International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
31 janvier 2020
Watch the video of ICLMG's Event: "When Poverty Mattered" Ottawa Book Launch & Talk
On January 30th, author Paul Weinberg was in conversation with Tim McSorley, National Coordinator of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, to discuss the history of national security surveillance of radical, progressive organizations and lessons that still resonate today. It was a timely conversation, given recent laws allowing CSIS to engage in new, secret activities, as well as ongoing revelations of government surveillance and criminalization of activists. Watch the talk - Visionnez la vidéo
Solidarity with the survivors and the families of the Quebec Mosque shooting's victims
ICLMG 29/01/2020 - January 29 2020 marked the 3rd anniversary of the Quebec City Mosque shooting. Six Muslim men were killed and 19 others wounded because they are Muslim.

The NCCM & Islamic Relief Canada, two of our members, along with the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec, have called on people across Canada to wear the Green Square in solidarity with the six widows, the 17 children left fatherless, Aymen Derbali who is left paralyzed for life, and every single person suffering the consequences of this hateful and despicable act of violence. It is also a call to action.

Today, we renew our pledge to fight against bigotry, hatred and violence, and to participate in building a more loving, caring, free and just society. We will never forget and will continue to take action, individually and as a coalition, to make sure this never happens again . Facebook post - Statut Facebook

Trois ans après la tuerie de la Grande Mosquée: la loi 21 pointée du doigt
La Presse Canadienne 29/01/2020 - Trois ans jour pour jour après l’attentat à la grande mosquée de Québec qui a fait six morts et plusieurs blessés, la communauté musulmane dit vivre encore des moments «extrêmement pénibles» qui sont causés par le gouvernement Legault.

Le président du Centre culturel islamique de Québec (CCIQ), Boufeldja Benabdallah, y est allé d’une sortie en règle contre la loi 21 à la veille de la troisième commémoration de la tuerie, où le premier ministre François Legault est censé prendre la parole. La loi 21 a été adoptée sous bâillon par le gouvernement de la Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) le 16 juin dernier. Elle interdit le port de signes religieux aux employés de l’État en position d’autorité, y compris les enseignants.

En entrevue à La Presse canadienne, M. Benabdallah a vertement dénoncé cette loi, qui «est venue mettre du trouble» dans la vie des familles musulmanes. Il croit que la loi dont M. Legault est si fier place «une partie de la société au banc des accusés». «Encore une fois, on se sent minoritaires et visés, surtout la femme musulmane qui se trouve pénalisée», a déclaré M. Benabdallah, en ajoutant y voir un «recul» important. «Ce n’est pas bon pour l’équilibre de la société.»

«Le gouvernement aurait dû faire preuve de grande sagesse. Ce n’est pas juste une question de répondre à la majorité, à une promesse, mais faire en sorte que toutes les franges de la société se retrouvent», a-t-il renchéri. S’il dit trouver les gens «aimables» pour la plupart («Il y a des sourires, il y a des rencontres»), il s’inquiète des contrecoups de la loi 21. «Il y a du recul et ça pousse aussi des gens à nous dire: “Bien, le gouvernement a raison” et puis ça fait un peu d’éloignement.»

En clair, une femme musulmane qui veut devenir enseignante au Québec doit désormais renoncer à porter le hidjab. L’an dernier, M. Benabdallah avait écrit au premier ministre pour lui dire qu’il se sentait «trahi» par ses propos sur l’islamophobie. M. Legault avait soutenu qu’il n’y avait pas d’islamophobie au Québec. Dans sa lettre, M. Benabdallah avait énuméré les nombreux gestes qu’il considère islamophobes et dont a été victime sa communauté ces dernières années, comme les dépliants haineux distribués aux abords de la mosquée ou la tête de porc déposée à l’entrée de celle-ci. Read more - Lire plus

Groups demand Ottawa take action over CSIS discrimination claims
CBC 30/01/2020 - The National Council of Canadian Muslims and two civil liberty organizations say they are "deeply troubled" by recent allegations of religious and racial discrimination within CSIS, and are demanding the federal government take "urgent, proactive and genuine" action to protect the rights of visible minority spies in the workplace. "Public confidence in the agency demands public accountability," says a letter that was hand-delivered to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair in Ottawa earlier this week. "A categorical culture shift inside CSIS must be demonstrated before the public's trust can be regained." The letter is in response to CBC News stories last week about a lawsuit from a longtime analyst in Canada's intelligence service who alleges his Muslim faith marked him as a target for harassment, emotional abuse and even physical assaults. [...]

