International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
December 11, 2020
The News Digest will resume in January - La Revue de l'actualité sera de retour en janvier
Send Holiday Cards for Moe’s Freedom: Stop Deportation to Torture
This December, please send a season’s greetings card or letter to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair to stop the persecution of Ottawa refugee Mohamed Harkat, still fighting to end his deportation to torture and win his long-deserved permanent residence.

Click below for more info, text samples and the address. No postage needed!
Big Data Surveillance and Security Intelligence - featuring a chapter by ICLMG!
ICLMG's Tim McSorley & Anne Dagenais Guertin have written Chapter 11: "Confronting Big Data: Popular Resistance to Government Surveillance in Canada since 2001"
UBC Press 01/12/2020 - Intelligence gathering is in a state of flux. Enabled by massive computing power, new modes of communications analysis now touch the lives of citizens around the globe – not just those conventionally thought of as suspicious or threatening. In this astute collection, leading academics, civil society experts, and regulators debate the pressing questions raised by current security intelligence and surveillance practices in Canada.

Big Data Surveillance and Security Intelligence reveals the profound shift to “big data” practices that security agencies have made in recent years, as the increasing volume of information from social media and open sources challenges traditional ways of gathering intelligence. Working together, the Five Eyes intelligence partners – Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States – are using new methods of data analysis to identify and pre-empt risks to national security.

In Canada, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the RCMP, and the Communication Security Establishment face an uncertain regulatory environment and seemingly incompatible demands: to extend their surveillance, data gathering, and disruption/intervention powers while increasing accountability and transparency in the name of democratic values. But at what cost to civil liberties, human rights, and privacy protection? This book will find an audience not only among academics in security studies, sociology, political science, computer science, military studies, and law but also among members of the civil liberties community, investigative journalists, and security intelligence workers. Read more - Lire plus

Stay tuned for our contest to win a copy of the book. Coming soon at!
ICLMG: A case study by the Solidarity Action Network
SAN 11/2020 - The coalition’s aim is to protect and promote human rights and civil liberties in the context of the so-called ‘war on terror’. Since its creation, ICLMG has been a platform for exchange among organisations and communities affected by the application of national security laws.

This case study looks at how this long-standing coalition has developed, and the strategies it has used to advocate for greater accountability and transparency in Canada, and to resist the overreach of national security. Download the case stuy + Read more - Lire plus
The RCMP’s X-Men Fixation Is More Sinister than Comic
The Tyee 09/12/2020 - The RCMP’s decision to name its Project Wide Awake online surveillance program after mutant trackers in the X-Men comic book series might seem like harmless fun. But viewed against the scathing revelations of systemic racism and misogyny in police forces nationwide, it’s a troubling glimpse into police culture that unmasks the institution’s casual dehumanization of marginalized groups.

The Tyee first revealed the existence of Project Wide Awake, an operation monitoring individuals’ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media activity, in 2019. In the X-Men comic series, Project Wide Awake is a covert government program that employs mutant-hunters, or “sentinels,” to monitor, track down and exterminate human mutants — the X-Men. In the real world, Project Wide Awake is the RCMP’s large-scale online surveillance program designed to monitor internet users and political protest activity. In the RCMP’s version, Canadian residents are the mutants being targeted by “the hunters.”

But not everyone is an equal target. Due to power dynamics and social discrimination, poor, Black and Indigenous communities are disproportionately policed and surveilled. They’re often cast as the “bad guys.” The operation’s mutant-hunting eponym is not coincidental or even an isolated incident within the RCMP. Documents obtained by The Tyee exposed references to two projects connected to Project Wide Awake with names plucked directly from the X-Men series: Sentinel (mutant hunting robots in the comic book series) and Cerebro (a powerful device to detect mutants’ locations). While the RCMP was not forthcoming with Tyee reporter Bryan Carney about these projects’ exact purposes, their names alone and their mention in a covert operations meeting agenda for Tactical Internet Operations Support unit suggest further surveillance operations. Read more - Lire plus

Watchdog calls out RCMP for exploring new genetic investigative techniques without privacy disclosures
The Globe and Mail 06/12/2020 - The RCMP is flouting federal directives by exploring a new investigative technique without spelling out its effect on the privacy of Canadians, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada says. Government records show that the RCMP signed a $98,000 contract in March, 2018, with a U.S.-based “genetic-genealogy” company that mines the DNA profiles of people in hopes of identifying suspects. The company, Parabon NanoLabs, seeks to match police crime-scene DNA with analyses drawn from “direct-to-consumer” genetic-testing companies.

