International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
25 octobre 2019
Une victoire pour le droit de manifester à Québec 22/10/2019 - C’est aujourd’hui que le jugement de la Cour d’appel du Québec concernant le règlement 19.2 du Règlement sur la Paix et le bon ordre de la Ville de Québec a été rendu public. La Coalition pour le droit de manifester à Québec se réjouit de ce jugement qui déclare officiellement que le paragraphe 1 et 2 de l’article 19.2 est inconstitutionnel. Rappelons que cet article avait été adopté pendant le printemps 2012 suite aux mobilisations étudiantes et venait rendre illégale une manifestation qui n’aurait pas fourni son lieu, son heure et son itinéraire au Service de police de la Ville de Québec ou qui ne l’aurait pas respecté.

Pour Marie-Ève Duchesne, membre de la Coalition pour le droit de manifester, ce jugement vient appuyer un discours qui a animé le travail de cette coalition depuis le début : « Il s’agit d’une victoire juridique que nous souhaitions et nous nous réjouissons de ce résultat. Nous le disions depuis longtemps, mais voilà que la Cour d’appel du Québec vient également ajouter sa voix dans le débat. » En effet, le jugement vient donner raison aux manifestants et manifestantes qui déclaraient que le droit de manifester était bafoué avec ce règlement répressif. Notons d’ailleurs l’extrait suivant du jugement qui rejoint l’argumentaire de la Coalition pour le droit de manifester : « [166] Ce n’est donc pas parce qu’elle est perturbatrice que la manifestation pacifique doit être régulée et si elle doit l’être pour des raisons de sécurité, ce ne peut être prioritairement par le recours à des sanctions pénales de responsabilité stricte, ce qui porte atteinte à la substance même de la liberté d’expression et de réunion pacifique. »

La Coalition souhaite que la Ville de Québec tire des leçons de ce jugement afin que l’ensemble de leurs dispositifs de sécurité et de règlements municipaux ne soit pas une autre façon de réprimer le droit de manifester. Maxim Fortin, également membre de la Coalition pour le droit de manifester explique : « Ce jugement est une victoire, mais il existe depuis plus de sept ans et a fait beaucoup de dommages pour le droit de manifester. La répression a de lourdes conséquences pour une société démocratique. On espère que la Ville apprendra de ce jugement et réfléchira à la constitutionnalité de ses règlements avant de les appliquer. » La Coalition pour le droit de manifester souhaite exprimer sa solidarité envers les manifestants et manifestantes qui ont résisté à cette répression dans les dernières années. La Coalition pour le droit de manifester à Québec a été mise sur pied en 2014 par des groupes sociaux inquiets de la détérioration du droit de manifester sur le territoire de la Ville de Québec. À l’heure actuelle, le BAIL, le Comité populaire Saint-Jean-Baptiste, la Ligue des droits et libertés-section Québec et le RÉPAC 03-12 en sont membres. Source

Peruvian Court Rules Hudbay Minerals’ Contract with Police Influenced Criminalization of International Researchers
MiningWatch 21/10/2019 -  A Peruvian court has ruled that police and the Ministry of the Interior acted with bias as a result of a security contract between Canadian mining company Hudbay Minerals and national police when they illegally detained former Latin America Program Coordinator for MiningWatch Canada, Jen Moore (now an Associate Fellow with the Mining and Trade project at the Institute for Policy Studies), and U.S. investigative journalist John Dougherty in late April 2017. The two were screening a film about the legacy of colonial violence, environmental contamination, broken promises and police repression of protests at Hudbay’s operations in Canada, the U.S., Guatemala and Peru. Two days after their detention, the immigration authority prohibited their return to the country for an indefinite period of time. HudBay Minerals argued at the time that it had nothing to do with the criminalization of the two, although it admitted to contracting police for security services.

