International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
29 novembre 2019
Memorial for Michele: End Femicide, Reform the Extradition Law and Launch of Public Inquiry Now!
ICLMG 25/11/2019 - On Monday, November 25, 2019, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Matthew Behrens and ICLMG invited the Ottawa community to remember and honour the life of Michele Messina (aka MM), a Canadian single mother and abuse survivor whose life was tragically cut short in a Quebec jail this month as a result of misogynist decisions made by judges and officials of the Justice Department over a 10-year period.

Michele (known by the acronym of her case name, MM) was sought for extradition to the U.S. for the alleged "crime" of saving her children from an abusive father by helping bring them to Quebec from Georgia in 2010. All the children have grown up here and are now adults. One of her daughters writes Michele was a warrior for them who saved their lives. We also reflected on the systemic abuses that led to her death in the notorious Leclerc prison and demanded three things:

1. An independent public inquiry into Abuses Committed under Canada’s Extradition Act, examining the cases of Michele M (aka MM), Dr. Hassan Diab , and numerous other individuals whose lives and families have been ruined by one of the most unfair processes in Canadian law. The Terms of Reference of any such inquiry MUST be developed in consultation with and approved by those who have been subjected to the horrors of extradition. Legislative action to bring the extradition Act in line with international and domestic human rights standards is also desperately needed.

2. Immediate steps to develop and implement a United Nations-mandated National Action Plan to End Violence Against Women and Girls. In February 2015, Women’s Shelters Canada launched A Blueprint for Canada’s National Action Plan (NAP) on Violence against Women (VAW) . As of today, there is still no such action plan.

3. Immediate action on the call from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls for the creation of a national plan to address violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people. ( Join the Ottawa MMIWG report reading group )

Watch the livestream - Visionnez la diffusion en direct (About Michele: 00:00; about and with Hassan Diab: 36:00; with Roksana: 58:00; entering the Justice Department: 1:06:00)

Read or listen to Hassan's whole story at and . For even more details, go to

No-Fly Lists, National Security and Race: The Experiences of Canadian Muslims
This academic paper written by University of Ottawa's Criminology Assistant Professor, Baljit Nagra, and University of Toronto Sociology Associate Professor, Paula Maurutto, and references the ICLMG.
The British Journal of Criminology 20/11/2019 - Despite the increasing use of no-fly lists in countries like the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, their impact has not been explored in academic research. In a bid to fill this gap, we conducted 70 in-depth interviews with Muslim community leaders to explore Canadian Muslims’ experience of the no-fly list. We find the Canadian no-fly list targets Muslim communities, restricts mobility, separates individuals from family and friends, diminishes professional and economic opportunities, and stigmatizes those labelled a security risk. Drawing on the preventive security literature and critical race studies of counter-terrorism, this research demonstrates how no-fly lists erode fundamental aspects of justice, and reproduce racial hierarchies. Read more - Lire plus

Someone Call the Cops on Justin Trudeau's Public Safety Minister Pick
Vice 21/11/2019 - It’s been a hell of a ride, but Bill Blair’s redemption story is complete.
The former Toronto police chief, pushed out of the job just four years ago, is now Canada’s minister of public safety. It’s a nearly-unfathomable return to form for Blair, who faced criticism from all sides for his handling of the infamous G20 summit, held in Toronto in June 2010. Reviews found that Toronto Police, under Blair’s leadership, conducted random street checks, detained more than 1,000 protesters for up to 24 hours in make-shift camps, used arbitrary strip searches, amongst other Charter violations. Blair also continued, and defended, the practise of demanding identification from otherwise law-abiding, predominantly non-white, Torontonians as well— carding .

Now, Blair is the man responsible for Canada’s national police force, our border agency, and a pair of freshly-strengthened intelligence and security agencies. He will also be tapped to bring in new gun control laws, as part of a plan to reduce homicides in Canada’s big cities; and will help decide whether to let Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei build part of Canada’s 5G infrastructure. Blair’s new role was announced at Rideau Hall on Wednesday, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled his new cabinet — one that didn’t have quite the same rosy optimism and flowerpower that defined his team unveiled in 2015. [...]

Blair, as chief of the Toronto Police Service, proved himself keen to go around independent oversight in order to get things done. A 26-chapter gameplan for how to handle the G-20 summit was never even shared with the police services board. In 2015, even as he lobbied to stay on as chief, the board declined to renew his contract, pushing him out of the job. And, as it happens, freeing him to run for federal office. Blair won his Scarborough seat that October, but was passed over in Trudeau’s first cabinet. Instead, Blair became Trudeau’s go-to guy on cannabis—first, as parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice, then to the health minister. Harsh criminal penalties for anyone caught operating outside the legal system were thought to be the hallmarks of Blair’s work on the file. Most recently, Trudeau tapped Blair to handle border security and organized crime reduction. In that role, Blair began negotiating with his American counterparts to make it easier to turn away refugees crossing into Canada to make asylum claims.

