International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
18 octobre 2019
UPDATED ICLMG's National Security Info Card
ICLMG 15/10/2019 - A good way to know what will be a party’s position on national security in the next Parliament, is to know how they have acted on that topic in the past. On our new national security info card , you’ll find:
  • How the federal parties have voted on national security legislation in the last 4 years
  • What non-legislative positions and actions federal parties have taken in the past
  • What are the federal parties’ platform promises on national security, our take on them, and if and how the parties have responded to ICLMG’s top 10 election asks on national security.

UPDATE: With the release of the Conservatives' platform, we've updated our National Security Info Card. Conservative party proposals raise grave concerns about their impact on civil liberties and Charter rights if they were implemented, reminiscent of Bill C-51. This includes rolling back rules on CSIS threat reduction powers that are meant to protect Charter rights, and introducing a new "reverse onus" travel ban to areas the government declares "terrorism hotspots," which would not only be unconstitutional, but ineffective.
We've also added our take on all the parties' platforms.

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NCCM Mustafa Farooq's comments on the Conservatives new platform promise
Twitter 11/10/2019 - As the Conservative platform dropped this evening, we'll be having a longer breakdown this week. However, one of the most interesting pieces is this: a promise to create "a reverse onus offence for travel to designated terrorism hot spots." First: if implemented, expect an almost immediate constitutional challenge under section 11(d) of the Charter. Our criminal justice system is premised on a notion of innocence until proven guilty, which this of course pushes up against.

This policy position, incidentally, is almost certainly drawn from the UK's recent "terror-hotspot" amendments, which drew massive outcry from civil liberties organizations, as well as many counter-terrorism researchers. I should add - I mean the most recent iteration of this policy. Of course, PM Harper proposed something quite similar in 2015, which was derided for similar reasons (drawing on that time on the Australian model). Put the Charter question to one side then: what becomes a "terror-hotspot"? When does it cease to become a "terror-hotspot"? Does a medical doctor visiting a combat zone get drawn into these provisions? Do journalists covering these areas? Academics? Source 1 + Source 2 + Source 3

CCIC Recommendations to Improve the Regulatory and Legislative Framework for Canada’s Charitable Sector - Featuring ICLMG
CCIC 16/10/2019 - The Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) released a policy brief today showing that Canadian charities working internationally are governed by a set of provisions that restrict their ability to partner effectively in the delivery of their charitable mandate. Titled “Directed Charities and Controlled Partnerships,” the brief examines two regulatory and legislative elements: “direction and control” provisions and anti-terror legislation.

The brief includes recommendations that are informed by a literature review, a survey of Canadian charities, and comparative research including interviews with national charity coalitions from other high-income countries. CCIC also provides recommendations for how the Government of Canada can improve the regulatory and legislative framework for Canada’s charitable sector. This analysis provides a unique perspective on this issue specific to the international cooperation sector. It includes input from the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group ( ICLMG ) which collaborated on the section concerning anti-terrorism legislation.

Canadians expect humanitarian organizations to provide essential and live-saving support wherever it is needed, but they are being hindered in their work, despite their best efforts, by vague, broad and unnecessary anti-terrorism laws that do more to put people at risk than prevent violent crimes. Future governments should take decisive action to fix these troubling laws," says ICLMG's National Coordinator, Tim McSorley. Read more + Full report + Lire plus + Rapport complet
Heron and MQ-9 drones approved for Canadian military program
Ottawa Citizen 17/10/2019 - The Department of National Defence’s Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) Project has entered into a new phase with discussions ongoing with two drone manufacturers. [...] Canada’s quest for an uninhabited aerial vehicle system has been under way for years. In 2006 the military laid down plans to have such a drone fleet operational by 2009. That was pushed back to 2012. Over the years the Canadian Armed Forces tried other means to buy a fleet of longer-range UAVs. In 2007 the military tried to push a sole source purchase of Predators but the Conservative government decided against that proposal. During the Libyan war in 2011, senior Canadian defence leaders pitched to the government the idea of spending up to $600 million for armed drones to take part in that conflict. That proposal was also declined.