In response to a habeas corpus motion filed with support from the Institute for Legal Defence (IDL), Human Rights Without Borders - Cusco (DHSF), the Association for Life and Human Dignity (APORVIDHA), Fedepaz, and Cooperacción on behalf of Jen Moore in May 2017, a Lima court notified the lawyers of its ruling in her favour earlier this month . In addition to recognizing that the police and Ministry of the Interior were partial to HudBay Minerals’ interests, the ruling finds that sharing information about the negative impacts of mining does not threaten public order nor does it violate migratory law, which were among the accusations made by police. On the contrary, the ruling finds that Moore was acting within her rights, and that this process of criminalization constitutes a violation of individual rights to freedom of expression and collective rights to access information. It is important to note that this ruling is not final and is subject to appeal.

While contracts between Peruvian security forces and mining companies are legal, national and international organizations have vociferously opposed these arrangements given their detrimental impacts on the impartiality and independence of the police force, which is necessary to its role in ensuring justice, not facilitating criminalization, violating people’s rights, and repressing Indigenous peoples and other mining-affected communities around the country. EarthRights International, the Peruvian Institute for Legal Defence and the National Coordinating Committee for Human Rights in Peru released a recent study in which they found that mining companies and other extractive firms have signed at least 138 contracts with police in Peru from 1995 to 2018. There are numerous examples where these privatized police arrangements occur with grave impacts, including where police response to community protests has led to criminalization or where repression has led to injury and death . Read more - Lire plus

Inter-American Commission Calls to Protect Environmental Defenders
CHRE 03/10/2019 - Commissioners and Special Rapporteurs from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), along with a room full of engaged public supporters, heard testimonies last Friday from environmental activists across the hemisphere who have been criminalized for their efforts to protect the planet. The speakers called strongly on the IACHR, the hemisphere’s regional human rights body, to defend the defenders.In a press release following the completing of the 173rd sessions of special hearings the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights noted: 

The IACHR warns of the large numbers of murders of human rights defenders and social leaders in the region, and of the attacks, threats, harassment, intimidation, stigmatization and smear campaigns, and the intense criminalization processes that these individuals continue to face in the region. The Americas remains the world’s most dangerous region for efforts to defend human rights. The Commission is particularly concerned about reports of an arbitrary use of criminal law against human rights defenders—especially environmental rights defenders—as a tool to hinder or prevent cases concerning the defense of human rights in the region. In the context of recent hearings, the IACHR stressed its position and noted it would increase its efforts to address this problem .”
Dinah Shelton, former Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples and former President of the IACHR, opened the hearing. She emphasized that the hearing was “extremely important especially in light of the unprecedented climate change that the world is facing today.”

Shelton set the stage for the discussion, describing the characteristics and significance of the growing trend of the criminalization of environmental defenders: “Environmental defenders are defending a whole set of human rights and for that work they are being criminalized, they are being prosecuted. They are being subjected to false charges and they are being attacked in multiple ways. More than 140 countries today have a right to a safe and healthy environment. These activists are actually defending that human right. States are misusing criminal law to prosecute them. The main thing we are focusing on is the State prosecution of environmental defenders.” Shelton also highlighted the harmful consequences of criminalization, stating, “This generates not only a tax on individuals and their organizations, but it also has a chilling effect that limits the ability of all human rights defenders. Polluters gain leverage over environmental defenders and hamper environmental enforcement.” Read more - Lire plus

The FBI Has a Long History of Treating Political Dissent as Terrorism
The Intercept 22/10/2019 - While terrorism in the U.S. is relatively rare, over the last decade  most politically motivated violence has come at the hands of far-right extremists. Despite that reality, the FBI has devoted disproportionate resources to the surveillance of nonviolent civil society groups and protest movements, particularly on the left, using its mandate to protect national security to target scores of individuals posing no threat but opposing government policies and practices.

Since 2010, the FBI has surveilled black activists and Muslim Americans, Palestinian solidarity and peace activists, Abolish ICE protesters, Occupy Wall Street, environmentalists, Cuba and Iran normalization proponents, and protesters at the Republican National Convention. And that is just the surveillance we know of — as the civil liberties group Defending Rights & Dissent documents in a report published today. The report is a detailed catalog of known FBI First Amendment abuses and political surveillance since 2010, when the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General published the last official review of Bush-era abuses. The incidents the report references, many of which were previously covered by The Intercept, were largely exposed through public records requests by journalists, activists, and civil rights advocates. The FBI relentlessly fought those disclosures, and the documents we have were often so heavily redacted they only revealed the existence of initiatives like a “ Race Paper ” or an “ Iron Fist ” operation, both targeting racial justice activists, while giving away little detail about their content.

