Feb 25 Hill Times puff piece by a former CSIS employee calling for an "intelligence culture" in Canada as a "solution" to the mess of the security certificates: "The solution is not to forego our courts and use secret, unsourced allegations to throw people out of Canada to face the substantial risk of persecution and torture if returned to their home country. If a compelling case exists against anyone, charge them. The immediate solution here is to get rid of the security certificate regime and insist that anyone subjected to such serious allegations be provided an open and transparent hearing marked by the more robust protections and standards afforded by criminal law. That is, if Canada wants to continue calling itself a democracy." Read more - Lire plus

CAUT: Interview with Tim McSorley, ICLMG's National Coordinator
CAUT 03/2019 - The coalition brings together 45 NGOs, unions, professional associations, faith groups, environmental organizations, human rights and civil liberties advocates, as well as groups representing immigrant and refugee communities in Canada. The ICLMG's mandate is to defend civil liberties and human rights in the context of the so-called ‘war on terror’. Right now we are focussed on several: Bill C-59 (the National Security Act of 2017) and are looking into its oversight and review mechanisms, the changes it proposes to Bill C-51, and issues around mass sur­veillance and cyber powers; the threatened deportation of Mohamed Harkat and Canada’s ongoing complicity in torture; and the Hassan Diab extradition case and our federal government’s inquiry into that affair. We actively do public outreach and education on these types of complex issues. Our web site contains recordings of events and short videos, such as breaking down what’s in Bill C-59, for example. We also produce a weekly newsletter in an effort to make our work accessible. These issues and our world are complex so we try to provide analyses in ways that speak to how people are affected and why we need to question these things. Read more - Lire plus
Counter-terrorism: How do we ensure the state is accountable?
University of Birmingham 2019 - How counter-terrorism measures are evolving is deeply problematic. Rather than targeted, time-bound measures, they are highly proliferative and inscrutable, building layer upon layer of special powers and exemptions from conventional criminal law, with little assessment of the effectiveness of policies, instruments and strategies used, despite the risks they pose to human rights, democracy and the rule of law. One study found that of 88 legally binding counter-terrorism measures in the EU between 2001 and 2013, one third contained no formal review clauses. As well as posing dangers of these kinds to rights and dissent, counter-terrorism laws and policies also call into question our ability to ensure that states are accountable for the ways in which they use counter-terrorism powers, laws, and policies. In particular, they challenge us to ask whether, and if so how, states can be called to account for how, when, and with what (foreseen and unanticipated) consequences they are using counter-terrorism. Aiming to improve transparency and accountability in counter-terrorism, a team of experts, led by Fiona de Londras, professor of global legal studies at the University of Birmingham, are examining counter-terrorism in the UK. [...] The steady expansion of counter-terrorism regulations and powers has in effect created a permanent legal structure, going beyond the normal criminal law, and begging the question of what accountability mechanisms, if any, are in place to ensure the review of this structure in order to ascertain its effectiveness. “Conventional legal approaches allow states to take measures they cannot in other spheres, such as greater interference with civil rights, predicated on the idea that such measures are temporary”. The approach is problematic, argues de Londras, when counter-terrorism becomes a “permanent mode of governance”, which includes institutions and actors that are ‘exceptional’ when compared to the ‘ordinary’ criminal justice system. This can include closed court proceedings that contravene the principles of open justice, and greater latitude for the police, such as longer periods of pre-charge detention. [...] The danger is that ordinary mechanisms of checks and balances - like questioning in parliament, challenges in court, or a wider public conversation – may be more difficult or insufficient in the context of counter-terrorism because of of the limited information about what the counter-terrorist state is doing on a daily basis. Read more - Lire plus
UK's Prevent guidance to universities unlawful, court rules
The Guardian 08/03/2019 - The government’s Prevent duty guidance to universities is unlawful and must be rewritten, judges have ruled after a successful judicial review argued that it violated freedom of speech. The court of appeal found that Prevent guidelines on inviting controversial speakers were not balanced and accurate enough to inform universities of their competing obligations to ensure free speech while stopping people being drawn into terrorism. It came after Dr Salman Butt, 33, a Muslim writer and publisher, brought a claim that the guidance went too far by containing a strong presumption against allowing events to go ahead where the risk of students becoming radicalised could not be eliminated. He argued that the guidance was having a chilling effect on free speech and debate in universities by in effect barring speakers who may have interesting but controversial views. A once vibrant speaking circuit around university Islamic societies had been all but frozen by Prevent, he told the Guardian. Read more - Lire plus