For the Afghan war, the Canadian military purchased the Sperwer, and later leased a Heron drone fleet from MDA of Richmond, BC for missions in Kandahar. Timelines have continually been revised for the drone acquisition program, originally called the Joint Unmanned Surveillance, Target Acquisition System or JUSTAS. The contract had been expected in 2018. But Lamirande said the contract for the RPAS project is now to be awarded in the Fiscal Year 2022-2023. She noted that the RPAS project will procure a new fleet of armed, medium altitude, long endurance drones capable of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and precision strike in support of Canadian Armed Forces operations. The RPAS project will complement existing capabilities, such as the CP-140 patrol aircraft. “This capability will be integrated into a network of systems to enable near real-time flow of information essential to CAF operations, and to support domestic law enforcement and civilian authorities,” Lamirande said. “Additionally, it will significantly expand Canada’s ability to contribute to joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations with its allies.” The Defence Capabilities Blueprint puts funding for the project at between $1 billion and $4.99 billion but no further details have been provided . Read more - Lire plus
Syria: Damning evidence of war crimes and other violations by Turkish forces and their allies
Amnesty International 17/10/2019 - Turkish military forces and a coalition of Turkey-backed Syrian armed groups have displayed a shameful disregard for civilian life, carrying out serious violations and war crimes, including summary killings and unlawful attacks that have killed and injured civilians, during the offensive into northeast Syria, said Amnesty International today. The organization gathered witness testimony between 12 and 16 October from 17 people including medical and rescue workers, displaced civilians, journalists, local and international humanitarian workers, as well as analyzing and verifying video footage and reviewing medical reports and other documentation.

The information gathered provides damning evidence of indiscriminate attacks in residential areas, including attacks on a home, a bakery and a school, carried out by Turkey and allied Syrian armed groups. It also reveals gruesome details of a summary killing in cold blood of a prominent Syrian-Kurdish female politician, Hevrin Khalaf, by members of Ahrar Al-Sharqiya, part of the Syrian National Army, a coalition of Syrian armed groups equipped and supported by Turkey. The Kurdish-led administration’s health authority in northeast Syria said on 17 October that at least 218 civilians have been killed in Syria, including 18 children , since the offensive began. [...] The USA is the largest exporter of weapons to Turkey. Other suppliers include Italy, Germany, Brazil and India. Amnesty International is calling on states to immediately suspend arms transfers to Turkey and other parties to the conflict in Syria, including Kurdish forces, against whom there are credible allegations of serious violations of international law, of weapons that could be used to commit or facilitate human rights violations. Read more - Lire plus

Persecuted and uprooted, a young Yemeni finds safe haven in Canada
UNHCR 09/10/2019 - “I was welcomed in Canada with much respect and dignity. I felt a strong emotion, a mixture of fear and relief – unsure what lay ahead of me, but with a glimmer of hope knowing that peace was possible again.” Mohammed is one of the 2 million Yemenis who had to leave their homes because of the significant upsurge in violence in the country. He is now one of the 10,300 asylum-seekers who entered Canada irregularly between January and August 2019. “It was during the winter of 2019, at dawn. I crossed the Canadian border by foot to claim asylum. Alone. I was scared.”

Mohammed decided to seek asylum in Canada, known for its welcoming tradition, and find support within the Yemeni community in Quebec. But his story begins in Yemen, the country he was forced to hastily abandon after being captured, beaten and released by armed groups. Since 2015, the conflict opposing the Yemeni government and Houthi forces – allied to supporters of Yemen’s former president – seriously aggravated the humanitarian situation following years of poverty and insecurity in one of the Middle East’s poorest countries. An estimated 24 million people, or 80% of the population, require some form of humanitarian assistance to survive. “I will never forget these days spent in the dark, somewhere underground, beaten simply because I had refused to work for violent armed groups,” Mohammed explained. Widespread violence continued to the point where his family encouraged him to flee the country. That night, his life changed dramatically. Sitting on the passenger seat, a family neighbour accepted to drive him to the airport of a neighbouring city so that he could, out of sight, take the first flight to one of those rare countries that do not require a visa for Yemenis.

“For my own safety, I had to leave everything behind overnight, and flee in the hope that the situation in my country eventually gets better.” After finding refuge in Southeast Asia, Mohammed obtained a temporary visa to study in the United States. But since he could not obtain a permanent residency, and without the possibility of returning to Yemen where the conflict had intensified, he was left with nooption. He heard about the possibility to claim asylum in Canada. In his search for details about such requests on the Internet, he found that under the terms of the Safe Third Country Agreement, the only possibility for him was to follow Roxham Road to seek asylum – which he did reluctantly. “I remember the Canadian border official on Roxham Road saying: ‘If you cross this line, you will be under arrest.’ I was scared, alone, exhausted. I told them to arrest me. I told them that I had come to seek asylum in Canada.” Mohammed formulated his asylum claim in proper and due form, and then the wait began – until the day he was summoned to his hearing in May 2019. He still remembers those agonizing fifteen minutes before the jury’s decision on the merit of his asylum claim.