While there are no laws governing police access to tools such as these, the RCMP has a duty to disclose its investigative techniques when it comes to technologies that can undermine collective privacy. Federal rules require agencies such as the RCMP to write what are known as privacy impact assessments that lay out the pros and cons of any potentially invasive new programs. “At this time, we have not received any Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) from the RCMP about genetic genealogy or about its contract with Parabon NanoLabs,” said Vito Pilieci, spokesman for the federal Privacy Commissioner of Canada. “Since these investigative techniques involve sensitive biometrics and therefore raise significant privacy issues, we believe we should have received a PIA by now.”

Several Canadian police forces are now using these kinds of forensic services, which have far-reaching privacy implications as they can detect crime suspects who have not consented to surrendering their DNA data to authorities. These techniques rely on roundabout searches of genetic information – usually by matching DNA recovered from crime scenes with pre-existing portraits of entire families whose members have given up their genetic information to be analyzed on consumer sites. Read more - Lire plus
Canadian border agent under investigation after passport for immigration detainee deemed fraudulent
The Toronto Star 10/12/2020 - The passport acquired by the Canada Border Services Agency to deport longtime immigration detainee Ebrahim Toure was fraudulently obtained, according to an investigation by Gambian authorities.

A Gambian man, who appears to have been previously held in immigration detention in Canada himself, has been arrested by police in Gambia’s capital, Banjul, and charged with two counts of fraud-related offences, according to a report by the Gambian Immigration Department obtained by the Star. The report says the man told Gambian authorities he was working for Canadian immigration officials.

The CBSA did not respond to specific questions for this story, but an agency spokesperson said “the matter is under investigation” and any decision on Toure’s deportation will “only be taken once the investigation is complete.” Last month Toure’s lawyer, Jared Will, raised concerns about the authenticity of the passport and birth certificate obtained by the CBSA. In a four-day hearing at the Immigration and Refugee Board, Will cited irregularities in the documents themselves, the evasive and confusing testimony of the CBSA officer in charge of Toure’s case and the dearth of evidence disclosed by the CBSA.

Testifying at the hearings, CBSA officer Dale Lewis could not explain why he communicated with Gambian authorities on his personal email and WhatsApp, rather than his government email. He also admitted he may have lost or deleted his correspondence with Gambian authorities; that he relied on information from a single confidential informant whose identity was known only to him; that he never read CBSA’s policy on the use of confidential informants; and that he generally kept very few investigative records.

Neither Lewis nor the CBSA’s representative at the hearings could explain why Gambia had now agreed to issue Toure identity documents when for years it had refused to do so. Will, who described Lewis as a “vigilante” with a “willingness to go rogue,” tried to ask him if he paid or otherwise incentivized the person he described as a confidential informant to obtain the documents for Toure. The CBSA objected to the questions, which were never answered. Read more - Lire plus
Canadian Police Are Quietly Building a System to Intercept Private Messages
Vice 08/12/2020 - Police in Canada's most populous province are developing a shared platform that will allow cops to more easily intercept phone communications, official documents show. A York Regional Police Services Board report from February 2020 shows police in York Region, Ontario, are participating in the Provincial Lawful Access Common Environment (PLACE) working group. According to the report, the working group have teamed up with provincial partners in the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area to develop a "common intercept system" that will enhance police ability to intercept communications. The system is expected to be operational by 2022.

York Region is one of several municipalities in the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area. Lawful access is a euphemism used by law enforcement when referring to "interception of communications and search and seizure of information," according to the government of CanadaIn response to questions from Motherboard a spokesperson for York Regional Police said in an email that Ontario Provincial Police, Toronto Police Service, Peel Regional Police, Ottawa Police Service and Durham Regional Police are collaborating with York police in the working group. "The PLACE project was initiated to provide participating police services with common, core capabilities to facilitate their lawful interception of private communication," the spokesperson added. Ontario’s Solicitor General said in an email that the PLACE working group is an Ontario Provincial Police-led initiative and deferred questions to the force. Police in Hamilton also referred all questions to OPP. The OPP and police in Toronto and Ottawa acknowledged inquiries but did not respond to questions.