But the targeting of political dissent is nothing new for the FBI. In fact, one of the bureau’s first campaigns, which began a hundred years ago next month, was an abusive crackdown of politically active immigrants it viewed as disloyal potential terrorists. Read more - Lire plus

Rejecting Challenge to No Fly List, Federal Appeals Court Leaves Men Charged With No Crime 'In an Indefinite Kafkaesque Nightmare'
Common Dreams 21/10/2019 - A ruling by a federal court Monday drew the ire of the ACLU after siding with the U.S. government and rejecting a challenge brought by four U.S. citizens over their inclusion on the No Fly List, thus leaving the men, according to the civil liberties group, "in an indefinite Kafkaesque nightmare." Inclusion on the secret database—which represents part of the government's terrorism watchlisting system—means a person is blacklisted as a suspected terrorist and banned from flying into, within, and from the United States.

While the government in 2015 put in place a court-order revised redress system, the ACLU says that system falls short because it deprives people of a fair process to dispute their placement. The group therefore continued its legal challenge . The lower court that found the new system satisfied constitutional requirements, said Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU's National Security Project, erred. "The court largely rested its incorrect conclusion on a novel ground—that 'undue risk to national security' justified the government's secrecy and deficient process. But no other court has ever permitted blanket assertions of national security risk, untethered to specific justifications that courts then adjudicate, to legitimize a process so flawed," Shamsi wrote earlier this month. [...]

The ruling, Shamsi said Monday, "lets the government hide behind overblown secrecy claims to deny our clients' constitutional right to due process." "Our clients have been unable to fly to visit family, pursue job opportunities, or fulfill religious obligations for over nine years based on vague criteria, secret evidence, and unreliable government predictions. These citizens have never been charged with a crime and asked for fair notice and a fair process to clear their names and regain rights most Americans take for granted." "Instead," she continued, "the court has left them trapped in an indefinite Kafkaesque nightmare." Read more - Lire plus

A Million People Are Jailed at China's Gulags. I Managed to Escape. Here's What Really Goes on Inside
Haaretz 17/10/2019 - Twenty prisoners live in one small room. They are handcuffed, their heads shaved, every move is monitored by ceiling cameras. A bucket in the corner of the room is their toilet. The daily routine begins at 6 A.M. They are learning Chinese, memorizing propaganda songs and confessing to invented sins. They range in age from teenagers to elderly. Their meals are meager: cloudy soup and a slice of bread. Torture – metal nails, fingernails pulled out, electric shocks – takes place in the “black room.” Punishment is a constant. The prisoners are forced to take pills and get injections. It’s for disease prevention, the staff tell them, but in reality they are the human subjects of medical experiments. Many of the inmates suffer from cognitive decline. Some of the men become sterile. Women are routinely raped.

Such is life in China’s reeducation camps , as reported in rare testimony provided by Sayragul Sauytbay (pronounced: Say-ra-gul Saut-bay, as in “bye”), a teacher who escaped from China and was granted asylum in Sweden. Few prisoners have succeeded in getting out of the camps and telling their story. Sauytbay’s testimony is even more extraordinary, because during her incarceration she was compelled to be a teacher in the camp. China wants to market its camps to the world as places of educational programs and vocational retraining, but Sauytbay is one of the few people who can offer credible, firsthand testimony about what really goes on in the camps.

I met with Sauytbay three times, once in a meeting arranged by a Swedish Uyghur association and twice, after she agreed to tell her story to Haaretz, in personal interviews that took place in Stockholm and lasted several hours, all together. Sauytbay spoke only Kazakh, and so we communicated via a translator, but it was apparent that she spoke in a credible way. During most of the time we spoke, she was composed, but at the height of her recounting of the horror, tears welled up in her eyes. Much of what she said corroborated previous testimony by prisoners who had fled to the West. Sweden granted her asylum, because in the wake of her testimony, extradition to China would have placed her in mortal danger.