“Those were the longest fifteen minutes of my life. Time stopped. Everything was going to be decided at that very moment. You think about all the suffering you went through, all the reasons that led you to stand before the judge. You still feel the painful memories of your house trembling under the bombs. It’s an unexplainable kind of anguish – knowing that your freedom and survival depend on a single person. And then the decision fell. I was accepted as a refugee. I was speechless, shaken by the realization of what this meant: My life could now go on and start again where it was left off some five years ago.”
Since then, Mohammed has been working at the accommodation centre where he spent his first days in Canada, and he is pleased to help other asylum-seekers who stay here temporarily. Read more - Lire plus
Why hasn’t Trudeau helped all the Snowden Refugees?
Ricochet 16/10/2019 - Wednesday morning in Ottawa, advocates for the refugees who gave shelter to U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden in Hong Kong held a press conference to demand action from the Canadian government. In March, two of the “Snowden Refugees” arrived in Canada. Another five refugees, however, including two young stateless children, are still awaiting their decision.In Ottawa, spokespeople with the organization For the Refugees expressed frustration with the Liberal government for ignoring their appeals for help. We are republishing in full the remarks from today’s media conference from two of the three lawyers representing the refugees.

Statement from Marc-André Séguin, president of For the Refugees: The case of the Snowden Refugees has been ongoing for the last three years. Their lives have been in shambles for over a decade. Two of them have been safe and in Canada for seven months. The others continue to live in fear. We have worked and been ignored by this government for years. We are here today because we are at the end of our rope. The families are at the end of theirs. They have surpassed their limits in terms of their ability to cope. All live in fear. They remain extremely vulnerable due to the great danger they face in their home country of Sri Lanka. Their asylum cases in Hong Kong were all refused a long time ago, and they face removal to Sri Lanka at any time. But they face danger in Hong Kong too, where there are documented reports of Sri Lankan agents searching for these refugees by name, overt hostility towards asylum seekers and the worst political crisis in decades unfolding on the streets. [...]

Statement from Guillaume Cliche-Rivard, lawyer for the Snowden Refugees: Frankly, the question here is quite simple. How much longer can stateless children live under tremendous distress in Hong Kong. How much longer will their lives be in danger, how much longer will they have to face discrimination and important development limitations? And ... how much longer can Canada accept to separate sisters? How much longer can Canada accept to separate a little girl from her father? How much longer will Keana, seven years old, have to worry about her sister and brother’s security and well being? Respectfully, they cannot wait any longer. Read more - Lire plus

Edward Snowden: Without encryption, we will lose all privacy. This is our new battleground
The Guardian 15/10/2019 - In every country of the world, the security of computers keeps the lights on, the shelves stocked, the dams closed, and transportation running. For more than half a decade, the vulnerability of our computers and computer networks has been ranked the number one risk in the US Intelligence Community’s Worldwide Threat Assessment – that’s higher than terrorism, higher than war. Your bank balance, the local hospital’s equipment, and the 2020 US presidential election, among many, many other things, all depend on computer safety.

And yet, in the midst of the greatest computer security crisis in history, the US government, along with the governments of the UK and Australia, is attempting to undermine the only method that currently exists for reliably protecting the world’s information: encryption. Should they succeed in their quest to undermine encryption, our public infrastructure and private lives will be rendered permanently unsafe. In the simplest terms, encryption is a method of protecting information, the primary way to keep digital communications safe. Every email you write, every keyword you type into a search box – every embarrassing thing you do online – is transmitted across an increasingly hostile internet. Earlier this month the US, alongside the UK and Australia, called on Facebook to create a “backdoor” , or fatal flaw, into its encrypted messaging apps, which would allow anyone with the key to that backdoor unlimited access to private communications. So far, Facebook has resisted this.

If internet traffic is unencrypted, any government, company, or criminal that happens to notice it can – and, in fact, does – steal a copy of it, secretly recording your information for ever. If, however, you encrypt this traffic, your information cannot be read: only those who have a special decryption key can unlock it. I know a little about this, because for a time I operated part of the US National Security Agency’s global system of mass surveillance. In June 2013 I worked with journalists to reveal that system to a scandalised world. Without encryption I could not have written the story of how it all happened – my book Permanent Record – and got the manuscript safely across borders that I myself can’t cross. More importantly, encryption helps everyone from reporters, dissidents, activists, NGO workers and whistleblowers, to doctors, lawyers and politicians, to do their work – not just in the world’s most dangerous and repressive countries, but in every single country.

