International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
23 août 2019
Government Review of Hassan Diab Extradition Offers Few Answers, No Solutions: ICLMG
ICLMG 09/08/2019 - The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) is deeply disappointed with the findings of the external review into the extradition and detention without trial in France of Dr. Hassan Diab. The review was commissioned by the Department of Justice and conducted by Murray Segal, the former Deputy Attorney General of Ontario.“This review, in finding that Department of Justice lawyers and Canadian officials broke no rules, does nothing to bring justice to the grave human rights abuses suffered by Dr. Diab, or to ensure that no other person suffers similar injustices due to Canada’s flawed extradition laws,” said Tim McSorley, national coordinator of the ICLMG.

Mr. Segal’s report makes various recommendations for the government to take into consideration, but falls far short of suggesting concrete, legislative changes that are needed to truly resolve these issues. This further reinforces the call from Dr. Diab, his supporters, and various human rights and civil liberty organizations, that the government of Canada must initiate a full, public and independent inquiry into the case of Dr. Diab and Canada’s extradition laws. Read more - Lire plus + Read the Segal report

The Liberals promised to reform Bill C-51. What happened? 01/08/2019 - The Liberal Party of Canada came to power in October of 2015 with a very significant promise in their platform: to reform the notorious spying bill known as Bill C-51 . Presented as anti-terror legislation, Bill C-51 was introduced and rammed through by the previous Conservative government. It handed sweeping and dangerous new powers to Canada's spy and security agencies. These powers, which included allowing spy agencies to install spyware on your computer, allowing government institutions to share sensitive health and financial information about you with numerous federal agencies, and permitting spy agencies to disrupt communication platforms and take down websites, were roundly criticized by privacy experts and wildly unpopular amongst people in Canada. So when the Liberals promised reform, the community watching was large, outspoken and ready to hold them to account.

The process of reform started with a Canada-wide consultation, and this was where the first warning signs that this so-called reform wouldn't live up to what was promised appeared. The in-person consultations were called " utterly demoralizing ," while the online consultations were critiqued by experts for biased and leading questions. Despite receiving over 68,000 comments, the government was reluctant to release the actual responses they received. And when they did, it was clear why: the report showed that a vast majority of people in Canada have significant concerns regarding privacy and government accountability with sensitive data, and wanted C-51 to be completely repealed .

The long-awaited reform bill, Bill C-59, was announced in June 2019. And sadly, the fears that many had about the bill appeared to be realized: instead of fully repealing C-51 or making much-needed key reforms, C-59 just tinkered at the margins while introducing a host of new problems. While some much-needed improvements were included, it failed to adequately address the information disclosure provisions and terrorist speech offences brought in by Bill C-51. It also brought in new data collection, cybersecurity and mass surveillance powers which further threaten our privacy and security. Outraged by the broken promises and lack of promised action, thousands upon thousands of people in Canada contacted their MPs, signed petitions and supported calls to fix the bill as it progressed through Parliament and the Senate. Despite that, all the Liberal motions were adopted, virtually all Opposition motions were defeated, very little of substance was changed in the bill, and virtually no human rights protections were added . In June 2019, C-59 was passed and received royal assent -- almost four years to the day after its predecessor. [...]

But it doesn't stop here. 2019 is an election year, and a critical time when every party and politician looking to get elected cannot ignore the voices of their constituents. As the election draws near, it's time to put a stake in the ground on the issues that matter most to you. If you're concerned about mass surveillance in Canada and the government's failure to protect its citizens' rights -- use your voice to make this an election issue. Read more - Lire plus
Ramz Aziz: My encounters with CSIS
Maclean's 14/08/2019 - In the spring of 2017, I was living in Toronto and completing a law degree at the University of Toronto. I received a call on my cell phone from another person claiming to be from CSIS, asking to follow up on our interaction years ago. I told them I’d moved to Toronto, hoping that they would simply bid me a good day. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case. The Toronto office would follow up with me, they said. The same sense of dread that overcame me five years ago came rushing back: why were they still interested in me?