With his promotion to public safety minister, though, Blair now oversees the RCMP, the Canada Border Services Agency, and CSIS. He takes over a national security apparatus that has seen its credibility severely weakened, after the arrest of the RCMP’s top intelligence official on espionage charges . He will have to decide whether to ban Huawei from helping to build its sensitive telecommunications infrastructure. Blair will be responsible for ongoing negotiations around expanding information sharing with American intelligence agencies. He will be tasked with implementing oversight to Canada’s border services. He will have a large role to play in deciding how, or whether, Canadian citizens who travelled to fight for the Islamic State are repatriated and prosecuted. The list goes on. An associate professor in international affairs at Carleton and a former intelligence analyst, says it’s a bad sign that the government has opted to put “a cop in charge of cops.” [...]

After being sworn in to the job, VICE asked Blair how he would go about balancing civil liberties with public safety—and how he would convince the public of that, given his record. “I would simply point out that, for 39 years, I was responsible for policing in the city of Toronto, and for 10 as the chief of police,” Blair said. “I’ve dedicated the majority of my adult life to keeping people safe.” Blair added that he would ensure “that all of our decisions are taken through the lens of upholding Canadians’ rights and freedoms.” Read more - Lire plus

Trans Mountain monitoring anti-pipeline activists, labelling some as 'persons of interest'
CBC 25/11/2019 - The federally owned Trans Mountain Corporation is monitoring pipeline opponents and designating some as persons of interest who warrant closer scrutiny, according to internal records provided to CBC News. The Trans Mountain documents show its security officials recorded the names of individuals who posted anti-pipeline videos and statements on social media, along with the names of those tagged in the posts or who shared the content. Trans Mountain also singled out two individuals it considered to be persons of interest — labelled "POI" in the documents — and compiled information on their movements and their interactions with different protest groups target ng other resource projects. A person of interest is a police term used to identify an individual who may be a witness or connected to a crime, but is not a suspect.

In one instance, outlined in the documents, a Trans Mountain security official reported the company had uncovered the legal name of an activist, labelled a "core POI" who was using an alias. The documents detailed the movements of the individual, past activist history and their relationship with other protest and Indigenous groups. "New information about a core POI confirms the Tiny House Warrior Camp [which refers to a protest camp in northern B.C.] is attracting some fringe and more extreme activists," the document says. The Tiny House Warriors set up five tiny houses last year in an area around Blue River, B.C., which is about 230 kilometres north of Kamloops. The group also has a second camp about 60 km north of Blue River, in an area around Valemount near the Moonbeam Bridge, where they have set up a yurt. The area where both camps are set up is in the path of the pipeline project and within the territory of the Secwepemc Nation, which those in the camp say has not consented to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, though some bands in the nation have signed onto the project. The activities of individuals connected to the Tiny House Warriors is a prime concern in the documents.​​​​​

Ottawa bought Trans Mountain Corp. for $4.5 billion in 2018. It is a Crown corporation accountable to Parliament through the Canada Development Investment Corporation, which reports to the minister of finance. It is subject to federal laws and policies on privacy. Trans Mountain Corp. is responsible for a pipeline expansion project that would twin an existing pipeline from a terminal east of Edmonton to a marine terminal in Burnaby, B.C. The corporation would not say what it does with the names it gathers in its reports or how it determines someone to be a person of interest. Nor would it answer questions on whether it shares this information with other federal departments or the RCMP. [...]

Jeffrey Monaghan, an associate professor of criminology at Carleton University, said the documents raise troubling questions about the type of information Trans Mountain is gathering, how it's being stored and who has access to it. "It raises all kinds of questions about what it means to have rights of expression in a democracy," said Monaghan, who co-wrote a book called Policing Indigenous Movements, which examines how Canadian police, military and intelligence agencies surveil activists. Monaghan said he saw this type of information gathering around the Idle No More movement, a national Indigenous rights movement that sprang up during the winter of 2012-2013. He said some of the information contained in the documents — the tracking of movements of some activists — seemed to suggest it came from sources beyond social media posts. "This data is travelling. This is kind of a non-policing entity that is doing all kinds of surveillance and data accumulation that is patched in to the policing establishment," he said. Read more - Lire plus

Why government and industry want us to view the CN Rail strike as a security risk
The Conversation 24/11/2019 - During the course of conducting research for Policing Indigenous Movements , I obtained thousands of pages of internal documents. These files paint a picture of how police and government respond to protests that are framed as threats to national security, and how corporations have become integrated into efforts to protect critical infrastructure. The Idle No More movement became a focal point for security efforts to mitigate any future economic disruptions.