When I came forward in 2013 , the US government wasn’t just passively surveilling internet traffic as it crossed the network, but had also found ways to co-opt and, at times, infiltrate the internal networks of major American tech companies. At the time, only a small fraction of web traffic was encrypted: six years later, Facebook, Google and Apple have made encryption-by-default a central part of their products, with the result that today close to 80% of web traffic is encrypted. Even the former director of US national intelligence, James Clapper, credits the revelation of mass surveillance with significantly advancing the commercial adoption of encryption. The internet is more secure as a result. Too secure, in the opinion of some governments. Donald Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, who authorised one of the earliest mass surveillance programmes without reviewing whether it was legal, is now signalling an intention to halt – or even roll back – the progress of the last six years. Read more - Lire plus
Over 20 Canadian Organizations Stand in Solidarity with Ecuadorian Indigenous, Labour, and Civil Society Organizations
ICLMG is one of the 20 signatories
MiningWatch 15/10/2019 - More than twenty Canadian labour unions, not-for-profit, and civil society organizations today released an open statement to express their solidarity and support to Indigenous, labour, campesino and civil-society organizations currently engaged in nationwide protests against the IMF-imposed economic austerity package. The letter calls on the Canadian government to end its silence with respect to the state-ordered repression, and questions the lack of Canadian media coverage of the massive protests in Ecuador, compared to the vigour in which the media covers the protests in countries such as Hong Kong or Venezuela. The letter denounced any attempts by Canadian mining companies to use the economic and political crisis to further their investments, noting that Canadian mining will not solve the foreign debt crisis.

“Canada is the origin of the majority of mining companies currently working in Ecuador. Their projects, which total more than 40, are being actively and broadly opposed. We are seeing evidence that the companies are using the debt crisis to promote their projects and we are worried this will only add fuel to the fire for state-ordered repression against Indigenous, campesino, and rural peoples who are rightfully protesting the expansion of the extractive frontier," said Kirsten Francescone, Latin America Coordinator at MiningWatch Canada. "Ecuadorians should be able to decide how they choose to live, especially if they chose livelihoods alternative to mining. We don’t need any more mining disasters in the world.”  Read more - Lire plus

Citizen group focused on stopping ByWard Market surveillance cameras
CBC 14/10/2019 - A new coalition of researchers and activists wants the City of Ottawa to pull the plug on a proposal for surveillance cameras in the ByWard Market before they start rolling. The Coalition Against More Surveillance formed this summer and has launched a letter-writing campaign on its website, trying to get residents to tell Mayor Jim Watson and their councillors they oppose the plan. Samantha McAleese, a member of the group, said they have a number of concerns — including that they believe the system would be a waste of money. "All the evidence we have dug up from various jurisdictions indicate that there is no link between CCTV cameras and a reduction in violence," she said. "Money is being invested in something that does not actually work." Mayor Jim Watson raised the idea of a camera network in the ByWard Market after several violent incidents earlier this year, including three fatal shootings.

City staff are expected to issue a report later this year, in time for the budget planning process. For McAleese, however, it's not just about the cost. She said the cameras will make the market a less hospitable place. "Everyone who enters the area where the CCTV cameras might be would have to be concerned about their privacy," she said. "If the cameras are installed in the ByWard Market, this would become a hostile environment for certain people." Since launching the group, McAleese said they've already heard from a number of citizens who are against the plan. "We are getting some comments already about how people would rather see the money invested in community supports," she said.

Ann Cavoukian, Ontario's former privacy commissioner and executive director of the Global Privacy and Security by Design Centre, said cities often find surveillance cameras attractive. They haven't spread aggressively in Canada, but in other parts of the world — like the United Kingdom — they have become ubiquitous, she said. What's more, they can be used for the wrong reasons, especially when combined with facial recognition technology, and can generate a lot of false positives, Cavoukian said. She suggested that if the city goes ahead with a network, the video should be encrypted and available to police only if they get a court order. "Privacy forms the foundation of our freedom. If you value free and democratic societies then you value privacy," Cavoukian said. "But in societies such as ours, we can take privacy and freedom for granted." Read more - Lire plus
U.S. border guards detain Canadian woman for 5 hours, refuse entry without visa
CBC 10/10/2019 - A Vancouver woman is afraid to try to enter the United States after she was held for hours without reason and eventually denied entry at a border crossing — a situation immigration lawyers say is becoming more common. Software developer Jaklyn De Vos had planned to visit her godfather in Seattle, Wash., in April when she and her partner were brought in for questioning at the Sumas border crossing in Abbotsford, B.C.

After nearly five hours, a border patrol officer told her she was denied entry and that she would need a visa — something not normally required for Canadians at land border crossings — to enter the U.S. again. With no criminal record or history of problems entering the U.S., De Vos said she can't understand why she has not been given an explanation. The denial didn't apply to her partner, but the two decided to turn around and return to Vancouver. "I have friends and family in the states that I'd like to see, so it's definitely frustrating not to be able to do that or have any information about it," De Vos said. She also said nearly three hours into the ordeal, the border guards asked to see her and her partner's cellphones and wallets. "It just seemed easier to comply," she said. "It was kind of a scary situation, anyway, being detained for so long."

