International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
May 3, 2019
ICLMG's National Coordinator Tim McSorley live tweets Senate hearing on Bill C-59, the National Security Act of 2017
Twitter 29/04/2019 - Bill C-59 is back in front of the Senate National Security and Defence committee (SECD) today, from 11am to 6pm. [...] First up is Canada's Privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien [says] that there are some areas to still study, including the CSE and CSIS's powers to collect and retain publicly available information.

Senator Marilou McPhedran asks whether changes to the definition of "publicly available information" is now strong enough, and would exclude hacked or unlawfully obtained information. Therrien responds that he would have liked to see this explicitly included but could be covered by the exclusion of information that has a "reasonable expectation of privacy." Says it is fluid & contextual and difficult to apply in the field. (Important to note that this definition of "publicly available information" is included in the new CSE Act, but there is *no definiton* in the CSIS Act.) Therrien says this question of "reasonable expectation of privacy" will raise particular questions regarding social media. Ex: would information shared publicly on Facebook be considered fair game for collection by security agencies?

CCLA is now up, raising important questions about publicly available information, ongoing problems with information laws, issues with the No Fly List and the Terrorist Entities List. Also calls for improvements to the proposed National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (esp. on transparency) and Intelligence Commissioner (esp. on authorization of active and defensive cyber operations).

Leah West now up. Speaking specifically about the new Communications Security Establishment Act. Raising concerns about CSE's proposed new active cyber operations, e xplains that how the bill is now written, CSE's acts could violate international law. Source Thread Reader

Saudi Arabia put these 2 men to death. Now their families are calling on Canada to stop arming the regime
CBC 02/05/2019 - Ever since he last heard from his younger brother in a Saudi jail three years ago, Ali Al Aradi has clung to hope that the two might one day be reunited. That dream came to an abrupt end just over a week ago, when Saudi Arabia announced the deaths of 37 men, most belonging to the country's Shia minority.

Al Aradi's 24-year-old brother Ahmed Hussein Al Aradi was one of them. Abdullah Salman Al Asreeh, also 24, was another. There was no phone call, no warning, Al Aradi said. "I saw it on the news," Al Aradi, 26, said when he and Al Asreeh's cousin spoke to CBC News in an exclusive interview in Toronto. In the wake of one of Saudi Arabia's largest mass executions in decades, the families of the two men are calling on Canada to stop the sale of arms to the regime, saying continuing to do so makes Canada complicit in the kingdom's human rights abuses.

Under a secretive $15-billion deal first signed by the Harper government in 2014, Canada was to sell 928 armoured vehicles, including those outfitted with heavy assault cannons, to the regime. Two years later, that number was scaled back to 742 vehicles. Deliveries continue amid concerns Saudi-backed forces could use the vehicles against civilians in its effort to quell the largely Shia Houthi rebel movement in neighbouring Yemen. [...]

Of the 37 men executed Wednesday, 14 had been arrested in connection with protests in the predominantly Shia city of Al Awamiyah in 2011 and 2012.
Al Asreeh was among them. Al Asreeh, 20 at the time of his arrest, spent much of his time working on his father's farm, his cousin Al Ahmed said. He also cared deeply about shining a light on the living conditions of minorities, though Al Ahmed insists he only ever engaged in peaceful protest.

"If you're going to talk about human rights or anything, they're going to kill you. You are a terrorist … everyone's going to think it's good, the government killed someone who's a terrorist. But he's not," Al Ahmed said, adding his cousin didn't have access to a lawyer when he was arrested. [...] Saudi Arabia's behaviour is something Canada should remain concerned about, with the charge of terrorism being used as a "catch-all" term to quash any dissent — something that often extends to family members through "collective punishment." That, in part, is why Al Aradi and Al Ahmed have claimed asylum in Canada. For now, though, both men are trying to come to terms with a loss that's left them stunned, their friends and relatives carrying out a prayer ceremony in Toronto last Friday for those killed. They'd hoped to hold funerals, but the Saudi government still hasn't released the bodies, Al Ahmed said. "When we get his body, we will find out what they did with him." Read more - Lire plus

Pam Palmater: RCMP invasion of Wet’suwet’en Nation territory breaches Canada’s ‘rule of law’
Canadian Dimension 24/04/2019 - While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes flowery public speeches about respecting the rights of Indigenous peoples and reassures the international community that there is no relationship more important that the one with Indigenous peoples, Canada invaded sovereign Wet’suwet’en Nation territory.