The letter to the public safety minister, also signed by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, references past lawsuits by minority CSIS employees that were eventually settled out of court. It also questions the spy agency's repeated claims that it has zero tolerance for discrimination in its workplace. "The fact that Muslim and other minority CSIS employees have resorted to suing the agency in order to come forward and be heard raises many questions about the agency's organizational culture, and its commitment to resolving its issue beyond making vague public statements," the letter reads. It also expresses concern that the agency's culture of "total secrecy" might be inhibiting other affected employees from bringing misconduct complaints forward, or enabling managers to punish those who dare to voice objections about mistreatment. As such, the three groups are asking Ottawa to extend federal whistleblower protections to CSIS employees, or give intelligence oversight bodies the explicit power to look into workplace complaints. [...]

Tim McSorley, the national co-ordinator of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group — a coalition of 46 NGOs, unions, professional associations, faith groups and environmental organizations — said the allegations of discrimination within CSIS raise questions about the agency's external mindset, too. "It really resonates around those issues of how CSIS approaches the Muslim community at large, if this is what happens to people within their own workplace," McSorley said. "If this is how they treat a colleague and how they react to somebody's background and religion in the workplace, particularly someone of the Muslim faith, then what does that signal to the communities that they are meant to be protecting?" McSorley said his group is hopeful that the Liberal government will take meaningful action to make the intelligence service more accountable to both Parliament and the public. "[The government] has talked a lot about bringing more transparency," he said. "I think this provides another real opportunity to them to make good on that." Read more - Lire plus

The RCMP is a force of colonial bigotry
Martlet 23/01/2020 - Stolen Lives: The Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the Indian Residential Schools, a textbook which contains first-person accounts of colonization, contains a passage by the chiefs of three nations in B.C. The account, from 1910, recollects as follows: “They treat us as subjects without any agreement to that effect, and force their laws on us without our consent … They say they have authority over us … They have broken down our old laws and customs … They laugh at our chiefs and brush them aside.”

If this sounds familiar, it’s because these very same disregard for Indigenous law and lives is being demonstrated 110 years later. In December 2019, The Guardian released content from RCMP meeting notes detailing how to deal with Indigenous land protectors defending the land from attempts to construct the Coastal GasLink pipeline. The notes state that “lethal overwatch” could be required. Despite the chiefs [...] giving no permission for pipelines to be laid — hereditary chiefs make the law in [Wet'suwet'en] communities — the RCMP were instructed to “use as much violence toward the gate as [they wanted]” and make arrests in order to “sterilize [the] site.” However, according to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, (UNDRIP) Indigenous people are not to be forcibly removed from their own land.

The most disturbing thing about the language being used by the RCMP is that it shows their unguarded opinion. Indigenous people are not considered equal to those pushing into their lands. Indigenous bodies are, according to these notes, considered germs which must be sterilized. The irony is that Coastal GasLink, and by relation the RCMP, are the forces infecting Indigenous lands. Laying pipelines destroys important natural resources, such as the Morice river, upon which many municipalities rely. Additionally, building pipelines could destroy burial sites and historical artifacts, as was likely the case when Coastal GasLink bulldozed the Kweese War trail on Unist’ot’en territory without first obtaining an archaeological assessment. Still, the RCMP is prepared to “sterilize” the land of Indigenous bodies and destroy any evidence they were there. Read more - Lire plus

Oversight at the border: Will the government’s new oversight bill ensure truly independent review of complaints filed against CBSA?
CBA National 28/01/2020 - Since its creation in 2003, the Canada Border Services Agency remains the sole enforcement organization with police-like powers in the country that has no independent civilian oversight. Judges, lawyers and parliamentarians cannot have access to immigration detention facilities, as they do to correctional facilities. The only complaint mechanism available is internal to CBSA’s structure. Only agency supervisors can investigate them. On Monday, the federal government tabled a bill looking to change that. In the last Parliament, two different bills were debated that sought to create an oversight body for CBSA. The first was a Senate bill that would have created an inspector general position with independent oversight over the agency. The office would also have the power to look into complaints, including those regarding immigration detention. The second bill, introduced by the government, would have placed CBSA under the purview of the RCMP’s Public Complaints and Review Commission. This is the bill that has been resurrected for debate.

While the Senate bill passed the chamber unanimously, it was not sponsored in the House of Commons and died on the Order Paper. The government bill passed the Commons at the end of June, but did not see debate in the Senate before Parliament was dissolved for the election. The need for independent oversight is evident, according to Cyndee Todgham Cherniak, the founding lawyer of LexSage, a boutique international trade law firm in Toronto. Every year, Todgham Cherniak handles over a hundred cases of travellers who have had their Nexus cards revoked. “In a relevant percentage of those files, a CBSA officer has acted inappropriately,” she says. “To some degree, it is at an extreme point, so when I write those letters to the recourse directorate and the complaint process is started, they spend more time justifying the behaviour of the officer to whoever is complaining than actually investigating the behaviour.” Todgham Cherniak says there is a definite need for an investigating officer who is separate from the officers in question. Todgham Cherniak relates stories of clients who have had egregious run-ins with agents. One ended up giving a false confession regarding a purchase in the United States while under threat that his fiancée would be strip-searched. Another had a miscarriage and was denied use of the facilities while agents confiscated her engagement ring. “Things happen at the border, and we need oversight for when things as extreme as this happen,” says Todgham Cherniak. “Given how someone’s reputation can be damaged by enforcement action on their record and getting their Nexus card taken away, you need to have some oversight.”