Lawyers say they have seen an uptick in the number of Canadians being denied entry, or even being banned from crossing into the U.S. "There's definitely something in the water right now.… We are seeing unusual denials and unusual requests we haven't seen in years prior," said Mark Belanger with Border Solutions Law Group. [...] Belanger also recommended filing a complaint on TRIPS, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) traveller redress program. De Vos said that also led to a dead end. "I just recently…noticed that my case said closed on it, but I still haven't received any letter," she said. A spokesperson for the CBP acknowledged the increase of "expedited removals" from the U.S. and said it was not due to policy changes or quotas within the department. Read more - Lire more

Extinction Rebellion blanket ban chilling and unlawful
Amnesty International UK 25/09/2019 - On Monday evening, the Metropolitan Police issued a revised section 14 order saying demonstrators protesting in London after 21:00 BST could be arrested. Allan Hogarth, Head of Advocacy and Programmes at Amnesty International UK, said: “Imposing a blanket ban on Extinction Rebellion protests is an unlawful restriction on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Under UK and international human rights law, the Government has an obligation to facilitate the exercise of these rights. 

“The majority of those protesting have been doing so peacefully, removing and prosecuting activists for engaging in non-violent direct action to raise their voice is deeply worrying. Overly harsh and disproportionate charges will have a chilling effect on rights. This is a heavy-handed and unacceptable move by the Metropolitan Police. Certain disruption to ordinary life for protesting is natural, and it needs to be tolerated. The police must respect the rights of those peacefully protesting and ensure that the voices of those demanding action on tackling the climate crisis are allowed to be heard.” As of Monday 7 October, Extinction Rebellion has been calling for a two-week "International Rebellion" across the world. Media and observers have reported concerns over heavy handed policing; mass arrests, including preventive arrests; use of vaguely defined criminal offences against climate activists across Europe. Read more - Lire plus

Rebel Daily 6: Brutality in Belgium
Extinction Rebellion 14/10/2019 - It’s been quite a weekend. We’ve seen no slowing down of global actions: Berlin, London, Australia, Turkey – as ever, more than we can name. But today’s showstoppers are undoubtedly the rebels in the Netherlands, Czech Republic, and most of all in Belgium.

Well over 700 arrests took place in these three countries, 435 in Brussels alone, but these numbers on their own say nothing of the extraordinary courage shown by rebels in the face of some of the most appalling treatment our movement has yet faced. We stand together. Whether it’s teargas in Brussels or Paris, injuries from excessive force in Prague, police discrimination in London, undemocraticnew laws in Australia, or state repression in any other nation, our answer is always the same: compassionate, powerful nonviolence.

Every peaceful protester mistreated by the police means ten more in their place tomorrow; every video of state violence in a ‘democratic’ state is paid for with that government’s legitimacy. We’re changing the world – there’s no question of that. The question governments must ask themselves is whether they will speed that process up with repression, or speed it up with genuine democratic dialogue. Read more - Lire plus
Civil liberties groups sound alarm over online extremism bill
The Hill 11/10/2019 - According to a copy of the bill circulated in September and obtained by The Hill, the National Commission on Online Platforms and Homeland Security Act would create a 12-member commission of experts who would work up recommendations for Congress to address online extremism while taking "individual privacy civil liberties" into account. The members would be appointed by Republicans and Democrats in Congress and the president. The panel would study how online platforms are "utilized in furtherance of domestic or international terrorism, other illegal activity that poses a homeland or national security threat to the United States, or to carry out a foreign influence campaign that poses a homeland or national security threat to the United States."

A source familiar with the legislation noted that the committee has circulated the bill to stakeholders several times over the past few months, but civil liberties groups are still pushing back against it. "A governmental entity telling platforms how to do content moderation raises some serious First Amendment concerns,” another source familiar with the bill told The Hill. The government-appointed body would be given the power to subpoena communications, a sticking point that raised red flags for First Amendment advocates concerned about government surveillance. A source familiar with the legislation told The Hill they were immediately concerned that the subpoena power could be abused, questioning whether it would unintentionally create another avenue for the government to obtain private conversations on social media between Americans. The draft bill would require companies to "make reasonable efforts" to remove any personally identifiable information from any communications they handed over. But that provision has not satisfied tech and privacy groups. Sources from civil liberties groups told The Hill they felt that the commission would inevitably intrude on free speech protections. Read more - Lire plus
United Nations Backslides on Human Rights in Counterterrorism
Lawfare blog 16/10/2019 - The critical change was brought about by General Assembly Resolution 73/174 on “[t]errorism and human rights,” adopted on Dec. 17, 2018, which drastically undermines the detailed human rights standards established in earlier General Assembly resolutions on counterterrorism between 2002 and 2017. The new resolution differs from preceding ones in three key respects: (a) It omits or dilutes many earlier references to protecting specific rights when countering terrorism; (b) it is focused more on the “detrimental effects” of terrorism on human rights than on state violations of rights by counterterrorism measures; and (c) many provisions are not about human rights at all but, instead, are concerned with suppressing terrorism—and thus detract from a much-needed emphasis on respect for rights precisely to correct the prevailing emphasis on suppression, including from the Security Council, often at the expense of rights. The resolution has received little comment so far, perhaps because the General Assembly’s annual resolutions on the subject are normally routine and a radical departure from earlier consensus is unexpected. Its shift in emphasis away from human rights in counterterrorism not only harms human dignity and basic values but also threatens international and national security. This is because the links between state violations of human rights in counterterrorism and terrorist radicalization, recruitment and violence are well recognized, including in the U.N.’s own Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy of 2006 , which states have committed to implement. [...]