Brenda McPhail, Director of the Privacy, Surveillance and Technology Project at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), told Motherboard that secrecy around police surveillance capabilities in Canada is an "ongoing crisis." "There's a complete lack of any details (about PLACE) and with a program like this, the devil's always going to be in the details," McPhail said in a phone call. She noted the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that police generally need to obtain a warrant to access basic subscriber information from telecom companies, raising questions about how the new intercept system will operate.

"Is there anything in this initiative that will try to argue against or work around the requirement for warrants for covert access intercepts?" she said. Motherboard is filing access to information requests about the PLACE program but has not received records yet. The few details about PLACE contained in the York Regional Police business plan are mentioned alongside descriptions of other interception and hacking workshops undertaken by York police in recent years. "York Regional Police has enhanced (...) Lawful Access capabilities by increasing knowledge, training and capability in Covert Access Intercept techniques," reads the report. Officers working in data recovery and other specialized units also attended an "advanced wiretap workshop" and an "Offensive Security Certified Professional course to develop 'hacking' skills for investigative purposes." Read more - Lire plus
Tohti and Burton: Canada must respond to China's harrowing genocide
Ottawa Citizen 10/12/2020 - As the world somberly marked UN Genocide Commemoration Day this week, Canadians still await their own government’s action after a parliamentary panel found that China’s persecution of Uyghurs is now the largest mass detention of a people in concentration camps since the Holocaust. Last summer, the House of Commons Subcommittee on International Human Rights held a series of emergency meetings on the plight of the Uyghur population in China, in response to growing reports of forced labour, forced sterilization and population control.

The subcommittee received briefs and testimony from 23 Canadian and international witnesses, who detailed atrocities in China’s flourishing campaign to eradicate Uyghur culture and identity by engaging two million people in forced labour and mental torture. The subcommittee heard that in the prison camps, Uyghurs are required to speak only Mandarin Chinese and are denied their human right to practise their religion. Women and girls often face sexual abuse and rape by their captors. The situation for their children consigned to orphanages is one of complete assimilation into Han Chinese language and culture, combined with the desperation of having no information on the fate of their parents.

Family abroad, meantime, have no means to communicate with anyone in the Uyghur regions. The stress on Canadian Uyghurs of not knowing if family members are alive is enormous, and they are subject to menacing threats by Chinese agents in Canada who intimidate them from speaking out on what’s going on. These threats sometimes precede the sudden death of family members in the camps. There was also extensive evidence given of sterilization of Uyghur women and forced marriage to Han Chinese men. The subcommittee’s report to Parliament this Fall found that China’s policies toward Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims are worse than imagined. It concurred with testimony by former human rights lawyer and Canadian justice minister Irwin Cotler, who called the Uyghur situation “a classic case study of such war crimes, crimes against humanity and, as I and others have mentioned, acts that are constitutive of genocide.”

Cotler and others implored the Canadian government to take various measures including working with allies and multilateral organizations to condemn China’s use of concentration camps, extending sanctuary for Uyghur refugees trapped in third countries, and refusing to import products of Uyghur forced labour. The subcommittee is urging the federal government to impose Sergei Magnitsky Act sanctions on all Chinese government officials culpable for perpetrating human rights abuses, and notes that if the international community does not condemn China’s campaign in Xinjiang province, a precedent will be set and such atrocities will be adopted by other regimes. Read more - Lire plus
Report condemns UK over British women and children held in Syria
The Guardian 25/10/2020 - British women and children captured after the collapse of Islamic State in Syria are being held in “barbaric” conditions and deprived in a “systematic way” of their UK citizenship, according to a report on their conditions.
As many as 35 British children and 15 British women are being detained by Kurdish forces in two camps, al-Hol and al-Roj, along with thousands of children and women from Syria and around the world. It is Europe’s equivalent of the Guantánamo Bay detention centre, the report says.
The investigation by the London-based Rights and Security International charity says British intelligence officials regularly enter the camps. Once individuals are identified, it is alleged, their UK citizenship is usually swiftly withdrawn.