That summer, I received a nervous phone call from my mother-in-law. Public safety officers were at her front door looking to speak with me. She gave the phone to the CSIS officer who stated that I was a difficult person to find. I was a bit taken aback by the assertion that I was hiding; I was part of multiple on-campus groups at U of T, and my email was readily searchable online. The officer gave me their number and asked to meet for coffee. I subsequently broke the LCD screen on my phone, lost their number, and they have not followed up since.

At U of T, I met several other students from across the country who had also been contacted by CSIS at their undergraduate institutions. Simply showing up unannounced at students’ homes, or approaching them randomly outside mosques—as has been reported to me by others—seems like a very heavy-handed and unsophisticated approach given that youth are in a vulnerable position. I felt through my experiences with CSIS that the needs, convenience or comfort of students were less important than their mandate.

Should the public not be given the means to understand the nature of CSIS’s outreach program? What is the scope? What are the goals? How is success measured? This basic information can provide the context that might make target communities feel more comfortable with how they fit within the bigger picture. Without context, it would be hard to dissuade even a casual observer that these outreach activities are not discriminatory on the surface. If CSIS is interested in building relationships with Muslim youth on a national scale, it would be wise to establish processes that help foster trust, accountability and transparency. Unfortunately, my encounters with the agency were everything but that. Read more - Lire plus

Air Canada forced 12-year-old Muslim girl to take off her hijab after already passing security
Montreal Gazette 14/08/2019 - A 12-year-old girl and her family are searching for answers after Air Canada employees forced her to remove her hijab while waiting to board a flight at San Francisco International Airport. Fatima Abdelrahman was travelling from California to Toronto on Aug. 1 with fellow players and her coach on the U.S. Squash team to play in an international tournament against Canadian opponents.

After passing through security and having her passport and boarding passes checked, she waited at the gate to enter the aircraft. As her group began walking onto the plane, an Air Canada agent approached Fatima, demanding she take off her headscarf. “The agent pulled me aside and said, ‘you’re going to need to take your scarf off’ and I said, ‘I can’t’ and he said, ‘no, you need to,’ ” Fatima said. “I knew I had done absolutely nothing wrong.” Two other Air Canada employees then approached Fatima, reiterating she must remove the head covering because she wasn’t wearing one in her passport photo. Eventually a female employee escorted Fatima to a corner in a tunnel where passengers enter the plane and had her remove the headscarf. “It makes me feel really angry,” she said. “I was humiliated.” Read more - Lire plus
RCMP 'sitting on' watchdog report into alleged spying on anti-oil protesters
The Canadian Press 14/07/2019 - In a letter this month to RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki, a lawyer for the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association laments the “inordinate delay” that has effectively obstructed the report’s release. The association lodged a complaint in February 2014 with the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP. It alleged the national police force improperly collected and shared information about people and groups who peacefully opposed the planned Northern Gateway pipeline project and attended National Energy Board meetings.

The association said monitoring, surveillance and information sharing with other government agencies and the private sector created a chilling effect for those who might wish to take part in hearings or other public discussions on petroleum issues.
The commission launched a public interest investigation and completed an interim report into the matter in June 2017, forwarding it to the RCMP for comment on the conclusions and recommendations. The commission cannot prepare a final report until the RCMP commissioner responds, which also means the findings can’t be disclosed to the civil liberties association or the public.

In March, Paul Champ, a lawyer for the association, wrote commission chairwoman Michelaine Lahaie to express concern that more than five years had passed since the complaint was filed, saying the RCMP may have violated the fundamental freedoms of Canadians exercising their democratic rights. “It is our view that this interminable delay undermines the credibility of the CRCC and, more importantly, calls into question its ability to fulfil its primary function: ensuring accountability of the RCMP and fostering public trust and confidence in Canada’s national police force,” Champ’s letter said. “It is regrettable that the CRCC may not be treating this complaint with the seriousness it deserves.” After receiving no reply, he followed up with another letter in May. Nika Joncas-Bourget, the commission’s director and general counsel for reviews, told Champ in late May the watchdog shared his frustration with the Mounties. “We can assure you that we have repeatedly expressed concern to the RCMP regarding the time it is taking to receive the Commissioner’s Response,” she wrote. Read more - Lire plus

Deportation of former child refugee a violation of international law: Canadian human rights lawyer
The Toronto Star 21/08/2019 - As a former child refugee from Somalia fights deportation to a country where his supporters say he faces certain death, a human rights lawyer says Canada should consider its commitment to international law before deciding the man’s fate. Abdilahi Elmi came to Canada from Somalia in 1994 at the age of 10 and was granted refugee status before entering the foster care system at 13. He was never granted citizenship and in June, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) decided that his criminal record warranted deportation. CBSA could now send the  34-year-old Edmonton man  back to Somalia before the end of the month.