Before the shift in 2018, there were two distinct—and quite different—chains of General Assembly resolutions addressing human rights in this area: resolutions on “human rights and terrorism” from 1993 to 2005, and resolutions on human rights and counterterrorism from 2002 to 2017.The first chain of resolutions sprang out of the 1993 Vienna Conference on Human Rights , which declared that terrorism “aimed at the destruction of human rights” (paragraph 17). Regular General Assembly resolutions from that year until 2005 accordingly addressed the human rights effects of terrorism, not counterterrorism. These General Assembly resolutions were controversial. Western states (particularly the United States and members of the European Union) protested that terrorists could not technically “violate” human rights because only states bear legally binding human rights obligations. Under human rights treaties, states have detailed duties to respect, protect and fulfill rights, and to provide remedies for violations. Nonstate actors, including terrorist groups, are not bound by comparable legal duties (unless they are de facto state authorities), even if terrorist acts self-evidently have adverse effects on rights in a descriptive, nonlegal sense. The focus in the early General Assembly resolutions on the effects of terrorism on human rights thus distracted from efforts to hold states themselves accountable for violations of their human rights obligations when countering terrorism. The General Assembly’s approach shifted as counterterrorism operations expanded after 9/11. From 2002 to 2017 , the General Assembly regularly adopted a thematic resolution on “protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.” Mexico initiated the 2002 resolution (co-sponsored by various Latin American states plus Canada, Liechtenstein, Croatia, New Zealand and Switzerland) and has sponsored them ever since. These resolutions overlapped with the earlier ones on “terrorism and human rights” until 2005, when those ceased. [...]

Drastic regression is evident, however, in last year’s sui generis Resolution 73/174 on “[t]errorism and human rights,” which fits the mold of neither the 1993-2005 resolutions (on “human rights and terrorism”) nor the 2002–2017 resolutions (on counterterrorism). The 2018 resolution still generically urges states to comply with their human rights (and refugee and humanitarian law) obligations in countering terrorism (paragraph 2), and expresses concern at state violations (paragraph 5), but backslides on human rights in three key respects: (a) It weakens the human rights standards in the previous resolutions, (b) it shifts the emphasis to rights abuses by terrorists rather than states and (c) it downplays the importance of human rights in counterterrorism. Read more - Lire plus
The Privacy Project: You’re in a Police Lineup, Right Now (video)
The New York Times 15/10/2019 - Face recognition technology is being used to unlock phones, clear customs,  identify immigrants  and solve crimes. In the Video Op-Ed above, Clare Garvie demands the United States government hit pause on face recognition. She argues that while this convenient technology may seem benign to those who feel they have nothing to hide, face recognition is something  we should all fear.  Police databases now feature the faces of nearly half of Americans — most of whom have no idea their image is there. The invasive technology violates citizens’ constitutional rights and is subject to an alarming level of manipulation and  bias .

Our privacy, our right to anonymity in public and our right to free speech are in danger. Congress must declare a national moratorium on the use of face-recognition technology until legal restrictions limiting its use and scope can be developed. Without  restrictions  on face recognition, America’s future is closer to a  Chinese-style surveillance state  than we’d like to think. Watch the video - Regardez la vidéo

The FISA Court’s 702 Opinions, Part I: A History of Non-Compliance Repeats Itself
Just Security 15/10/2019 - This is now the fourth major FISA Court opinion on Section 702 in 10 years documenting substantial non-compliance with the rules meant to protect Americans’ privacy. The opinion, moreover, reveals that the FBI is conducting literally millions of backdoor searches—including so-called “batch queries” that rest on the same discredited legal theory used to justify the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records. Despite the enormous implications for Americans’ privacy and the government’s dismal record, the remedy suggested by amici and imposed by the Court was just more record-keeping. And the government sat on the opinion for a year, hoping for an appellate victory that would help mitigate the PR damage from disclosure.