She is 43, a Muslim of Kazakh descent, who grew up in Mongolküre county, near the China-Kazakh border. Like hundreds of thousands of others, most of them Uyghurs, a minority ethnic Turkic group, she too fell victim to China’s suppression of every sign of an isolationist thrust in the northwest province of Xinjiang. A large number of camps have been established in that region over the past two years, as part of the regime’s struggle against what it terms the “Three Evils”: terrorism, separatism and extremism. According to Western estimates, between one and two million of the province’s residents have been incarcerated in camps during Beijing’s campaign of oppression.

As a young woman, Sauytbay completed medical studies and worked in a hospital. Subsequently she turned to education and was employed in the service of the state, in charge of five preschools. Even though she was in a settled situation, she and her husband had planned for years to leave China with their two children and move to neighboring Kazakhstan. But the plan encountered delays, and in 2014 the authorities began collecting the passports of civil servants, Sauytbay’s among them. Two years later, just before passports from the entire population were confiscated, her husband was able to leave the country with the children. Sauytbay hoped to join them in Kazakhstan as soon as she received an exit visa, but it never arrived.

“At the end of 2016, the police began arresting people at night , secretly,” Sauytbay related. “It was a socially and politically uncertain period. Cameras appeared in every public space; the security forces stepped up their presence. At one stage, DNA samples were taken from all members of minorities in the region and our telephone SIM cards were taken from us. One day, we were invited to a meeting of senior civil servants. There were perhaps 180 people there, employees in hospitals and schools. Police officers, reading from a document, announced that reeducation centers for the population were going to open soon, in order to stabilize the situation in the region.” Read more - Lire plus

ICE officer who drove truck into Jewish protesters will not be charged with a crime
JTA 23/10/2019 - A grand jury declined to indict a former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer who drove his truck into a row of Jewish protesters at an ICE detention center.Capt. Thomas Woodworth resigned his position days after the August incident at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, where protesters were blocking an entrance. The demonstrators were part of Never Again Action , a new Jewish group protesting ICE and U.S. immigration policy by getting arrested at ICE detention facilities. The grand jury voted not to indict other ICE officers on the scene. The investigation included interviews with more than 70 witnesses, according to the Boston Globe .

“The grand jury worked really hard to sort through the evidence and testimony that was presented to them,” Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha said Wednesday, according to the Globe. Regarding Never Again Action, he said, “I recognize there is disappointment here, I understand how they feel, and it is not lost on me the pain that they’re in.” Never Again Action condemned the decision and called on the Wyatt facility to be closed. “We are greatly disappointed that Mr. Woodworth will not be held accountable for his irresponsible, dangerous, and violent actions against peaceful protesters on August 14, nor will the officers who recklessly deployed pepper spray into the crowd that night,” the group’s Rhode Island chapter said in a statement Wednesday. “Mr. Woodworth should be in jail but, more importantly, the Wyatt should be shut down, the state should ban all collaboration with ICE, and ICE detainees at the Wyatt should be freed.” Source
An American Citizen Was Detained While Trying to Pay a Customs Fee on a Gift for His Daughter
The Intercept 23/10/2019 - It was July of last year, and the man’s daughter was to be married soon. A box of celebratory gifts — clothing and perfume from family in the Middle East — arrived at Buffalo Niagara International Airport customs. The man had picked up similar shipments a handful of times before, enough to know the routine: The customs office calls to let him know his items have arrived, inspects the goods, and tells him to pay an import duty at an office just 13 miles away at the Peace Bridge, which connects the U.S. to Canada.