When questioned about this aggressive move at a Liberal fundraiser in Kamloops, British Columbia, he responded: “No, obviously, it’s not an ideal situation… But at the same time, we’re also a country of the rule of law.”

Canada’s invasion of Wet’suwet’en territory through its national police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), is an example of the blatant violation of the rule of law in favour of corporate interests. Canada has consistently failed to follow the rule of law when it comes to Indigenous peoples, and the violent arrests of the Wet’suwet’en people at the Gidimt’en checkpoint, set up in support of the Unist’ot’en homestead, is a glaring example of Canada’s lawlessness. Read more - Lire plus

Pipeline Protester in West Virginia Faces Terrorism Charge for Civil Disobedience
Democracy Now! 29/04/2019 - In West Virginia, a 22-year-old protester is facing a felony terrorism charge and other misdemeanors after he was arrested in a nonviolent civil disobedience action aimed at stopping the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Holden Dometrius was arrested Thursday about five hours after he chained himself to welding equipment, slowing construction of the fracked gas pipeline. Since February, activists have been occupying trees in the path of the pipeline route in West Virginia’s Jefferson National Forest, where the Mountain Valley Pipeline company hopes to drill through a mountain directly underneath the Appalachian Trail. Read more - Lire plus

Trump blacklisting the Muslim Brotherhood has nothing to do with 'fighting terrorism'
Huffington Post 01/05/2019 - President Donald Trump’s administration is seeking to designate the Muslim Brotherhood political movement a foreign terrorist organization ― a move that experts warn would greatly complicate American diplomacy in the Middle East, fuel extremism and lead to the persecution of Muslim groups in the U.S. The terror designation, they say, will destabilize U.S. relations with countries where the Brotherhood or its sympathizers hold influence. Those countries include Jordan, Morocco, Kuwait and Turkey ― important U.S. allies against real terrorism.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 to advocate for governments to be run according to Islamic laws and values. Its most influential figures renounced violence decades ago, and its Egyptian branch won elections after mass uprisings deposed President Hosni Mubarak during the Arab Spring in 2011. That branch and the global Brotherhood movement fell into disarray in 2013, after the Egyptian military ousted President Mohammed Morsi. For years, anti-Muslim hate groups in the U.S. — many of them with deep ties to Bolton and Pompeo — have promoted conspiracy theories attempting to tie political opponents and prominent American Muslim organizations to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Both the George W. Bush and the Obama administrations declined to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terror group. A  British government investigation in 2016 concluded that the group is not a terrorist organization. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have designated the Brotherhood a terror organization, which expands their power to persecute activists on allegations of Brotherhood links, and Egyptian dictator Abdel-Fatteh el-Sissi, who has jailed tens of thousands of his own citizens, is reportedly behind Trump’s new interest in the move. Experts and American Muslim advocates say a U.S. designation would similarly enable  the Trump administration to target domestic Muslim groups. Read more - Lire plus
New Pentagon Report Significantly Undercounts Civilian Casualties
Just Security 02/05/2019 - Responding to concerns about increased civilian casualties resulting from U.S. air strikes, Congress has in recent years required the Pentagon to report on the number of civilians killed and injured in U.S. military operations. Just Security contributors have done an excellent job explaining the details of those requirements and why they’re so important .

Today, the Pentagon released its latest report , and although the increase in transparency is a welcome improvement the Defense Department’s effort still falls short. Unlike previous reporting, this report was on time and included more details than it had in the past, thanks to additional congressional requirements, but it still significantly undercounts the number of civilian casualties actually caused by U.S. military operations.