To put the Court’s recent opinions in context, some background is necessary. Under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), passed in 2008, the National Security Agency (NSA), operating inside the United States, is authorized to collect communications of foreigners overseas for foreign intelligence purposes. No warrant is required for this collection because courts have held that foreigners have no Fourth Amendment rights. Instead, each year, the FISA Court must sign off on the procedures that govern the surveillance. Although ostensibly targeted at foreigners, Section 702 surveillance inevitably sweeps in massive amounts of Americans’ communications. Recognizing the impact on Americans’ privacy, Congress required the NSA to “minimize” the sharing, retention, and use of this “incidentally” collected U.S. person data. But the government and the FISA Court have embraced an interpretation of “minimize” that is remarkably… maximal. The NSA shares raw data with multiple other agencies—including the FBI and the CIA—and all of them retain the data for a functional minimum of five years. Moreover, the FBI routinely combs through it looking for Americans’ communications to use in purely domestic cases, even in situations where the FBI lacks a factual predicate to open a full investigation. Read more - Lire plus
« Le communautarisme, ce n’est pas le terrorisme » : Macron souligne l’irresponsabilité de certains commentateurs politiques
Le Monde 16/10/2019 - Lever les ambiguïtés et en même temps fermer le chapitre. C’est ce qu’a essayé de faire Emmanuel Macron, mercredi 16 octobre, au sujet de la laïcité, qui divise son gouvernement et la majorité depuis près d’une semaine. Le chef de l’Etat a d’abord cherché à faire dévier cette question clivante. Interrogé lors de la conférence de presse qui clôturait le conseil des ministres franco-allemand, à Toulouse, il a notamment pointé du doigt l’« irresponsabilité » de « certains commentateurs politiques » qui amalgament dans ce débat des problématiques distinctes. « Vous voudriez me mettre le singe sur l’épaule, je crois qu’il est sur la vôtre, a répondu M. Macron à un journaliste. Tout a été confondu dans le débat et les commentaires. Le communautarisme, ce n’est pas le terrorisme, il faut distinguer ces deux notions, a-t-il encore ajouté. [Le communautarisme], c’est la volonté de faire sécession dans la République, au nom d’une religion, mais en la dévoyant. »

En rebondissant de la sorte, le président de la République a tenu à rappeler le sens de son discours prononcé dans la cour de la Préfecture de police (PP), à Paris, le 8 octobre. Il avait alors appelé à construire une « société de vigilance » face à « l’hydre islamiste », cinq jours après l’attentat qui a causé la mort de quatre fonctionnaires de la PP, poignardés par leur collègue Mickaël Harpon, manifestement radicalisé. « N’oubliez pas tout ce que j’ai dit : faire bloc. Etre vigilant contre toutes celles et ceux qui se radicalisent dans notre société. Faire bloc, et le faire avec tous nos concitoyens, quelle que soit leur confession. (…) Ne stigmatisons pas nos concitoyens [musulmans]. » « Il ne veut pas qu’on mélange l’antiterrorisme, la laïcité, le voile, l’immigration, etc. Tout ça fait un shaker dangereux », estime un de ses proches. Seulement, aux yeux d’une partie de l’opposition, le bartender serait Emmanuel Macron lui-même. « Je partage l’inquiétude, mais du coup je m’interroge : pourquoi le chef de l’Etat, au moment où les personnels de santé, de l’enseignement, les pompiers, s’inquiètent et sont dans la rue pour réclamer des moyens, nous pose son débat sur l’immigration ? », a fait remarquer, jeudi 17 octobre, le député européen (Europe Ecologie-Les Verts) Yannick Jadot, fustigeant une attitude de « pyromane qui se dresse en pompier ».

Au-delà de cet aspect, le locataire de l’Elysée a refusé de trancher le débat qui oppose, entre autres, le ministre de l’éducation nationale, Jean-Michel Blanquer, et la porte-parole du gouvernement, Sibeth N’Diaye, sur la question des mères voilées accompagnatrices de sorties scolaires. Le premier considère que « le voile n’est pas souhaitable dans notre société » alors que la seconde n’a « pas de difficultés à ce qu’une femme voilée participe à des sorties scolaires ». « Je ne suis pas là pour donner les bons points et les mauvais points, a évacué M. Macron. J’ai parlé des dizaines de fois de ces sujets. » Une manière de renvoyer vers ses précédentes déclarations, du temps où il n’était pas encore président de la République. Mais aussi de souligner, sans le dire, sa position actuelle. « Je ne crois pas, pour ma part, qu’il faille (…) aller traquer dans les sorties scolaires celles et ceux qui peuvent avoir des signes religieux », avait déclaré, le 12 juillet 2016, celui qui était encore ministre de l’économie de François Hollande. Des mots qu’il refuse, pour l’heure, de prononcer de nouveau. 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!