This time, however, when he arrived at the bridge office as instructed, carrying a handwritten note from the original customs office, the man, a U.S. citizen, was detained and searched by Customs and Border Protection, he said. His phones were seized and his car rifled through. His father and cousin, who had been waiting in the vehicle, were themselves detained, ordered into the office to answer questions about their national backgrounds. The incident, as described by the man and his attorneys, illustrates just how ready officials are to conduct invasive searches at the border, where, in the name of national security, certain due process protections normally afforded Americans under the Fourth Amendment are not observed. It also calls into question whether the man, who is Muslim, was singled out because of his faith. The man, who asked not to be named because he fears retaliation and harrassment, was not flying or otherwise crossing the border that day and did not expect to be detained while merely trying to clear a package of gifts. Read more - Lire plus
‘What Is Going to Happen to Us?’ Inside ISIS Prison, Children Ask Their Fate
The New York Times 23/10/2019 - The prisoners cover the floor like a carpet of human despair. Many are missing eyes or limbs, some are bone-thin from sickness, and most wear orange jumpsuits similar to what the Islamic State, the terrorist group they once belonged to, dressed its own captives in before it killed them. Upstairs, jammed into two cells with little sunlight, are more than 150 children — ages roughly 9 to 14 — from a range of countries. Their parents brought them to Syria and ended up dead or detained. The children have been here for months and have no idea where their relatives are or what the future holds. “I have a question,” said a boy from Suriname inside his cell. “What is going to happen to us? Are the kids going to come out?”

Rare visits to two prisons for former residents of Islamic State-held territory in northeastern Syria by The New York Times this week laid bare the enormity of a growing legal and humanitarian crisis that the world has largely chosen to ignore. As the Islamic State's self-declared caliphate collapsed in Syria, tens of thousands of men, women and children who had lived in it  ended up in squalid camps  and crowded prisons run by the Kurdish-led militia that had partnered with the United States to defeat the jihadists. But now that  a military incursion by Turkey  against Kurdish forces has set off a new wave of violence and weakened their control over the area, uncertainty has grown over the fate of the huge population of people who survived the toppling of the Islamic State and have been warehoused since then in prisons and detention camps.

Most of their home countries  have refused to take them back , fearing that they harbor extremist thoughts or could carry out attacks. So their governments have instead chosen to leave them in the custody of a Kurdish-led force that lacks the resources to house, feed and protect them, much less to investigate the adults and provide the children with education and rehabilitation. Little about the minors’ conditions in the Kurdish-run prison appeared to meet international standards that, even for suspected criminals, prioritize children's well-being, consider detention a last resort and require specialized physical and emotional care. One crowded cell held 86 minors — from Syria, Iraq, Mauritius, Russia and elsewhere. Another held 67 adolescents and a boy who said he was 9 and from Russia. Read more - Lire plus
Let jihadists return home, French anti-terror magistrate urges
AFP 20/10/2019 - The refusal of the French government to take back Islamic State fighters from Syria could fuel a new jihadist recruitment drive in France, threatening public safety, a leading anti-terrorism investigator has told AFP.
David De Pas, coordinator of France's 12 anti-terrorism examining magistrates, said that it would be "better to know that these people are in the care of the judiciary" in France "than let them roam free".

Turkey's offensive against Kurdish militia in northeast Syria has sparked fears that some of the 12,000 jihadists, including thousands of foreigners, being held in Syrian Kurdish prisons could escape. Officials in Paris say 60 to 70 French fighters are among those held, with around 200 adults, including jihadists' wives, being held in total, along with some 300 children. France has refused to allow the adults return home, saying they must face local justice. So far Paris has only taken back a handful of children, mostly orphans. This week, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian travelled to Iraq to try convince Baghdad to take in and try French jihadists being held in northern Syria. Read more - Lire plus
The Guantanamo Bay prisoner whose fate was sealed by a Trump tweet
Independent 21/10/2019 - Abdul Latif Nasir had been told he was free to go home . It was not as though he had much to pack; after 14 years as a detainee at the ill-famed Guantanamo Bay jail, he had few possessions other than his reading glasses and a 2,000 word English-Arabic dictionary he himself had created. In Morocco, his family prepared for him to start a new life. A brother in Casablanca, who owned a pool-cleaning and water purification company, lined up a job. Someone arranged a place for him to live. His family even found him a bride. But it was not to be. Having been cleared for release by six governmental agencies – and having never been charged with a crime, let alone tried and convicted – Latif, as he is known, was told he had to stay at Guantanamo, the jail established on a US military on the southeast tip of Cuba after 9/11. There was to be no homecoming celebration, no job cleaning the swimming pools of upper-class Casablancans. No wedding ceremony. No chance for Latif to pursue his dream of becoming a mathematics teacher.