The report was published the day after the lawyers for Shamima Begum appealed to the supreme court for an opportunity for her to participate in a legal challenge over the removal of her British citizenship. Conditions inside the camps, according to the study, are “fundamentally unsafe” and amount to “cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment” – a breach of human rights. The organisation sent a researcher into the camps earlier this year. On average, 25 detainees a month have been dying at al-Hol, it is alleged, with children living in tents and suffering from malnutrition, dehydration and hypothermia. Some have died from burns when tents caught fire, or have been killed in fights. [...]

Yasmine Ahmed, the executive director of Rights and Security International, said: “This is Europe’s Guantánamo, but for children. It beggars belief that the UK, who rightly condemned the abuses of Guantánamo Bay, now stand by and let children, including a newborn British baby, die. Now these women and children face another brutal winter with more deaths. “The claim that it is safer to leave women and children in the camps flies in the face of security experts who say that the real security risk comes from leaving these women and children in the detention camps where they are vulnerable to radicalisation, and where their dire conditions can serve as a recruitment tool. “Have we learned nothing from the last 20 years on the war on terror? When we place people outside the law, when we deny them rights, treat them with brutality and without humanity, we not only undermine the values we are fighting for but we make ourselves and the world less safe, not more.” The UK government, she said, was using removal of citizenship “in a far more systematic way” than other European countries. Read more - Lire plus

Supreme Court says Muslims placed on no-fly list can sue FBI agents for damages
CNBC 10/12/2020 - The Supreme Court ruled Thursday in favor of three Muslim men who say they were placed or kept on the government’s no-fly list in retaliation for refusing to serve as terrorism informants for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The court wrote in a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Clarence Thomas that Muhammad Tanvir, Jameel Algibhah and Naveed Shinwari may sue individual FBI agents for money damages under a federal law protecting religious exercise. Thomas wrote in the brief opinion that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act “permits litigants, when appropriate, to obtain money damages against federal officials in their individual capacities.” [...]

Tanvir, Algibhah and Shinwari argued at the court that the FBI told them that they could only be removed from the government’s no-fly list if they “served as government spies in their religious communities.” The men said they were approached by FBI special agents and pressured to provide information about other Muslims. Each of the men initially answered agents’ questions truthfully, their attorney Ramzi Kassem wrote in court papers, but “none wanted to serve as an informant on his Muslim community, in part because to do so violated his religious beliefs.” “Rather than accepting that refusal, the FBI agents persisted — in some instances threatening individual Respondents with deportation and arrest and in other instances offering financial incentives and assistance with family members’ immigration to the United States,” Kassem wrote.

“In each case, the agents relied upon what they assumed would be the irresistible coercion of the No Fly List,” he added. After the three men sued, they were eventually told that they were no longer on the list. They continued to press for financial damages, however, saying that they had been “prohibited from flying, sometimes when they were headed to visit loved ones or to start a new job, or on their way home from a trip abroad, stranding them overseas.” Placement on the secretive no-fly list, which is overseen by the FBI, prevents someone from boarding an aircraft that travels to, from or over the United States. The size of the list has grown dramatically since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and according to some reports includes more than 80,000 names. Read more - Lire plus
France: When a Temporary State of Emergency becomes Permanent
TNI 11/2020 - In November 2015, France declared a State of Emergency as an immediate response to two violent attacks in Paris causing the deaths of 130 people and injuring close to five hundred others, 100 of them seriously. Although states of emergency, as enshrined in law, are conceived as temporary measures to return to a “normal” state of affairs as soon as possible, in the French example, the declared state of emergency was extended five times, until November 2017, when many of the emergency powers and measures were codified and written in to ordinary law. In effect, restrictions introduced during the temporary state of emergency became permanent.

This framing paper details the international legal framework that underpins the establishment of a state of emergency and uses France as a case study to show how a state of emergency was introduced and repeatedly extended before eventually becoming permanent. Human rights guarantees were significantly weakened by the introduction of emergency powers that, among other measures, granted search and seizure operations without judicial oversight and far below the legal threshold that had previously been upheld under French law. The emergency measures were systematically implemented in a discriminatory manner targeting Muslims in particular, who were treated with suspicion for no other reason beyond their religious beliefs or practices. Searches could be carried out based solely on suspicion, rather than on material proof, and those targeted were often subsequently stigmatised within their communities or removed from their workplace, although there was no evidence to suggest their involvement in criminal behaviour. By the end of 2015, physical violence and symbolic actions (such as attacks on mosques) against Muslims in France had increased by 150% and 140%, respectively.