Aid groups worry new US anti-terror law could leave them liable
IRIN News 12/03/2019 - A new US anti-terror law that has forced the majority of American-funded aid operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to grind to a halt may have even wider humanitarian consequences, leaving nonprofits around the world more vulnerable to litigation. While the 700-word bill appears to have been targeted at the Palestinian Authority, which governs the West Bank, experts say the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act, or ATCA, is poorly crafted and could result in some non-governmental organisations and businesses being reluctant to take US funding or be associated with US-financed programmes. Signed in October last year and law as of 31 January, ATCA is an attempt by US lawmakers to make it easier for American courts to hear civil suits related to terrorist attacks abroad, specifically those involving authorities tied to the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Under ATCA, recipients of three kinds of aid – economic support funds (ESF), international narcotics and law enforcement (INCLE) funds, and financing earmarked for nonproliferation, anti-terrorism, and demining (NADR) – become subject to US “personal jurisdiction”. This means American citizens who have demonstrably suffered injury to “person, property or business” from international acts of terrorism can sue these recipients in US civil court. American NGOs that operate abroad were already subject to personal jurisdiction for such suits, but ATCA broadens this to any recipient. As a result of the law, the Palestinian Authority (PA) announced it would stop taking those forms of aid, leading the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to shut down its operations in the West Bank and Gaza in February. Other NGOs that receive funding via USAID and from the streams mentioned in ATCA followed suit. While the bill has so far only caused the shutdown of NGOs working in the West Bank and Gaza, there is no geographical limit in its wording. Experts, including Scott Anderson, a fellow at the Brookings Institution who has written extensively about the law and advised aid groups on its legal ramifications, say this means ATCA could have unintended and far-reaching consequences. “There is a real risk that this could really cripple the US’ ability to find reliable foreign assistance partners in a lot of parts of the world where we really need them, particularly areas of conflict,” he said. Read more - Lire plus
Rutherford Institute Defends Rappers Charged With Terrorism for Sharing Song Critical of Police on Facebook and YouTube
The Rutherford Institude 07/03/2019 - The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of a rap artist who was charged with making terrorist threats after posting a rap song critical of police on Facebook and YouTube. Police had been actively monitoring rapper Jamal Knox’s (a.k.a. “Mayhem Mal”) social media presence when they discovered the song titled “F**k the Police” and charged Knox and his rap partner with multiple counts of terroristic threats. The Rutherford Institute’s amicus brief in Knox v. Pennsylvania, filed in conjunction with The CATO Institute, asks the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case and reject an attempt by government officials to expand the definition of “true threats,” making controversial and unpopular political or artistic expression subject to prosecution and suppression by the government. Read more - Lire plus
Plans for Wheelchair-Accessible Cells at Gitmo Paint 'Chilling Picture' of Detainees Held Without Trial For Rest of Their Lives
Common Dreams 07/03/2019 - Newly-revealed plans for expanding the Guantanamo Bay prison confirm that the future of the facility focuses on keeping detainees there well into old age—and likely for the rest of their lives. A decade after President Barack Obama signed an executive order calling for Guantanamo Bay to be shuttered, prison officials are seeking contractors to build a wheelchair-accessible 5,000-square foot compound at the detention center, according to reports by the Middle East Eye and the Miami Herald. Human rights advocates on Thursday decried the move. "Building wheelchair accessible prison cells at Guantanamo paints a deeply chilling picture," said Maya Foa, director of the British human rights organization Reprieve. "President Trump appears to be planning to detain men—the vast majority of whom have never been charged with a crime or faced a trial—until they die." The new wing will contain three handicapped-accessible cells—suggesting that the prison is planning to provide end-of-life care to detainees, many of whom have not been formally charged with any crime or been afforded a trial. Lt. Jason Tross, a Guantanamo Bay official, told the Middle East Eye that the new handicapped-accessible cells are indeed planned because the prison is "facing an ageing detainee population." Of the 40 men who are currently being held at the prison in Cuba, 26 are considered "forever prisoners," having never been tried. Five have been cleared for release in recent years but remain imprisoned. Some prisoners have been at Guantanamo Bay since the say the facility opened in 2002. A number of detainees are now in their 50s and 60s, and the oldest inmate is 71 years old and in poor health after having been detained for 14 years. President Donald Trump has said multiple times that he wants the current prisoners to stay at Guantanamo indefinitely and that he is open to sending more detainees there. Administration officials have said they may detain captives suspected of fighting for ISIS there. "Indefinite detention has no place in a democratic society. The men who have been cleared for release must be returned home and the prison should be shut once and for all." — Maya Foa, Reprieve. Read more - Lire plus