ICLMG Top 10 Asks for the 2019 Federal Election
ICLMG 19/09/2019 - In Canada and around the world, politicians continue to use the spectre of "national security" and the "War on Terror" to justify attacks on fundamental rights, including freedom of expression, freedom of association, the right to equality under the law, and the right to privacy. Xenophobia and racism are used to sow fear and division, and to further justify repressive laws. Sadly, we're also seeing these tactics during the 2019 federal election campaign. We need candidates to guarantee that they will defend our rights, and the rights of people around the world. Here is our list of top 10 asks:

  1. Stop and effectively outlaw all mass surveillance.
  2. Stop the surveillance, profiling and harassment of Indigenous people, Muslim communities and environmental defenders. Stop perceiving and treating them as a threat.
  3. End all deportations to torture, including Mohamed Harkat’s, and abolish security certificates.
  4. Launch an independent and public inquiry into the case of Hassan Diab and the Extradition Act.
  5. Amend the new National Security Act, 2017 (Bill C-59) to fix the many problems it created, and address the ongoing issues it perpetuated.
  6. Abolish the No-Fly List and the Terrorist Entities List.
  7. Ensure justice and full redress for victims of torture.
  8. Bring home Canadian citizens being detained and imprisoned in Syria.
  9. Suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States.
  10. Address issues surrounding Islamophobia, xenophobia, hate, racism, gender-based and domestic violence, unemployment, poverty and more.

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Justice for Hassan Diab: Webcomic and Campaign!
Hassan Diab, a Canadian university professor and father, was extradited to France based on weak, confusing evidence, where he spent more than three years in prison, without charge or trial. He is thankfully free and back in Canada, but justice hasn't been served. Dr. Diab deserves answers and we need changes to Canada's broken extradition act.
Read the whole webcomic on Hassan Diab's ordeal and click below to urge candidates to commit to launching a public inquiry into his case if they are elected!
Take the Pledge: Unite Against Racism
We are struggling to make ends meet, while the rich keep getting richer. Instead of fixing this, politicians are using anti-immigrant racism to distract us. Sign this pledge to tell politicians that you will not tolerate racism. By signing this pledge, you commit to talking to your friends and co-workers, and to contact politicians or media if they use anti-immigrant messages during the federal election. We will send you tools to help you have these conversations. All of us deserve decent work, universal public services, equal rights, permanent status, and freedom from displacement and discrimination.
Discourse on refugees and migrants in upcoming elections
Refugees and migrants are easily victimized in political debates. In many countries around the world, especially during election campaigns, refugees and migrants have been talked about in ways that insult their dignity and humanity, contribute to xenophobia and racism, and are frequently grounded in distortion and misinformation.

We believe that every leader, every candidate, and every political party, has a role to play in preventing this from happening in Canada.
Stop CSIS from targeting everyday citizens & community groups
A recent report revealed that CSIS, Canada’s spy agency, collected over 8,000 pages of documents, spying on citizens like you, people who exercise their democratic rights by attending a community meeting at a local church or taking peaceful action for what they believe in. And CSIS shared this info with Big Oil corporations.

Sign this petition to tell the govt to stop using taxpayer money to unconstitutionally spy on Canadians part of peaceful community groups.
Stop Facial Recognition in Canada
Facial recognition is invasive, biased and unreliable. But Canadian agencies and law enforcement have started using the tech despite the huge controversies.
Canada’s out-of-date privacy laws don’t yet cover facial recognition tech, leaving our government free to experiment on us with no oversight or regulations. We need to slam the brakes on the spread of this dangerous technology before it’s too late. Demand a moratorium on the use of facial recognition technologies and a full review of our privacy laws — before it becomes entrenched as a surveillance method in Canada.
Release Yasser Albaz from arbitrary detention in Egypt
On February 18, 2019, my dad, Yasser Albaz, was stopped at Cairo airport, his Canadian passport was confiscated, and he was kidnapped by Egyptian State Security. My dad remains in the notorious Torah prison where he is forced to sleep on cold, concrete floor. He has not been charged and continues to receive 15-day extensions to his arbitrary detention.

Sign to tell PM Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to do everything in their power to bring this Canadian citizen home to his family.
Canada must act to end Islamophobia in Xinjiang, China
There is credible evidence that up to one million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other mainly Muslim groups in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region are being detained in secret internment camps. Detainees are brainwashed, tortured and are forced to renounce their religion and culture.

And send a message to Chrystia Freeland demanding that Canada actively support an independent and unrestricted international fact-finding initiative to Xinjiang.
NEW 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.

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.
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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!