In December 2012, the movement erupted across Canada. Tens of thousands of Indigenous people mobilized in response to federal legislation aimed at facilitating resource extraction which necessitated gutting environmental protections. The movement asserted treaty rights, Indigenous sovereignty and demanded that Canada engage and negotiate on a nation-to-nation basis. In support of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike on Victoria Island on the Ottawa River, members of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation established a blockade of a CN spur line on their territory adjacent to “ chemical valley ” in Sarnia.

CN immediately sought an injunction to bring down the blockade. It was granted by Justice David Brown, a former CN lawyer and expert witness . CN sought $50,000 in financial damages for the 13-day blockade. First Nations protester Ron Plain was ordered to pay more than $16,500 in damages for being “ the visible spokesperson of a protest that openly defied a court order .” The Sarnia police force was also chastised by CN. The chief of police was summoned to court to explain why the police force did not forcefully bring down the blockade. Briefing notes and emails produced by the RCMP — including the Critical Infrastructure Intelligence Team’s National Security Criminal Operations, which monitored Idle No More closely — acknowledged that “CN policy is to seek an injunction where a railway is blocked” and to levy indictable mischief, intimidation and trespass charges under the Railway Safety Act . [...]

When negotiators are unable to end a blockade or reach an agreement during a labour disruption, it’s clear that events can be put under a national security microscope and conveniently framed as threats to critical infrastructure. Indeed, the Aamjiwnaang rail blockade and subsequent scenario-planning exercises may have helped inform the 2015 update to the Anti-Terrorism Act and the embedded Security of Canada Information Sharing Act (SCISA) [which was then updated by the National Security Act, 2017 and renamed Security of Canada Information Disclosure Act (SCIDA) .]

[SCIDA] facilitates the sharing of information among 17 government departments regarding “any activity that undermines the sovereignty, security or territorial integrity of Canada or the lives or the security of the people of Canada.” This type of activity includes “interference with critical infrastructure.” Under these terms, strikes and blockades fall under the purview of counter-terrorism measures.

The union representing rail workers has suggested CN and others are whipping up hysteria and manufacturing a crisis in order to crush the strike. It added that enough trains were running to supply propane to Ontario and Québec, and that CN decides which products get shipped. The strike is still ongoing. It will be interesting to see how long it will take for both government and industry to frame it as a threat to national security. Read more - Lire plus
Attorney-General David Lametti invokes power to block judge-ordered disclosures
The Globe and Mail 20/11/2019 - For the first time in Canada, the federal attorney-general has overridden a judge’s order to release documents that the government considers to be national-security secrets. Attorney-General David Lametti signed a secrecy certificate to prevent details about a Canadian Security Intelligence Service surveillance operation on the Chinese embassy in Ottawa from being disclosed in the case of a man accused of trying to leak secrets to China. “This certificate, issued personally by me, prohibits the disclosure of some of the information disclosed by a designated judge,” reads the certificate, which was signed Nov. 14 and filed in the Federal Court of Appeal. It says the information in question will be sealed for a decade. And, because the certificate can be renewed, it could be sealed permanently.

The federal attorney-general was given this power in the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Act, but it has never before been used. [...] The secrecy-certificate power was “severely criticized when it was introduced,” said Kent Roach, a University of Toronto law professor. “It was seen at the time as a kind of atom bomb when it comes to this kind of dialogue about secrecy.” [...] Like police, intelligence officers have to swear wiretap-warrant applications in closed hearings before judges grant them access to surveillance powers. But unlike police, CSIS’s bids are designed to never see the light of day – details of these operations are typically forever hidden away in classified documents and closed courtrooms. On Aug. 30, Federal Court Justice Richard Mosley ruled that portions of the CSIS warrant and some supporting documents could be safety turned over to Mr. Huang and his lawyer. The government immediately appealed, as it has several times before, saying national security was at stake. But this time, before any further arguments could be heard, Mr. Lametti decided to play the government’s ultimate trump card.