“To prevent someone from his freedom after he’s been cleared is a very painful thing,” Latif told one of his lawyers, in a comment recently shared with The Independent, having been declassified by the US authorities. “No one can understand this kind of disappointment – to be cleared by six high American agencies and after that someone comes and says ‘no you have to stay here.’ I have no words to describe it.” The Periodic Review Board (PRB), set up in Barack Obama’s era to speed up the transfer and release of prisoners held in Guantanamo, decided in 2016 that Latif’s detention was no longer necessary. Yet two things combined to shift Latif’s fate. One was a bureaucratic delay between him being cleared for release by the US, and the formal agreement to accept him by the government in Rabat, as Obama’s second term neared its end. The second was a tweet, posted on 3 January by Donald Trump , who two months earlier had been elected to take Obama’s place in the White House. “There should be no further releases from Gitmo,” Trump wrote, two weeks before he would start his term. “These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back on to the battlefield.”

The story of Latif, detainee #244, and four other prisoners cleared for release – Sufyian Barhoumi, #694, an Algerian, Tawfiq Al-Bihani, #893, who is from Yemen, Muieen Adeen Al-Sattar, #309, who has Rohingya ancestry, and detainee #38 Ridah Bin Saleh Al-Yazidi, who is Tunisian – is one of many forgotten in America’s so-called war on terror, hastily embarked upon by George W Bush in the aftermath of the al-Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington. It was a decision that would take the nation on a journey to many dark places: to torture and waterboarding, to rendition flights and secret “black sites” in friendly foreign countries, all considered to be both out of the public eye and separated from the normal judicial system and congressional oversight. No place better came to symbolise that clandestine world than Guantanamo, preparations for which were being hatched even as the rubble and twisted steel of the twin towers was being removed. At its height, the prison housed 780 prisoners, the vast majority of them swept from Afghan battlefields or towns, and sold to the CIA by rival warlords, often with the Pakistani intelligence services acting as a well-rewarded intermediary. 

Today, there are just 40 left, held under the Authorisation for the Use of Military Force Act passed by Congress 2001, in the wake of 9/11, and each man annually costing $13m to detain. Many Americans likely assume it was long ago shuttered, as Obama vowed to do as early as 2007. And while the US military is finally moving ahead to prosecute seven men accused of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks, among them Ramzi bin al-Shib and Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the five men cleared for release, along with two-dozen inmates not yet processed, live in a state of suspended animation. Washington expresses no plan to charge them, yet it will not let them go. “This has been one of the most catastrophic episodes in the history of criminal law,” says Clive Stafford Smith, the founder of legal rights group Reprieve, which has represented many Guantanamo prisoners, and who visited Latif recently. “Abdul Latif’s situation is worse than anyone’s. It’s worse than a prisoner on death row, because at least the death row prisoner can appeal.” He adds: “Abdul Latif is in the worst position. He was told he was free, and now he has been told he has to stay there forever.” Read more - Lire more
Turkey accused of using threats and deception to deport Syrian refugees
The Guardian 25/10/2019 - Hundreds of Syrian refugees in Turkey have been compelled to return to their war-torn home country, some in handcuffs, after receiving threats of violence or being tricked into signing “voluntary return” agreements.
These are the claims contained in a hard-hitting report by Amnesty International , released on Friday, which claims to have documented at least 20 cases of forced illegal deportations by Turkish authorities. Turkey is host to an estimated 3.6 million Syrians who have fled war in the neighbouring country, a situation that has increasingly become a domestic political headache for the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Erdoğan warned, before launching Turkey’s military incursion against Kurdish forces in northern Syria formerly allied with the US in the fight against Islamic State, that he planned to resettle 2 million people in a “safe zone” along the border. The Amnesty report comes hard on the heels of the controversial decision by Donald Trump to lift sanctions imposed against Turkey after the country launched its campaign. On Sunday, Erdoğan warned that Turkish forces would crush Kurdish militia fighters if they did not withdraw from the “safe zone” under a fragile truce agreement that has been marked by continuing clashes. The claims about deportations that took place ahead of the Turkish military’s incursion have raised serious concerns over how Syrians might be persuaded to return. This is despite the €6bn (£5.2bn)deal signed with the EU in 2016, in which Europe agreed to help Turkey with the costs of hosting the refugees.