For example: DoD reports 793 civilians killed and approximately 206 civilians injured as a result of U.S.-led Coalition actions in Syria and Iraq in 2017. This appropriately updates its previous numbers, but it still isn’t nearly as many as facts on the ground suggest. Just last week, Amnesty International, where I work, released the results of extensive reporting it conducted in conjunction with the research group Airwars that determined more than 1,600 civilians were killed by U.S.-led coalition forces between just June and October 2017 in Raqqa, Syria alone. DoD’s numbers don’t reflect anything near that, and while they claim to have available “classified intelligence information” that NGOs do not, they also do not conduct on-the-ground interviews with witnesses, survivors, physicians and others in the communities affected to determine who was actually killed and injured by Coalition air strikes. The discrepancy suggests that the U.S.-led Coalition may be in some cases wrongly counting civilians as “combatants” or as otherwise lawful targets. Read more - Lire plus
US Counterterrorism Under the UN Spotlight
Just Security 02/05/2019 - A United Nations team is visiting Washington this week to conduct its first review of U.S. counterterrorism policy. In announcing the visit, the White House touted the United States as a “ global leader in counterterrorism ” promoting a “rule-of-law” and “whole-of-society” approach. U.N. Assistant-Secretary-General Michele Coninsx, who is leading the U.N. visit, would do well to examine the facts behind this rhetoric before reaching a conclusion.

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the U.S. has enlisted dozens of countries in what President George W. Bush called a “global war on terror.” In the process, it has undermined international legal norms for conduct both on and off the battlefield, from the treatment of captured fighters and the protection of civilians to the rights of all individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity or nationality, to hold and peacefully express their beliefs.

Under the current administration, President Donald Trump has purposefully conflated immigrants and refugees with terrorists, choosing scapegoating and fearmongering as part of his “whole-of-society” approach. He has spoken falsely of “ terrorists coming through the southern border ” to try to secure congressional funding for his proposed wall between the U.S. and Mexico. He has termed the U.S. refugee resettlement program a “Trojan Horse ,” implying it’s a way for dangerous terrorists to secretly enter the country. He has also largely banned travelers from five Muslim-majority countries . His muted responses to deadly attacks by white supremacists stand in stark contrast to his condemnations of attacks by militant Islamists.

As for rule of law, Trump has been a cheerleader for indefinite detention without charge or fair trial at Guantanamo Bay , which still holds 40 prisoners, some who have remained there for 17 years. Seven face military tribunals distinguished by remarkable procedural failings ; only two have been convicted of crimes. Read more - Lire plus
Another synagogue shooting: Of course Trump won't crack down on white supremacist terror
salon 29/04/2019 - On Saturday an avowed neo-Nazi entered the Chabad of Poway synagogue in San Diego County, California, shouted anti-Semitic slurs and then opened fire with an AR-15 "assault-style" rifle. This right-wing terrorist allegedly killed one person -- a woman named Lori Gilbert Kaye, who was reportedly attending Saturday services to pray for her mother , who had recently died -- and injured three others, including a child. This is but the most recent example of a rising tide of hate-fueled and often lethal right-wing violence in the United States and around the world.

Despite all the evidence to the contrary , Trump believes that white supremacists and other right-wing terrorists are not dangerous. For him, they are just a "small group of people" who have "problems." Among their number, evidently, are some "very fine people."

What explains this divergence between the way white right-wing domestic terrorists are treated in America and the way other groups are treated? Overt racists and other right-wing extremists (who are increasingly the mainstream of today's conservative movement) are among Trump's most loyal and enthusiastic supporters. Therefore he will never publicly or enthusiastically condemn and disavow them. Read more - Lire plus

Nationalist Politicians Push Sri Lankan “Patriot Act” on Fearful Populace Following Easter Attacks
Mint Press News 27/04/2019 - Still grappling with the fall-out from the deadliest terror attack in its history, Sri Lanka’s already dysfunctional government is struggling to come to terms with how the attack came to pass and who exactly is to blame.