The certificate specifically blocks the release of six paragraphs of the 166-paragraph wiretap affidavit CSIS used to target the Chinese embassy. Some observers say the entire prosecution could now be at risk if the trial judge decides the accused has been denied evidence due to him. “The idea that it’s only six paragraphs may help,” said Leah West, a former Justice Department lawyer. But, she added, “It may be hard for the trial judge – not having seen the information – to conclude that Mr. Huang’s fair-trial rights can be adequately protected without the disclosure of the withheld information.” Frank Addario, the lawyer who is acting for Mr. Huang, says it is too soon to talk about next steps. But he said that “it’s the executive overriding the decision of the judicial branch, which is an unusual power for Parliament to give the executive in Canada." A Federal Court judge “said the evidence we sought was relevant to the litigation in the trial court – and that evidence is now not going to be available to us,” Mr. Addario added. Secrecy certificates can be appealed to a Federal Court of Appeal judge but the parameters are extremely narrow. The act states that they can only be reversed if the judge is persuaded that the underlying matters are unrelated to national security. Read more - Lire plus
China Cables Exposed: China’s Operating Manuals for Mass Internment and Arrest by Algorithm
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists 24/11/2019 - A new leak of highly classified Chinese government documents has uncovered the operations manual for running the mass detention camps in Xinjiang and exposed the mechanics of the region’s Orwellian system of mass surveillance and “predictive policing.”

The China Cables, obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists , include a classified list of guidelines, personally approved by the region’s top security chief, that effectively serves as a manual for operating the camps now holding hundreds of thousands of Muslim Uighurs and other minorities. The leak also features previously undisclosed intelligence briefings that reveal, in the government’s own words, how Chinese police are guided by a massive data collection and analysis system that uses artificial intelligence to select entire categories of Xinjiang residents for detention.

The manual, called a “telegram,” instructs camp personnel on such matters as how to prevent escapes, how to maintain total secrecy about the camps’ existence, methods of forced indoctrination, how to control disease outbreaks, and when to let detainees see relatives or even use the toilet. The document, dating to 2017, lays bare a behavior-modification “points” system to mete out punishments and rewards to inmates.

The manual reveals the minimum duration of detention: one year — though accounts from ex-detainees suggest that some are released sooner. The classified intelligence briefings reveal the scope and ambition of the government’s artificial-intelligence-powered policing platform, which purports to predict crimes based on these computer-generated findings alone. Experts say the platform, which is used in both policing and military contexts, demonstrates the power of technology to help drive industrial-scale human rights abuses.

The China Cables reveal how the system is able to amass vast amounts of intimate personal data through warrantless manual searches, facial recognition cameras, and other means to identify candidates for detention, flagging for investigation hundreds of thousands merely for using certain popular mobile phone apps . The documents detail explicit directives to arrest Uighurs with foreign citizenship and to track Xinjiang Uighurs living abroad, some of whom have been deported back to China by authoritarian governments. Among those implicated as taking part in the global dragnet: China’s embassies and consulates. Read more - Lire plus

Leak of China documents raises questions about imprisoned Canadian Huseyin Celil
The Canadian Press 25/11/2019 - The “two Michaels” may have become Canada’s most well-known prisoners in China. Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor have been imprisoned for almost a year since the diplomatic dispute between China and Canada erupted in early December of last year when the RCMP arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of the United States on an extradition warrant.

The emergence Sunday of a leaked Chinese government blueprint for imprisoning one million Muslim Uighurs in China’s western Xinjiang province is focusing attention on another Canadian detainee. Huseyin Celil, who settled in southern Ontario after becoming a Canadian citizen, is a former Uighur activist who has been imprisoned in China for 13 years. The leaked Chinese communist government documents debunked Beijing’s claims that it is running a voluntary employment and language-training program aimed at integrating Uighurs into mainstream Chinese society. They detail China’s imprisonment and efforts to indoctrinate the Uighur minority, as well as the use of artificial intelligence and video surveillance to achieve that end.

The expansion of the detention camps and the roundup of Uighurs in 2016 coincided with the last time any of Celil’s relatives had any direct contact with him, said Alex Neve, the secretary general of Amnesty International Canada. Celil gained his Canadian citizenship in 2005. He was arrested in Uzbekistan a year later while visiting relatives, and taken to China. Prior to early 2016, Celil’s mother and sister visited him in prison about twice a year — his only contact with the outside world because Canadian diplomats have been barred from seeing him. “The family reports stopped at exactly the time the mass incarceration and the roundups of Uighurs was underway,” Neve said Monday. “So, it’s very likely that the family has in some way shape or form either been incarcerated, or because of the crackdown visits aren’t being allowed any more, or because of the fear that is now prevailing are being much more cautious and not sending messages.”