Beyond the systematic targeting of Muslims, emergency measures were used as a justification to restrict freedom of movement, assembly, association, and expression across French society. Environmental activists, groups acting in solidarity with refugees, trade unionists, workers, and other organised civil society actors and movements were repeatedly prevented from exercising their legitimate right to protest under the terms of the emergency measures. Significantly, the fact that the state of emergency was repeatedly extended, although violent attacks continued to occur, and that it was used to target Muslims, environmentalists, and other civil society actors where no link to criminal behaviour was established, raises serious questions about the justification given for the state of emergency. It seems that it was used not so much to restore a “normal” state of affairs in the face of a threat of terrorism, but as a pretext to curtail fundamental human rights norms and to pacify dissent across French society.

At a time when many states around the world have announced emergency measures to deal with the onset of the Covid-19 global pandemic, France acts as a case in point reminding us that we must be vigilant in the face of states of emergency and rigorously monitor which emergency powers are granted, to whom, to what end, and for how long. History has shown that measures taken under a state of emergency tend to stick, causing serious repercussions for exercising human rights and upholding the rule of law. Read more + Lire plus

UN Rights Rapporteur: Govts Using ‘Anti-Terror’ Laws to Target Critics
BIRN 08/12/2020 - In May this year Mary Lawlor became the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, HRDs. One of her first actions in this post was to evaluate the pressure that Serbia’s government is putting on to individuals and NGOs that work on human rights, transparency and exposing corruption. In late July, Serbian media revealed the disturbing news that a department in the country’s finance ministry, tasked with tackling money laundering and terrorism financing, had asked banks to hand over data about the transactions of dozens of individuals, media and NGOs.

The list included Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, several other investigative media, both Serbia’s major journalism associations and a host of rights groups, including Civic Initiatives, YUCOM, the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, the Helsinki Committee for Human Right and the Humanitarian Law Centre. Journalists and civil society representatives in Serbia accuse the Belgrade government of trying to silence its critics by using an alleged fight against terrorism and money laundering. UN experts led by Lawlor have expressed concerns that Serbia’s use of the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism, for example, interferes with and limits the freedoms of expression and association and people’s right to take part in public life and criticize the authorities. “As we said in a statement, the unjustified use of this law risks intimidating civil society actors and human rights defenders, restricting their work and muffling any criticism of the government,” Lawlor said.

Serbia is not alone in this. “We see that many countries use anti-terrorism policies and laws to target HRDs, from the Middle East to the Philippines, Latin America and many other places,” she added. The Rapporteur stresses that HRDs face a wide range of attacks, from online smears, undermining their work, to the criminalization of the defence of human rights, to physical attacks and murder. “At least 300 HRDs were killed last year for the peaceful work they do. But we also believe many attacks go unreported; it’s hard to know exactly how many were physically attacked or killed,” Lawlor told BIRN. She says HRDs working on indigenous people’s rights, environmental protection, land rights, women and the LGBT community are the most vulnerable. Lawlor also emphasizes that attacks on HRDs are not confined to non-Western countries; they face hostility in Europe, the US and other Western countries as well. In some Western countries “there is mounting concern that governments are undermining the work of human rights defenders. An example would be those working for the rights of refugees and migrants”, she noted. Read more - Lire plus

Running in Circles: Uncovering the Clients of Cyberespionage Firm Circles
Citizen Lab 01/12/2020 - Summary & key findings:
  • Circles is a surveillance firm that reportedly exploits weaknesses in the global mobile phone system to snoop on calls, texts, and the location of phones around the globe. Circles is affiliated with NSO Group, which develops the oft-abused Pegasus spyware.

  • Circles, whose products work without hacking the phone itself, says they sell only to nation-states. According to leaked documents, Circles customers can purchase a system that they connect to their local telecommunications companies’ infrastructure, or can use a separate system called the “Circles Cloud,” which interconnects with telecommunications companies around the world.

  • According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, all U.S. wireless networks are vulnerable to the types of weaknesses reportedly exploited by Circles. A majority of networks around the globe are similarly vulnerable.

  • Using Internet scanning, we found a unique signature associated with the hostnames of Check Point firewalls used in Circles deployments. This scanning enabled us to identify Circles deployments in at least 25 countries.