At the eleventh hour, advocates across the country started a bid to halt his deportation, with a group in Halifax drawing attention to the similarities between Elmi and Abdoul Abdi—another Somali-born man who faced deportation, but was allowed to stay in Canada. Both men went through the child welfare system – Elmi in Ontario and Abdi in Nova Scotia – both were incarcerated and their sentences triggered deportation hearings. Neither of them have family connections in Somalia or know the language of their birth country. Abdi appealed his deportation referral and his case was closed last July after a federal court judge ruled that the CBSA hadn’t considered his charter rights. Four days after the ruling, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Ottawa would not pursue Abdi’s deportation any further.

Benjamin Perryman, the lawyer who represented Abdi through his appeal, said Elmi is closer to being removed from the country than Abdi ever was, but his options are not exhausted. Elmi could make a complaint to the United Nations. “It is a violation of international law to deport someone in circumstance like Mr. Elmi’s,” Perryman said in a phone interview Tuesday, the same day Elmi’s supporters were  rallying outside the office of Halifax Liberal MP Andy Fillmore . [...] Perryman suggested the federal government change the policy for the minister’s CBSA delegates to require consideration of international law, especially in cases where a child grew up in care and did not become a citizen. He said that kind of circumstance should be “a strong, maybe even a determinative factor against referral for deportation.” Read more - Lire plus

Canada’s New and Irresponsible Encryption Policy How the Government of Canada’s New Policy Threatens Charter Rights, Cybersecurity, Economic Growth, and Foreign Policy
Citizen Lab 21/08/2019 - The Government of Canada has historically opposed the calls of its western allies to undermine the encryption protocols and associated applications that secure Canadians’ communications and devices from criminal and illicit activities. In particular, over the past two years the Minister of Public Safety, Ralph Goodale, has communicated to Canada’s Five Eyes allies that Canada will neither adopt or advance an irresponsible encryption policy that would compel private companies to deliberately inject weaknesses into cryptographic algorithms or the applications that facilitate encrypted communications. This year, however, the tide may have turned, with the Minister apparently deciding to adopt the very irresponsible encryption policy position he had previously steadfastly opposed. To be clear, should the Government of Canada, along with its allies, compel private companies to deliberately sabotage strong and robust encryption protocols and systems, then basic rights and freedoms, cybersecurity, economic development, and foreign policy goals will all be jeopardized.

This article begins by briefly outlining the history and recent developments in the Canadian government’s thinking about strong encryption. Next, the article showcases how government agencies have failed to produce reliable information which supports the Minister’s position that encryption is significantly contributing to public safety risks. After outlining the government’s deficient rationales for calling for the weakening of strong encryption, the article shifts to discuss the rights which are enabled and secured as private companies integrate strong encryption into their devices and services, as well as why deliberately weakening encryption will lead to a series of deeply problematic policy outcomes. The article concludes by summarizing why it is important that the Canadian government walk back from its newly adopted irresponsible encryption policy. Read more - Lire plus
Federal Court Judge Concedes – If Canadian Embassy in Mexico Had Acted Differently, Mariano Abarca Might Not Have Been Murdered, But Refuses to Order Investigation
MiningWatch Canada 29/07/2019 - In  a decision published on July 18th , Federal Justice Keith Boswell conceded that “perhaps Mariano Abarca would not have been murdered” if the embassy “[had] acted in a certain way”. Mariano was a community leader from Chicomuselo, Chiapas, Mexico who was assasinated for his role in the struggle against the social and environmental impacts of Canadian mining company Blackfire Exploration’s barite mine on November 27, 2009. 