On Saturday, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said he had a one-hour discussion with his Chinese counterpart about Kovrig and Spavor and that gaining their release is his “absolute priority.” Neve agreed with Champagne, but added: “It’s really important that Huseyin Celil’s case be receiving that same attention.” A spokesman for Global Affairs Canada said Monday the government is “deeply concerned” about Celil’s ongoing detention. “We continue to raise our concerns with Chinese authorities,” Guillaume Berube said in an emailed statement. “We are deeply concerned by the human rights situation faced by Muslim Uighurs and other minorities in China.” Canada has called on China to release all Uighurs “arbitrarily detained in Xinjiang” on three occasions at the United Nations Human Rights Council, including twice last year and most recently in March, said Berube.

Canada renewed those calls by presenting a letter to the council, co-signed with more than 20 other countries in July, and followed up again in late October with Britain at another UN committee in a joint submission on behalf of 23 countries, he said.
“We continue to call on the Chinese government to ensure the human rights of its people — including freedom of religion — are fully respected,” he said. The Chinese government has dismissed the latest allegations as fake news. Neve said past Amnesty reports and those of other human rights groups had detailed some of what was revealed in the leaked Chinese government documents. Those reports largely relied on information supplied by Uighurs themselves, including some who survived imprisonment. “What is however so chilling and so haunting about what we see in the documents is now we know that this is a cold, calculating, sinister matter of official state policy,” said Neve. “It certainly refutes the empty protests that the Chinese government has frequently made that there’s no problem here.” Charles Burton, a China expert with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, said the documents make clear the Chinese government is engaging in “cultural genocide” of the Uighur people. Read more - Lire plus

'They can find out anything': Leaked documents show China's surveillance of Uighurs worldwide
CBC 25/11/2019 - A trove of secret documents has revealed China's efforts to track members of its Uighur population living around the world, as well as the government's attempts to arrest Uighurs with foreign citizenship upon their return to China, including Canadians. The documents are part of the China Cables, an investigation spearheaded by the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) , and were obtained from a confidential source within China. 

The files have been verified by intelligence experts, translated and given to CBC News and other international media partners by the ICIJ in an effort to raise awareness of China's treatment of Uighurs. The highly classified internal government documents obtained by ICIJ are from 2017 and show that Chinese officials were actively monitoring 1,535 Uighurs who had obtained "foreign nationality" and applied for Chinese visas at consulates worldwide. Uighurs are a Muslim minority group of Turkic origin who are native to the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang, near the Kazakhstan border. The China Cables show a concerted effort to exert control over Uighurs across the globe, including in Canada. 

"I think most of the Uighur people who study here or are living here feel the pressure from the Chinese government," one Uighur student living in Canada told CBC News.
 "[China is] afraid that Uighurs living abroad will tell the facts about what is happening in Xinjiang to the foreign media or foreign peoples." The student agreed to speak with CBC on condition that his identity remained confidential and will be referred to as Abraham for the purpose of this story. The student said the government has threatened his parents and used them as leverage in order to monitor his activity in Canada. "They control everything in China," he said. "They can find out anything." Alex Neve, secretary general for Amnesty International Canada, said the documents "make it clear that what is underway is a sinister program of incarceration on a massive scale that the world has hardly seen anywhere in decades." Read more - Lire plus

Revealed: power and reach of China’s surveillance dragnet
The Guardian 24/11/2019 - [The China Cables] highlight the power and reach of China’s surveillance dragnet, which combines data scooped up from automated online monitoring, with information collected in more old-fashioned ways, by officials who use an app to input it by hand. The Integrated Joint Operations Platform (IJOP), combines all this information in a detailed database of everything from an individual’s exact height and electricity use, to the colour of their car, whether they socialise with neighbours and even if they prefer to use the front or back door to their house. The Xinjiang Bureau of Public Security began posting procurement notices mentioning IJOP in 2016, although its use as a predictive policing tool was made public only in early 2018, in a report from Human Rights Watch.

The cables reveal that in a single week in June 2017, IJOP flagged up 24,412 “suspicious” individuals in one part of southern Xinjiang alone. Of these, more than 15,000 were sent to re-education camps, and a further 706 were jailed. That rate of detentions, if matched across the region and continued over time, would explain how hundreds of thousands of people have been swept into camps already. There is massive capacity to monitor online activity; another bulletin says that authorities identified 1.8 million users of a file-sharing app known as Zapya (or Kuai Ya in China), and then worked on the user-base information to identify thousands who were considered suspicious and flagged up for further checks. Online data comes in part from the monitoring software everyone in the region is obliged to install on their phones – with police checkpoints regularly scanning for the obligatory app.