The American Machine: Police Torture to Drone Assassinations (podcast)
Intercepted 13/03/2019 - In 1969, Black Panther leader Fred Hampton was gunned down by Chicago Police in his bedroom. This week on Intercepted: Famed civil rights lawyer Flint Taylor discusses his 13 year struggle for justice for Hampton, his work in exposing the torture program in Chicago that was unleashed on black men, and his career fighting against violent corrupt cops, the city of Chicago, and J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI. Taylor’s new memoir is called “The Torture Machine: Racism and Police Violence in Chicago.” As Donald Trump ramps up drone strikes, he has officially wiped out the already minimal accountability guidelines implemented by Barack Obama. Hina Shamsi of the American Civil Liberties Union talks about the expansion of drone strikes under Trump, how Obama paved the way for his successor, and what we might expect from Attorney General William Barr. Read more & listen - Lire plus & écouter

The US Government Will Be Scanning Your Face At 20 Top Airports, Documents Show
Buzzfeed 11/03/2019 - In March 2017, President Trump issued an executive order expediting the deployment of biometric verification of the identities of all travelers crossing US borders. That mandate stipulates facial recognition identification for “100 percent of all international passengers,” including American citizens, in the top 20 US airports by 2021. Now, the United States Department of Homeland Security is rushing to get those systems up and running at airports across the country. But it's doing so in the absence of proper vetting, regulatory safeguards, and what some privacy advocates argue is in defiance of the law. According to 346 pages of documents obtained by the nonprofit research organization Electronic Privacy Information Center — shared exclusively with BuzzFeed News and made public on Monday as part of Sunshine Week — US Customs and Border Protection is scrambling to implement this “biometric entry-exit system,” with the goal of using facial recognition technology on travelers aboard 16,300 flights per week — or more than 100 million passengers traveling on international flights out of the United States — in as little as two years, to meet Trump's accelerated timeline for a biometric system that had initially been signed into law by the Obama administration. This, despite questionable biometric confirmation rates and few, if any, legal guardrails. These same documents state — explicitly — that there were no limits on how partnering airlines can use this facial recognition data. CBP did not answer specific questions about whether there are any guidelines for how other technology companies involved in processing the data can potentially also use it. It was only during a data privacy meeting last December that CBP made a sharp turn and limited participating companies from using this data. But it is unclear to what extent it has enforced this new rule. CBP did not explain what its current policies around data sharing of biometric information with participating companies and third-party firms are, but it did say that the agency “retains photos … for up to 14 days” of non-US citizens departing the country, for “evaluation of the technology” and “assurance of the accuracy of the algorithms” — which implies such photos might be used for further training of its facial matching AI. [...] The documents also suggest that CBP skipped portions of a critical “rulemaking process,” which requires the agency to solicit public feedback before adopting technology intended to be broadly used on civilians, something privacy advocates back up. This is worrisome because — beyond its privacy, surveillance, and free speech implications — facial recognition technology is currently troubled by issues of inaccuracy and bias. Last summer, the American Civil Liberties Union reported that Amazon’s facial recognition technology falsely matched 28 members of Congress with arrest mugshots. These false matches were disproportionately people of color. Read more - Lire plus

Canada must do more to help jailed Saudi women, activist says
Canadian Press 08/03/2019 - A Canadian activist with Amnesty International urged the federal government on Friday to renew its public complaints against Saudi Arabia for jailing women who have been fighting for rights in their country. Canada was one of three dozen countries that jointly signed a United Nations Human Rights Council statement this week condemning Saudi Arabia for the arrests of 10 mainly female activists who have been jailed as part of a crackdown on rights advocates in the kingdom. Canada did speak out against Saudi Arabia for jailing female activists last summer – statements that led to economic consequences and diplomatic tensions between the two countries. However, Canada has been muted in its calls for action since then, says Jacqueline Hansen, Amnesty International Canada’s gender rights campaigner. “We are so grateful that Canada did speak out, but we want to see Canada continuing to speak out, and speaking out with specificity,” Ms. Hansen said. She pointed to a statement issued by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland on Friday recognizing International Women’s Day, in which she said Canada “will always stand up for human rights – very much including women’s rights – even when speaking up has consequences.” The Saudi prisoners face serious consequences for speaking out, Ms. Hansen said, which is why more targeted messaging condemning their treatment is needed. “We need more public outcry about this from Canada and from other governments. We need it to be specific, not just saying, ‘We support women’s rights,’ but to talk about the rights that these women are defending and to talk about what we need to do to advocate for their release.” Read more - Lire plus