This decision was made at the first stage of the judicial review process that the Abarca family  initiated following the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner (PSIC)’s refusal to investigate  the acts and omissions of the Canadian embassy in Mexico with regard to the criminalization and murder of Mariano. The Abarca family believes that the role of the Canadian embassy in Mexico, including to pressure Chiapas authorities on behalf of Blackfire to quell protests when Canadian officials knew that Mariano was being criminalized and threatened, put his life at greater risk. Despite Judge Boswell’s admission of the significance of the embassy’s influence, he refused to order the Commissioner to investigate the embassy’s conduct. 

Mariano Abarca’s son, José Luis Abarca Montejo, attended the Federal Court hearing in March of this year and responded, “We are very disappointed by this decision. We have been seeking justice for my father’s assassination for many years now and it is baffling to us that the judge could recognize that the embassy could have made a difference in the life of my father by acting otherwise, and yet refused to order an investigation.” Read more - Lire plus

From El Paso to the War on Terror, the Dangers of Historical Amnesia

Note from ICLMG: This is also a lesson for Canada: we do not need more laws to deal with white supremacists. State security agencies have already too many "anti-terrorism and national security" powers which they have chosen to use to surveil, control and criminalize Indigenous peoples who fight for sovereignty - as they are considered a threat to the ongoing colonial project that is Canada - as well as people who fight for everyone to have a future - to protect the interests of the oil industry and lobby. Agencies have known for years that white supremacists are dangerous but have chosen to do nothing. If they were getting more powers, they would simply continue to use them against the wrong people.
The Intercept 07/08/2019 - In the wake of Saturday’s attack, there were calls to reorder and expand the government’s long-running war on terrorism. Six former National Security Council counterterrorism directors added their names to a statement calling on the Trump administration to approach domestic terrorism with the same urgency, resources, and strategic vision as the post-9/11 effort to combat international terrorism. Others were more direct in their demands, such as the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, who wrote in a now-deleted tweet, “So can we please start a war on terrorism at home now?”

Well-intentioned though they might be, a dangerous bit of historical amnesia undermines demands to replicate the war on terror on U.S. soil. For one, there’s been a war on terror at home for nearly two decades. It’s been felt in Muslim communities infiltrated by undercover informants, and it’s been expressed in the militarization of police departments across the country. Second, the existing war on terror shattered entire regions of the world, fueled the growth of the very groups it sought to eliminate, killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, created black sites where Americans engaged in torture, resulted in the creation of a perpetually troubled constellation of agencies known as the Department of Homeland Security, spawned secret watchlists used overwhelmingly against Muslims, and paved the way for the president of the United States to execute an American citizen without trial.

“The last 18 years have shown us that existing terrorism authorities have been and are used to target communities of color and other marginalized communities,” Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, said in an interview. “They’ve resulted in bias-based, over-broad suspicion that infringes on the fundamental rights of minority communities, who have asked for safeguards and reform without getting them. Policymakers must learn the right lessons from ongoing abuses and not entrench or enhance authorities that have resulted in the violation of First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment rights of communities they want to protect.” [...]

“Unfortunately, I think the war on terror itself was a failed methodology that has driven a lot of the fear and anger and xenophobia that is crystalized in white nationalism,” he reflected. “What you saw was the growth of this anti-Muslim lobby that eventually merged with the white supremacist movement, which was focused on the border already. … It’s not surprising that when a right-wing populist comes along that he can stoke them up in way that is quite dangerous.” What the former FBI agent today finds “far more scary” is seeing the white power movement’s goals and ideology reflected in government policies. Read more - Lire plus
The FBI could fight far-right violence if they wanted to – but they don't
The Guardian 16/08/2019 - Federal law enforcement officials have all the tools necessary to address far-right violence proactively – as my own successful investigations as an FBI undercover agent in the 1990s indicate. They have simply chosen as a matter of policy not to prioritize these cases. What role racism, latent or overt, plays in these decisions has yet to be explored. There are currently 52 federal terrorism laws available to address entirely domestic acts of political violence. Congress has also passed five federal hate crimes statutes specifically designed to punish the types of violence white supremacists and other far-right militants often commit against vulnerable communities. Organized crime and conspiracy statutes can also be used to dismantle white supremacist gangs.