  • We determine that the governments of the following countries are likely Circles customers: Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Chile, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Israel, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Peru, Serbia, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

  • Some of the specific government branches we identify with varying degrees of confidence as being Circles customers have a history of leveraging digital technology for human rights abuses. In a few specific cases, we were able to attribute the deployment to a particular customer, such as the Security Operations Command (ISOC) of the Royal Thai Army, which has allegedly tortured detainees. Read more - Lire plus
U.S. Used Patriot Act to Gather Logs of Website Visitors
The New York Times 03/12/2020 - The government has interpreted a high-profile provision of the Patriot Act as empowering F.B.I. national security investigators to collect logs showing who has visited particular web pages, documents show. But the government stops short of using that law to collect the keywords people submit to internet search engines because it considers such terms to be content that requires a warrant to gather, according to letters produced by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The disclosures come at a time when Congress is struggling with new proposals to limit the law, known as Section 215 of the Patriot Act. The debate ran aground in the spring amid erratic messages from President Trump, but is expected to resume after President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. takes the oath of office in January. [...]

New tensions have emerged over the extent to which the F.B.I. could use that law to gather logs of people’s web browsing activities, as opposed to using warrants — a tool that requires investigators to first be able to produce evidence that a person probably engaged in wrongdoing. In May, 59 senators voted to bar the use of Section 215 to collect internet search terms or web browsing activity, but negotiations broke down in the House. During that period, Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon and one of the sponsors of the proposal ban, wrote to the director of national intelligence seeking clarity about any such use.

Six months later, the Trump administration finally replied — initially, it turned out, in a misleading way. [...] In a Nov. 6 letter to Mr. Wyden, John Ratcliffe, the intelligence director, wrote that Section 215 was not used to gather internet search terms, and that none of the 61 orders issued last year under that law by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court involved collection of “web browsing” records. [...] In fact, “one of those 61 orders resulted in the production of information that could be characterized as information regarding browsing,” Mr. Ratcliffe wrote in the second letter. Specifically, one order had approved collection of logs revealing which computers “in a specified foreign country” had visited “a single, identified U.S. web page.” Read more - Lire plus
From July to December 2020
ICLMG - 2020 has been BUSY! Click below to see what we’ve accomplished in the second half of 2020, but first here is our plan for the next year.

In 2021, we will continue fighting:
  • against facial recognition technology, governments' attacks on encryption, and online mass surveillance
  • for a review mechanism for the Canada Border Services Agency
  • to abolish security certificates and end deportation to torture
  • to repeal of the Canadian No Fly List
  • for justice for Hassan Diab & the reform of the Extradition Act

and much more! Find out how you can help here and see what we did in 2020 below:

It has been 4 years now since Soleiman Faqiri’s soul was taken away from us. Instead of getting any answers, we only have more questions. Still no accountability. Still no justice. Still, we will not rest.

4 years later, we are gathering (virtually) via zoom to grieve once more. We will be holding a national virtual vigil across the nation.

Please register to join via zoom on December 15, 2020 at 8pm to mark the 4 year anniversary of Soleiman’s unjust killing.
Two recent court decisions revealed the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) engaged in potentially illegal activities and lied to the courts. This is utterly unacceptable, especially given that this is not the first time these serious problems have been raised. CSIS cannot be allowed to act as though they are above the law.

Send a message to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair demanding that he take immediate action to put an end to this abuse of power and hold those CSIS officers involved accountable. Your message will also be sent to your MP and to Minister of Justice David Lametti.
Read our full statement on the issue here for more information. Please share it on:

Protect Encryption in Canada
Our ability to use the Internet safely, securely and privately is under threat. Canada wants to create 'back doors' into encryption like some of our partner countries in the Five Eyes Alliance have already done. This weakens Internet safety for all of us. If we don’t act, Canada could be next. We need a policy that explicitly protects our right to encryption.
Repatriate Canadian Children from Syria
Official Parliamentary petition to the Canadian government:

We, the undersigned citizens of Canada , call upon the Government of Canada to immediately repatriate the 25 innocent Canadian children living in inhumane conditions in the camps of northeast Syria.
Reject Dr. Carvin's Offensive Actions and Promote Anti-Racism
On September 3, 2020, Dr. Stephanie Carvin, Assistant Professor at Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University, proudly shared on her Twitter account gruesome depictions of killings of Muslim and Brown bodies as terrorists on cakes. As members and allies of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) community, we are denouncing her actions and we are calling on Carleton University and NPSIA to publicly denounce Dr. Carvin's actions and to commit to an anti-racist environment by offering the necessary training and resources to its faculty members.
#FreeCihanErdal #LiberezCihanErdal
Cihan Erdal, a queer youth activist and a PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University, was detained in Istanbul, Turkey on September 25, 2020 along with 81 other politicians, academics and activists.