“The Chinese have bought into a model of policing where they believe that through the collection of large-scale data, run through artificial intelligence … they can in fact predict ahead of time where possible incidents might take place,” said James Mulvenon, an expert in the verification of Chinese government documents who serves as the director of intelligence integration at SOS International. “Then they are pre-emptively going after those people using that data, before they’ve even had a chance to actually commit the crime.” Read more - Lire plus
Turkey: Prosecution call for jail term of up to 15 years for six human rights defenders, including Amnesty’s honorary chair and former director, defies logic
Amnesty International 27 /11/2019 - Following a request by the State Prosecutor for the conviction of Amnesty Turkey’s honorary chair, Taner Kılıç, former director İdil Eser and four other human rights defenders on terrorism-related charges, Marie Struthers Europe, Director for Amnesty International, said: 

“Today’s vindictive request by the State Prosecutor for jail terms of up to 15 years ignores the evidence and defies all logic. The terrorist allegations made against Taner, İdil and four others have been repeatedly disproven over the course of nine previous hearings and it is clear today, as it has been from the start, that the Istanbul 10 and Taner are on trial for nothing more than their human rights work. They must be acquitted.” If convicted, they risk up to 15 years imprisonment. The next, and presumably final trial hearing, is set to take place on 19 February 2020. Read more - Lire plus
Éditorial: Il faut juger en France les djihadistes français
Le Monde 20/11/2019 - Que faire des quelque 450 ressortissants européens engagés dans le djihad aux côtés de l’organisation Etat islamique (EI), aujourd’hui détenus dans le nord de la Syrie ? Depuis des mois, le dilemme sur leur sort met en balance deux issues: encourager leur transfert en Irak et déléguer à ce pays la charge de les juger, ou accepter leur rapatriement et leur comparution devant des tribunaux européens.S’agissant des djihadistes français, Paris craint les réactions de l’opinion publique, encore sous le choc des attentats, et défend fermement la première hypothèse. Le chef de la diplomatie française, Jean-Yves Le Drian, l’a réaffirmé le 14 novembre, à Washington : les djihadistes français doivent « être jugés au plus près des crimes qu’ils ont commis ».

La France, dont les ressortissants sont les plus nombreux parmi les djihadistes issus des pays occidentaux, tente de négocier avec Bagdad l’organisation de procès moyennant contribution financière. Jamais, jusqu’à présent, l’exécutif présidé par Emmanuel Macron n’a envisagé officiellement de rapatrier, pour les juger selon le droit français, les quelque 130 combattants français de l’EI, hommes et femmes, détenus dans le Nord-Est syrien, pas plus que les quelque 320 mineurs français présents dans les camps de déplacés. Cette décision, politiquement logique en apparence, doit être repensée non seulement parce qu’elle n’est pas viable, mais aussi parce qu’elle risque de se retourner contre la France. Confronté à une révolte populaire sans précédent, le gouvernement irakien a d’autres préoccupations et semble ne plus accepter le fardeau que représenteraient ces procès. L’Irak n’est pas « un dépotoir » à djihadistes a signifié le ministre des affaires étrangères, Mohammed Ali Al-Hakim. Bagdad n’apprécie pas non plus d’être visé pour sa pratique de la peine de mort par les organisations de défense des droits de l’homme, dans les pays mêmes qui veulent lui déléguer les procès.

Certes, les craintes liées à l’invasion par l’armée turque du nord de la Syrie, quant à la surveillance par les forces kurdes des camps de prisonniers djihadistes, sont pour l’heure relativement apaisées. Le nombre d’évasions a été limité. Mais la situation sur le terrain reste hautement instable. Le risque demeure d’une dissémination des combattants islamistes, et donc de nouveaux attentats en Europe. S’y ajoute celui de voir les camps de détenus passer sous contrôle des autorités syriennes, qui auraient alors toute latitude pour monnayer le sort des djihadistes contre la reprise des relations avec la France ou d’autres Etats européens. Imagine-t-on que ce soit Damas ou Moscou qui finisse par organiser ces procès? Plutôt que de les laisser dans la nature, c’est en France qu’il faut juger les djihadistes français, même si de lourdes difficultés en matière de preuves seraient à surmonter, et même si bien des défis pénitentiaires, politiques et émotionnels seraient à relever. « Leur rapatriement est un enjeu de sécurité et de justice à long terme », estime le juge David De Pas, coordinateur du pôle antiterroriste du tribunal de Paris. La dette de justice envers les familles des victimes des attentats, mais aussi la crédibilité des pays occidentaux dans leur défense des droits humains fondamentaux, plaide dans le même sens : la France n’a rien à gagner à tenter de mettre sous le tapis la question de « ses » djihadistes en se défaussant. Sauf à conforter la rhétorique des islamistes, qui dénonce l’Etat de droit comme une pure hypocrisie. Read more - Lire plus