Since the attacks, for which Daesh (ISIS) has claimed responsibility, Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have been handed their share of the blame, especially since it was revealed that Indian intelligence attempted to warn Sri Lanka on April 4 of an imminent terror attack from an extremist Wahhabi Muslim group. Both Sirisena and Wickremesinghe have denied receiving that intelligence. As often happens following terror attacks, the aftermath of last Sunday’s Easter bombings is being exploited politically by several key players in Sri Lankan politics, with several seeking to score political points by capitalizing off the tragedy prior to the country’s upcoming elections.

Equally if not more troubling is the political effort to use the tragedy to push through a controversial “Counter Terrorism” bill that critics argue would criminalize democratic dissent, and independent journalism as well as increase state prosecution and repression of the country’s Hindu, Christian and Muslim minorities. This bill — which has inspired numerous protests in recent months, including some just prior to the bombings — may now be pushed through Sri Lanka’s legislature, as the fear of terrorism runs high — much as the United States pushed through the liberty-busting Patriot Act following the 9/11 attacks. Read more - Lire plus 

Brown University student mistakenly identified as Sri Lanka bombing suspect
Boston Globe 28/04/2019 - A Brown University senior and Muslim activist awoke Thursday to a shocking case of mistaken identity — Sri Lankan authorities had erroneously included her photo among images of the suspects sought in the Easter bombings that killed more than 250.

Amara K. Majeed grew up in Baltimore, the daughter of Sri Lankan immigrants, according to the Baltimore Sun , and became an activist at 16 when she founded The Hijab Project, which promotes cross-cultural understanding by encouraging women and girls to try out the head scarf worn by some Muslim women as an act of modesty.

On Thursday, Majeed’s photo appeared on an alert next to the name Fathima Qadiya, who is a suspect in the terrorist bombings. Police issued a statement acknowledging the error, and officials later blamed a small team of investigators that mistakenly found Majeed’s photo using facial recognition software.

But for Majeed, the damage was done. “On the morning of April 25, in the midst of finals season, I woke up in my dorm room to 35 missed calls, all frantically informing me that I had been falsely identified as one of the terrorists involved in the recent Easter attacks in my beloved motherland, Sri Lanka,” Majeed said Friday in a news conference hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “I received so many death threats because of this horrible mistake,” she said later. “So many people just calling for me to be hanged.” Majeed could not be reached for comment.

Brown University released a brief statement in support of Majeed. “The Sri Lanka Police have now corrected a misidentification of a Brown University student as being connected to the attacks in Sri Lanka. Our focus is on supporting our student,” Brown said.

For Majeed, whose extended family lives in the South Asian island nation and who has visited there many times, the error was deeply personal, she said. “There are no words to describe the pain of being associated with such heinous attacks on my own native homeland and people,” Majeed said. “The pictures and posts falsely implicating me have compromised my family’s peace of mind and endangered our extended family’s lives.”

Majeed said it had been a “horrible, horrible experience” for her relatives in Sri Lanka, all closely monitoring media reports on the bombings, to see her photo in news broadcasts. “It was just a very horrifying experience, and it’s just really disrupted my life and my family’s life in so many different ways,” she said. “I’m just very concerned about the safety of my family, both here in the States and also back home.” Read more - Lire plus
EXCLUSIVE: Campaigners against Uighur oppression blacklisted on terrorism database
MEE 15/04/2019 - An internationally recognised advocacy group raising awareness about the repression of the Uighur minority in western China has been added to a terrorism blacklist used by many of the world’s biggest banks, Middle East Eye can reveal.

The Germany-based World Uighur Congress (WUC), which has advised the United Nations and the European Union, plans to sue the owner of the World-Check financial database after it used Chinese allegations to link the WUC to terrorism. Dolkun Isa, the president of the WUC, and two other senior members of the organisation who were also added to the blacklist as individuals are also planning legal action.