When white nationalists commit deadly attacks like the El Paso shooting, these crimes fit the statutory definition of domestic terrorism. Terrorism remains the FBI’s top priority . It ranks hate crimes fifth and organized crime sixth, however. So, when FBI agents or federal prosecutors initially label far-right violence as hate crimes, or gang crimes, they de-prioritize these cases, limiting the available resources and narrowing the scope of the investigations. Worse, as a matter of policy, the justice department defers the vast majority of hate crimes to state and local police and prosecutors, who are often ill-equipped or uninterested in pursuing these cases. Justice department crime victim surveys estimate there are approximately 230,000 violent hate crimes annually, yet federal prosecutors charge only about 25 hate crimes defendants each year. State and local law enforcement, however, are not picking up the slack. Only about 12% of state and local law enforcement agencies report hate crimes occurring in their jurisdictions, and in some states, reported hate crimes are rarely prosecuted as such.
These deficiencies in the law enforcement response to hate crimes are not new. And a justice department-funded study in 2000 examining the barriers to hate crime reporting identified fear of the police as the primary reason victims refuse to report. This is unsurprising: the communities targeted by white supremacist violence are often disproportionately targeted by police violence and abuse as well. It is easy to paint white supremacy as an extreme ideology relegated to the fringes of our society. The violence these fringe actors inflict on our society tears at the social fabric, but it represents just a tiny fraction of the 17,000 annual homicides in the US. It is a manageable problem when law enforcement and our government leaders focus on reducing it. Historically, they have chosen not to.

The legacy of our government’s official sanction of white supremacy continues to linger, particularly infecting our criminal justice system and immigration policies. The FBI remains an overwhelmingly white, male organization, which may partly explain why it would treat white supremacist violence as a less serious concern than an imaginary Black Identity Extremist movement. Recent reports documenting law enforcement cooperation with violent far-right groups and antipathy toward their victims at riotous demonstrations in Sacramento, California, and in Portland , Oregon, demand investigation to see what role bias plays in the police response.

Though the justice department and FBI officials have claimed renewed interest in tackling white supremacist violence, their actions raise continued concerns about how they are using counterterrorism authorities. More troubling, recent reporting that revealed the active participation of police officers in white supremacist groups and racist social media activity by a small but significant number of police officers and border patrol officials makes clear that overt and organized racism continues to fester within agencies sworn to protect the public safety as well. The FBI has repeatedly warned its agents about white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement, urging caution about sharing sensitive intelligence about domestic terrorism cases. But it has taken few concrete actions to protect communities of color from these racist officers. Given this disturbing reality, giving law enforcement greater domestic terrorism powers may not be the safest or most effective solution. Read more - Lire plus
Portland Rejects Proud Boys & Other Ultra-Right Groups as Trump Tries to Criminalize Antifa
Democracy Now! 20/08/2019 - A crowd of white nationalists took to the streets of Portland, Oregon, over the weekend for what they dubbed the “End Domestic Terrorism” rally. But they were outnumbered by a massive response from counterprotesters, who gathered across the city as police escorted members of the Proud Boys, Patriot Prayer and other right-wing groups across one of the city’s main bridges.

Police arrested 13 people throughout the day and seized weapons but largely avoided “the worst-case scenario” Portland’s Mayor Ted Wheeler said the city was prepared for. Portland Police put more than 700 officers on patrol, with more than one cop for every two of the estimated 1,200 protesters. Some Republican politicians have called for antifa to be recognized as a terror organization, and the FBI has found that the majority of domestic terror in the U.S. is caused by white supremacists. From Portland, we speak with Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who this year became the first African-American woman on the Portland City Council, and Shane Burley, a freelance journalist and filmmaker based in Portland, Oregon, and author of “Fascism Today: What It Is and How to End It.” Read more - Lire plus
Oil Lobbyist Touts Success in Effort to Criminalize Pipeline Protests, Leaked Recording Shows
The Intercept 19/08/2019 - The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, a powerful lobbying group that represents major chemical plants and oil refineries, including Valero Energy, Koch Industries, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Marathon Petroleum, has flexed its muscle over environmental and energy policy for decades. Despite its reach, AFPM channels dark money and influence with little scrutiny. The group is now leveraging its political power to criminalize protests of oil and gas infrastructure.