Amid War Crimes Allegations, Afghan Government Lacks Proper Mechanisms to Investigate
Just Security 27/11/2019 - Human Rights Watch recently published a detailed report outlining evidence of summary executions and other “grave abuses,” including some that the organization said amounted to war crimes, committed by Afghan paramilitary forces backed by the CIA. Human Rights Watch noted that the forces “nominally belong to” the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghanistan’s intelligence service, though they are “recruited, trained, equipped and overseen by the CIA.” Human Rights Watch called for the immediate disbanding and disarming of these forces and for proper investigations to be conducted to bring those responsible for the crimes to justice. In response, the CIA deflected primary responsibility to the Afghan government. Yet the Afghan government lacks a proper investigating body or a mechanism to ensure accountability for civilian casualties.

The report detailed “14 cases in which CIA-backed Afghan strike forces committed serious abuses” between late 2017 and mid-2019. Afghan civilians interviewed by Human Rights Watch described night raids and air strikes as becoming “ a daily fact of life for many communities” and referred to the forces behind them as “death squads.” The number of civilian casualties in the Afghan conflict has been alarmingly high in recent years, and several reports have raised concerns over misconduct and harm to civilians by certain pro-government forces (for example, see here , here , and here ). The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which has tracked civilian casualties since 2009, recorded 8,239 civilian casualties — 2,563 killed and 5,676 injured — during the first nine months of 2019. The last quarter of that period marked the highest number of civilian casualties in a single quarter since the mission began documentation. During the nine-month period , 41 percent of the civilian casualties were women and children, and 62 percent were attributed to “anti-government elements.” Read more - Lire plus
Iran: World must strongly condemn use of lethal force against protesters as death toll rises to 143
Amnesty International 25/11/2019 - The international community must denounce the intentional lethal use of force by Iranian security forces that has resulted in the killings of at least 143 protesters since demonstrations broke out on 15 November, Amnesty International said today. According to credible reports received by the organization, those killed include at least 143 people. The deaths have resulted almost entirely from the use of firearms. One man was reported to have died after inhaling tear gas, another after being beaten. Amnesty International believes that the death toll is significantly higher and is continuing to investigate.

“The rising death toll is an alarming indication of just how ruthless the treatment of unarmed protesters has been by the Iranian authorities and reveals their appalling assault on human life,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International. So far, while the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the EU and a number of states have condemned what they have described as apparent use of excessive force, these responses have failed to explicitly acknowledge the use of lethal force to kill protesters, despite mounting evidence. "The international community’s cautious and muted response to the unlawful killing of protesters is woefully inadequate. They must condemn these killings in the strongest possible terms and describe these events for what they are – the deadly and wholly unwarranted use of force to crush dissent,” said Philip Luther.

Horrific accounts from eyewitnesses and victims’ relatives on the ground, information gathered from human rights activists and journalists outside Iran and extensive video footage analysed by Amnesty International’s Digital Verification Corps provide clear evidence that Iranian security forces have been intentionally using firearms against unarmed protesters who posed no threat to life. Verified videos show security forces deliberately shooting unarmed protesters from a short distance. In some cases, protesters were shot while they were running away and clearly posed no threat to the security forces. Other videos show security forces shooting towards protesters from rooftops of state buildings including a justice department building. Read more - Lire plus

David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression: The surveillance industry is assisting state suppression. It must be stopped
The Guardian 27/11/2019 - The global surveillance industry – in which the NSO Group is just one of many dozens, if not hundreds, of companies – appears to be out of control, unaccountable and unconstrained in providing governments with relatively low-cost access to the sorts of spying tools that only the most advanced state intelligence services previously were able to use. The industry and its defenders will say this is a price to pay for confronting terrorism. We must sacrifice some liberty to protect our people from another 9/11, they argue. As one well-placed person claimed to me, such surveillance is “mandatory”; and, what’s more, it is “complicated, to protect privacy and human rights”.

All I can say is, give me a break. The companies hardly seem to be trying – and, more importantly, neither are the governments that could do something about it. In fact, governments have been happy to have these companies help them carry out this dirty work. This isn’t a question of governments using tools for lawful purposes and incidentally or inadvertently sweeping up some illegitimate targets: this is using spyware technology to target vulnerable yet vital people whom healthy democracies need to protect.