We call on Canadian and Turkish authorities to take urgent action and demand Cihan’s immediate release and Cihan’s safe return to Canada!
Pardon Edward Snowden for exposing the government's illegal surveillance
Edward Snowden exposed the U.S. government’s illegal mass surveillance programs, along with shocking collusion between large technology companies and spy agencies. He risked everything to blow the whistle and help protect all of our basic human rights. He’s been in exile for long enough. It’s time to bring him home. Everyone from the ACLU to Senator Rand Paul has spoken out in support of the embattled whistleblower, and now even President Trump has indicated his potential support for a pardon. The administration is testing the waters. If we show overwhelming support to #PardonSnowden right now, we could finally get justice for him, and set a precedent that protects whistleblowers, journalists, and defenders of human rights in the future.
Reunite Ayub, Khalil, and Salahidin with their families
Ayub Mohammed, Salahidin Abdulahad, and Khalil Mamut are three Uyghur men who left China after childhoods of discrimination, persecution, and hopelessness.

They were sold by Pakistani bounty hunters to the US military in 2001 and taken with 19 other Uyghurs to Guantanamo Bay. Despite being exonerated as early as 2003, they were kept in Guantanamo for years.

Now in forced exile - Ayub in Albania, and Salahidin and Khalil in Bermuda - their families are here in Canada; and their kids growing up without their fathers.

Despite posing no threat to Canadian national security, these men have been waiting over five years to reunite with their families and find a safe place to live.
China: Free Canadian Huseyin Celil
The Chinese authorities accused Huseyin of offences related to his activities in support of Uighur rights. They held Huseyin in a secret place. They gave him no access to a lawyer, to his family, or to Canadian officials. They threatened him and forced him to sign a confession. They refused to recognize Huseyin’s status as a Canadian citizen, and they did not allow Canadian officials to attend his trial. It was not conducted fairly, and resulted in a sentence of life in prison in China. His life sentence was reduced to 20 years in February 2016. Huseyin has spent much of his time in solitary confinement. He lacks healthy food and is in poor health. Kamila needs her husband, and the boys need their father back.
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.

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.
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.
Defund the police & the RCMP
More and more people are calling on their city councils to reduce and eliminate budgets for policing. We are no longer going to pay for police to harm our communities. These funds can be re-directed to support the recovery and provide much need improvements to public housing, transit, and food security programs among other basic needs. Please use this e-mail tool to tell your City Councillor to act now to defund the police in your communities. Together we keep each other safe.

Philippines: Junk the terror bill and uphold human rights!
The Anti-Terrorism bill is a clear and direct attack against our academic freedom, right to organize, and freedom of expression to air out our grievances towards the inefficiencies and deficiencies of the government's mandate to serve its people through government services.

This positions the government to silence the any dissenter or organizer and given the rich history of harassment of law enforcement agencies and military personnel, harassment and terror-tagging has been a step further for even more killings and silencing.
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.
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.
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 the hundreds of people who have supported us over the years, including on Patreon! As a reward, we are listing below our patrons who give $10 or more per month (and wanted to be listed) directly in the News Digest. Without all of you, our work wouldn't be possible!

Mary Ann Higgs
Kevin Malseed
Brian Murphy
Colin Stuart
Bob Thomson
James Turk
John & Rosemary Williams
Jo Wood
The late Bob Stevenson

Nous tenons à remercier nos organisations membres ainsi que les centaines de personnes qui ont soutenu notre travail à travers les années, y compris sur Patreon! En récompense, nous nommons ci-dessus nos mécènes qui donnent 10$ ou plus par mois et voulaient être mentionné.es directement dans la Revue de l'actualité. Sans vous tous et toutes, notre travail ne serait pas possible!