While it is illegal to forcibly deport people to Syria, as it exposes them to a real risk of serious human rights violations, Turkey claims that all those who return to Syria do so voluntarily. Turkish officials say 315,000 people have left for Syria on a voluntary basis .
However, according to the report, which interviewed Syrian deportees between July and September, Turkish authorities took handcuffed refugees back to Syria on buses before creating the “safe zones”. Some of the people to whom researchers spoke said they were beaten or threatened with violence to force them to sign “voluntary return” documents. Others were told they were signing a registration document, a confirmation of having received a blanket from a detention centre, or a form that expressed their desire to remain in Turkey. While the report admits there are no official statistics on such deportations, it suggests, based on dozens of interviews, that the number of illegal deportations may amount to hundreds, and that many people were coerced or misled when signing “voluntary return” documents.

The Amnesty report confirms already mounting evidence of a crackdown on Syrian refugees inside Turkey since the summer. Many refugees describe being stopped by police officers in train stations and other public places and asked to show a Turkish ID card, known as the “kimlik”. Among the cases highlighted in the report is that of Qasim (not his real name), a 39-year-old father from Aleppo. He said he was detained in a police station in the Turkish city of Konya for six days, where officers reportedly told him: “You have a choice. One or two months, or a year, in prison – or you go to Syria.” In a second case, John, a Syrian Christian, told a similar story, alleging that Turkish migration officials told him: “If you ask for a lawyer, we will keep you six or seven months, and we will hurt you.” Read more - Lire plus

UN expert calls for ban on Israeli products from settlements
AP 23/10/2019 - The U.N. independent expert on human rights in the Palestinian territories called Wednesday for an international ban on all products made in Israeli settlements as a step to potentially end Israel’s 52-year “illegal occupation.” Michael Lynk told the General Assembly’s human rights committee that the international community should also issue “a clarion call to the United Nations” to complete and release a database “on businesses engaged in activities related to the illegal settlements.”

Israel is deeply opposed to the Palestinian-led international boycott movement, which it views as an attack on its very existence. Supporters of the boycott say it is a non-violent way of protesting Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Lynk said the international community has a responsibility and a legal obligation to compel Israel to completely end its occupation and remove barriers to self-determination for the Palestinians. He pointed to the severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which he called “a human-made catastrophe” and “an injustice that should be near the top of the world’s agenda to end.” He said the economic situation there “continues to move from dire to acute to unimaginable,” with over half of Gaza’s population “food insecure,” the unemployment rate over 50%, and 70% of Gazans younger than 30 without work. 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!

NEW Send a letter opposing cameras in the ByWard Market
Send a letter in support of CAMS Ottawa's response to Mayor Watson. While we share concerns about ongoing violence in the Market, installing surveillance cameras is not an appropriate solution. The very premise that CCTV can deter violent crime is highly doubtful. Video surveillance also raise significant concerns regarding the treatment of marginalized members of our community. We urge you to take the above problems and the following evidence into consideration and reconsider implementing such an ineffective, costly, and intrusive system.
Your phone is not safe at the border
Canada’s border agents can search your phone and laptop at borders and airports, including looking through your private photos, personal messages, and call history.

These ‘digital strip searches’ are allowed because our laws are incredibly out of date. But politicians are refusing to update them for our digital age.

Fight back with us: demand updated laws , learn more about your rights, and make a complaint if your privacy has been violated at the border.
Stop CSIS from targeting everyday citizens & community groups
A recent report revealed that CSIS, Canada’s spy agency, collected over 8,000 pages of documents, spying on citizens like you, people who exercise their democratic rights by attending a community meeting at a local church or taking peaceful action for what they believe in. And CSIS shared this info with Big Oil corporations.

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

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

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