On the surface, it seems that constraining the global spyware industry could be impossible. The companies operate in an environment that brings together the shadowy worlds of intelligence and counter-terrorism, which are notoriously difficult for outsiders to penetrate or regulate. Many argue that constraining exports of such software would be folly, since Chinese surveillance companies will step in where western companies bow out. These are obstacles – but they are not arguments to avoid what has to be done to protect human rights. The push toward genuine reform must begin now, it must be global, and it should involve the following steps.

First, governments must indeed control the export of spyware. There are already existing frameworks to restrict the export of technology that has military as well as commercial use. The most relevant, the so-called Wassenaar Arrangement , should be updated to go beyond “dual-use” technology, and cover spyware that is used to attack human rights. In turn, all governments will have to commit to implement globally agreed export controls.
For now, there is only one effective response in the face of such rampant abuse: stop all sales and transfers of the technology. In a report I presented to the UN in June, I called for an immediate moratorium on the transfer of spyware until viable international controls are in place. It is time for a genuine campaign to end unaccountable surveillance.

Second, companies must implement effective controls on their own technologies. The NSO Group, to its credit, has committed to observing the UN guidelines for businesses and human rights, but effective control means more than self-regulating policies. It means disclosure of clients and uses of technology, strict rules against misuse to violate human rights, regular monitoring, and kill switches where rights are violated. It also requires commitments from the companies not to transfer their technology to persistent human rights offenders nor to countries that lack rule-of-law controls on surveillance – and a refusal to support the use of the spyware for illegitimate purposes. These controls should be backed up by government sanctions for misuse.

Third, it is exceedingly difficult for the victims of spyware to hold governments, or the complicit companies, accountable for abuse and misuse. Governments should make such legal actions possible, changing their laws to enable claims against companies or governments that are responsible for illegal surveillance – a kind of universal jurisdiction for lawsuits to control the spread of this pernicious technology. There are few better examples of the dark side of the digital age than the private surveillance industry and its tools of repression. It is well past time to bring it under control. 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!

Canada’s Extradition Act is in urgent need of reform. A recent “external review” of Dr. Hassan Diab’s extradition commissioned by the Minister of Justice does nothing to prevent future injustices like those suffered by Hassan. But we are not giving up!
Here's what you can do:

1) Please write to Prime Minister Trudeau to demand an independent public inquiry into the extradition case of Hassan, and reform of Canada’s Extradition Act. You can send a message to Mr. Trudeau from the following web page:

2) Please call PM Trudeau ’s office at (613) 992-4211, and reiterate your message. Click on the take action button for a sample message. Thank you! Version française ici
***Please mention Michele (MM) in your emails and calls. She fought against extradition to the US for 8 years. Her "crime"? Saving her children from a violent father. After the Supreme Court recently refused to hear her case, she was found dead in her cell on November 5, 2019. This tragedy could have been avoided if the extradition law had been reformed and Justice Ministers had acted. This should never happen again. Facebook 1 + Facebook 2 + Radio-Canada + CBC
Send a letter opposing cameras in the ByWard Market
Send a letter in support of CAMS Ottawa's response to Mayor Watson. While we share concerns about ongoing violence in the Market, installing surveillance cameras is not an appropriate solution. The very premise that CCTV can deter violent crime is highly doubtful. Video surveillance also raise significant concerns regarding the treatment of marginalized members of our community. We urge you to take the above problems and the following evidence into consideration and reconsider implementing such an ineffective, costly, and intrusive system.
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.
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. TWITTER ACTION
All-in-one action page: Stop Mohamed Harkat's Deportation to Torture
Call PM Trudeau, write a letter to Public Safety Minister & your MP, and sign Sophie Harkat's petition to stop the deportation of Moe Harkat.

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

No one should be deported to torture. Ever.
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 .
Privacy and surveillance
Vie privée et surveillance

Les opinions exprimées ne reflètent pas nécessairement les positions de la CSILC - The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the positions of ICLMG.
to our amazing supporters!
We would like to thank all our member organizations, and our patrons who are supporting ICLMG on Patreon ! As a reward, we are listing our patrons who give $10 or more per month (and wanted to be listed) directly in the News Digest. Without you, our work wouldn't be possible!

Kathryn Dingle
Mary Ann Higgs
Kevin Malseed
Brian Murphy
Karen Seabrooke
Bob Stevenson
Colin Stuart
Jo Wood

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!