Soupçonnés d’être liés à l’Etat islamique, des enfants torturés en Irak (vidéo)
Le Monde 07/03/2019 - Human Rights Watch accuse les autorités irakiennes et le gouvernement de la région du Kurdistan (KRG) d’avoir inculpé des centaines de mineurs d’actes de terrorisme pour leur présumée appartenance à Daesh. En vertu du droit international, les enfants recrutés par des groupes armés doivent normalement être considérés en premier lieu comme des victimes. Pourtant, les autorités ont eu recours à la torture et à des arrestations et des détentions contestables, après des jugements express et sans que les enfants aient pu avoir recours à un avocat. À la fin de 2018, environ 1 500 enfants ont été placés en détention. Read more - Lire plus
Tell the Senate to Fix Bill C-59 before it's too late!
From mass surveillance to the No Fly List, the new National Security Act fails to undo past problems and brings in new powers that threaten our rights & freedoms. Send a message to the Senate that they need to fix Bill C-59.
Share on Facebook & Twitter .
Partagez sur Facebook & Twitter .
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.
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”. 

There has never been any formal, independent review of how and why the police response went so badly wrong. In December, the UN Committee against Torture called on Canada to address this glaring gap in police accountability by ensuring that a thorough and impartial review is finally carried out.
Respectez les droits des!
Migrer ou mourir. Des milliers de personnes d'Amérique centrale, y compris des familles, ont été forcées de quitter ce qu'elles connaissent et aiment pour trouver la sécurité et une vie meilleure pour leurs enfants. Elles ont marché pendant des semaines vers les États-Unis pour échapper aux menaces, à la violence et à une pauvreté extrême - non par choix, mais par obligation.

Mais Donald Trump et son administration travaillent dur pour s’assurer qu’ils ne pourront pas rechercher la sécurité aux États-Unis.
Les droits humains ne dépendent pas du document que vous possédez ou de votre nationalité. Ils appartiennent à tout le monde.

Signez cette pétition pour soutenir les personnes et les familles en quête de protection.
Tell China to close its secret ‘re-education’ camps for ethnic minorities
It is estimated that up to one million people - predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities - are being arbitrarily detained in “de-extremification" camps in China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Among them are Uighurs, Kazakhs and other ethnic minority groups whose religious and cultural practices are key to their identity.
The detentions appear to be part of an effort by the Chinese government to wipe out religious beliefs and aspects of cultural identity in order to enforce political loyalty for the State and the Communist Party of China.
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 .
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. There were lengthy periods when he had no family or consular visits. 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. Those actions prolonged his detention, with no concern for the obvious risk of mistreatment he was facing.
Don’t invest my CPP contributions in Trump’s racist agenda
An investigation by the Guardian just revealed that the  Canada Pension Plan (CPP), is pouring millions of your pension dollars into the US private prison corporations that are executing Trump’s cruel and inhumane anti-immigration agenda. That’s your money.  If you’ve ever worked in Canada, you’ve paid contributions to the CPP fund. We can’t let our CPP contributions flow to corporations that are profiting from Trump’s cruel immigration policies.

Tell the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB): Stop investing our savings in private US prison corporations that are executing Trump’s cruel and inhumane anti-immigration agenda.
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.
Iran: Free Saeed Malekpour!
Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian national with permanent residency in Canada, has been imprisoned in Iran since his arrest on 4 October 2008. In late 2010, he was initially sentenced to death for “spreading corruption on earth” in relation to a web programme he created for uploading photos which the Iranian authorities said was used on pornographic websites. This was an open source programme and Saeed Malekpour has maintained that the use of this web programme on other websites was without his knowledge. His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 2012.
Migrant and refugee rights
Droits des et réfugié.es

Les opinions exprimées ne reflètent pas nécessairement les positions de la CSILC - The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the positions of ICLMG.
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