Their inclusion on the database comes despite China facing widespread condemnation and international scrutiny over its treatment of the Uighurs, a Turkic people who are mostly Muslim, in the western province of Xinjiang. In August 2018, a United Nations human rights panel said it had received credible reports that more than one million people were being held in internment camps. Uighur activists say that many people have disappeared in the camps and some have been killed. Read more - Lire plus

NEW 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.
NEW 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.
Tell the Senate to Fix Bill C-59 before it's too late!
From mass surveillance to the No Fly List, the new National Security Act fails to undo past problems and brings in new powers that threaten our rights & freedoms. Send a message to the Senate that they need to fix Bill C-59.
Share on Facebook & Twitter .
Partagez sur Facebook & Twitter .
All-in-one action page: Stop Mohamed Harkat's Deportation to Torture
Call PM Trudeau, write a letter to Public Safety Minister Goodale & your MP, and sign Sophie Harkat's petition to stop the deportation of Moe Harkat. If sent back to Algeria, Moe faces detention, torture and death. No one should be deported to torture. Ever.
OPP must be held accountable for violent repression of land defenders
The terrifying incident happened in April 2008 during a land occupation and road blockades by members of Tyendinaga Mohawk Nation, near Belleville, Ontario. Although the road blockades involved only a small number of community members – none of whom were armed -- the Ontario Provincial Police sent more than 200 officers, including the Tactics and Rescue Unit (TRU), tasked with responding to “the most serious threats to peace and order”. 

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

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

Signez cette pétition pour soutenir les personnes et les familles en quête de protection.
Tell China to close its secret ‘re-education’ camps for ethnic minorities
It is estimated that up to one million people - predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities - are being arbitrarily detained in “de-extremification" camps in China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Among them are Uighurs, Kazakhs and other ethnic minority groups whose religious and cultural practices are key to their identity.
The detentions appear to be part of an effort by the Chinese government to wipe out religious beliefs and aspects of cultural identity in order to enforce political loyalty for the State and the Communist Party of China.
Make January 29 a National Day
On Jan. 29, 2017, a lone gunman entered a mosque in Quebec City and opened fire on dozens of Muslim-Canadian worshipers. By the time the shooting had ended, six had been tragically killed, and 19 more injured. 

 W e, citizens and residents of Canada, call on the government of Canada to henceforth designate January 29th as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia and other forms of religious discrimination or a National Day of Action against Hate and Intolerance .
Call on Justin Trudeau to ensure justice for Abousfian Abdelrazik
In September 2003, Canadian citizen Abousfian Abdelrazik was arrested in Sudan, while he was back in the country visiting his ailing mother. Over the next three years he was imprisoned for nearly 20 months and was held under house arrest for 12 months. He was denied a lawyer, and was never charged or brought before a judge. There were lengthy periods when he had no family or consular visits. During that time he was badly tortured in three different prisons. Not only did Canada fail to take steps to protect him, CSIS officials frequently obstructed efforts to secure his release. Those actions prolonged his detention, with no concern for the obvious risk of mistreatment he was facing.
Don’t invest my CPP contributions in Trump’s racist agenda
An investigation by the Guardian just revealed that the  Canada Pension Plan (CPP), is pouring millions of your pension dollars into the US private prison corporations that are executing Trump’s cruel and inhumane anti-immigration agenda. That’s your money.  If you’ve ever worked in Canada, you’ve paid contributions to the CPP fund. We can’t let our CPP contributions flow to corporations that are profiting from Trump’s cruel immigration policies.

Tell the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB): Stop investing our savings in private US prison corporations that are executing Trump’s cruel and inhumane anti-immigration agenda.
Five Eyes: Save encryption
Ministers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the U.S. have gone public with their plans for a huge attack on our personal security.

They want to force companies to crush the encryption that protects our private data and messages. But ordinary people need and use encryption every day, in everything from online banking to personal messaging in apps like WhatsApp.
Tell ministers to stop their attacks, and commit to protecting our privacy and security.
Iran: Free Saeed Malekpour!
Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian national with permanent residency in Canada, has been imprisoned in Iran since his arrest on 4 October 2008. In late 2010, he was initially sentenced to death for “spreading corruption on earth” in relation to a web programme he created for uploading photos which the Iranian authorities said was used on pornographic websites. This was an open source programme and Saeed Malekpour has maintained that the use of this web programme on other websites was without his knowledge. His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 2012.
Les opinions exprimées ne reflètent pas nécessairement les positions de la CSILC - The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the positions of ICLMG.
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