In an audio recording obtained by The Intercept, the group concedes that it has been playing a role behind the scenes in crafting laws recently passed in states across the country to criminalize oil and gas pipeline protests, in response to protests over the Dakota Access pipeline. The laws make it a crime to trespass on public land used for “critical infrastructure,” impose a fine or prison time for violators, and hold protesters responsible for damage incurred during the protest. Many of the laws also carry heavy fines to groups and individuals who support such demonstrations.

The trade group, which was founded in 1902, has long played an outsized role in shaping policy disputes. Last year, AFPM and its members mobilized over $30 million to defeat the carbon tax proposed in Washington State, easily outspending an environmentalist campaign funded by philanthropist billionaires and small donors. In June, Derrick Morgan, a senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at AFPM, spoke at the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation conference in Washington, D.C., explaining the role his trade group has played in criminalizing protests. Read more - Lire plus
US to remove limit on how long immigrant children can be detained
The Guardian 21/08/2019 - The Trump administration announced on Wednesday a plan to eliminate a federal court agreement and replace it with a regulation that would allow the government to indefinitely detain migrant children with their parents.

By replacing the agreement, known as the Flores settlement, the government could dramatically expand family detention and increase how long children are held in custody. The government would also have more power to determine the standards of care for children and families in custody. The Trump administration has prioritized ending the decades-old Flores agreement , which says the government must hold children in the least restrictive setting and release them as quickly as possible, generally after 20 days in detention. A legal team representing migrant children is also allowed to monitor the government’s detention practices under the terms of the settlement.

Homeland security officials told reporters there was no longer a need for court involvement and they plan to adopt regulations that reflect the Flores agreement in the final rule, which is set to be published on Friday. The rule would go into effect 60 days later, if it does not face the expected legal challenges. Joann Bautista, policy associate at the National Immigrant Justice Center, said: “The new rule announced today is essentially a regression, completely throwing out all the safeguards to keep children safe that have been in place for decades.” Read more - Lire plus 

For Years, Reporters Questioned the Terror Prosecution of Hamid Hayat. Now He’s Been Freed.
The Intercept 16/08/2019 - After spending 14 years in prison on charges that he attended a terrorist training camp in Pakistan, Hamid Hayat was freed on August 9 following a California judge’s decision to overturn the conviction. From the start, Hayat’s case had been controversial.

The government’s star witness, Naseem Khan, was a fast-food worker earning $7 per hour before the FBI enlisted him as an informant and paid him nearly $230,000 over three years. Khan came to the FBI’s attention about a month after the September 11 terrorist attacks by claiming to have information about a visit to the United States by Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s deputy in Al Qaeda. Although agents determined that Khan’s information about al-Zawahiri was bogus, the FBI, in a post-9/11 rush to build a network of thousands of informants in U.S. Muslim communities, recruited him into the ranks anyway. By the time Hayat went to trial in 2006, federal prosecutors downplayed Khan’s credibility questions, calling his al-Zawahiri report a case of “mistaken identity.”

The informant’s claims that Hayat was involved in terrorism weren’t enough on their own to convict the man. The government also relied on the fact that, during an interrogation, Hayat told FBI agents that he had attended a training camp — though he gave agents conflicting information and several different locations for the camp, with one in Afghanistan and others in Pakistan. The admissions came after agents kept him awake until 3 a.m. and as he complained that his head hurt and that he wanted to go home and sleep. [...] Despite the problematic confessions and the FBI informant’s credibility problems, Hamid Hayat was convicted at trial of material support to terrorism and lying to the FBI and sentenced to 24 years in prison. The overturning of his conviction likely wouldn’t have happened without a sustained reporting effort that spanned a decade and a half and involved multiple news organizations. 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 Prevent Abdilahi Elmi from being wrongfully deported
Abdilahi Elmi came to Canada in 1994 under refugee status at the age of 10. He lived in a refugee camp, was exposed to deceased bodies as a child and thus experienced trauma. At age 13, Abdilahi was apprehended from his mother by Ontario Child Welfare. He lost contact with his family and lived in a foster home. Abdilahi’s citizenship documents were not prioritized while in the custody of Ontario Child Welfare.

Canada could deport Abdilahi any day now to Somalia and endanger his life as bombings are frequent there.
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.
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
Chantal Vallerand

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!