Retired senator Wilfred Moore, Q.C., a non-practising member of the Nova Scotia Bar, was spurred to bring forward his bill after learning of the suicide of Lucia Vega Jimenez in immigration detention in December 2013, after CBSA threatened to deport her to Mexico. “Our bill provided for an inspector general, and this was modelled after the system in the United Kingdom – a proven system that has been in place for years,” says Moore. “The Liberal government didn’t put it in. Instead, they referred it to the RCMP’s civil complaint body, and at the time they came before our committee, it had a backlog then of over 2000 cases of their own.” Moore’s bill would also provide the inspector general with the power of subpoena to properly investigate those complaints. [...]

Latoya Farrell, a staff counsel at the BC Civil Liberties Association, says the government bill is not ensuring meaningful independent oversight because it would create a unit within CBSA to support the Public Complaints and Review Commission.“What happens is this unit helps support the commission by going in and doing the investigation,” says Farrell. “It looks like it stays an investigative model, but the commission would review what the agency has done and review the investigation that has occurred. While it can initiate its own investigations, basically CBSA is still investigating itself.” Farrell adds that the appointment process for the commission does not specify that commission members can’t have RCMP or CBSA experience. Also, the legislation isn’t clear on whether or not they can enter immigration detention facilities. “This is not exactly independent oversight,” says Farrell. Farrell says there is merit to the inspector general model contemplated in the Senate bill. But there is ambiguity in the language around the ability to initiate investigations, and there is no provision for third parties or public interest groups to file complaints. Read more - Lire plus
Counter-terrorism laws provide a smokescreen for civil society restrictions
Open Global Rights 15/01/2020 - In all regions of the world, spontaneous people’s movements are demanding better governance, rule of law and justice. At this very moment, concerned citizens are coming out in the streets of Lebanon, Chile, Hong Kong, and Egypt, among others. Yet, as more and more people seek to exercise their democratic rights, arbitrary detentions and crackdowns—including the use of unjustified and often lethal force against dissenters and protesters—are quickly being normalized from Russia to Rwanda.

The CIVICUS Monitor , an index of civic freedoms in 196 countries, shows that only 4% of the world’s population live in countries that adequately protect civic freedoms fully. According to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Counter Terrorism and Human Rights, 66% of all communications sent to the mandate as part of monitoring human rights abuses are related to States use of counter terrorism, or broadly defined security measures to restrict civil society. A recent report states that, this extraordinarily high figure “underscores the abuse of counter-terror measures against civil society and human rights defenders since 2005. In the last two years, the number is slightly higher, at 68 percent. The robust empirical finding measured from 2005-2018 affirms that targeting civil society is not a random or incidental aspect of counter-terrorism and practice.”

The problem has its roots at the beginning of the twenty first century. Following 9/11, as the world’s attention focused on the fight against terror, the incumbent administration in the United States was able to instrumentalize allies and the United Nations to support a “war on terror” through the promulgation of questionable laws and practices . Well-established norms like the prohibition of torture and the right to a fair trial were conveniently disregarded. A global anti-terrorism architecture designed to be opaque and thereby unaccountable was established. This architecture has arguably failed to serve its purpose of ending terrorism. What it has done, without a shadow of doubt, is handed governments and political leaders the world’s greatest excuse to silence dissent. Both authoritarian and democratic states have repurposed counter-terrorism discourse to create legal frameworks allowing them to squash dissent in the name of combating terrorism by any means necessary and without requisite accountability mechanisms. Read more - Lire plus
More than 300 human rights activists were killed in 2019, report reveals
The Guardian 14/01/2020 - More than 300 human rights defenders working to protect the environment, free speech, LGBTQ+ rights and indigenous lands in 31 countries were killed in 2019, a new report reveals. Two-thirds of the total killings took place in Latin America where impunity from prosecution is the norm. Colombia, where targeted violence against community leaders opposing environmentally destructive mega-projects has spiraled since the 2016 peace accords, was the bloodiest nation with 106 murders in 2019. The Philippines was the second deadliest country with 43 killings, followed by Honduras, Brazil and Mexico. 2019 was characterized by waves of social uprisings demanding political and economic changes across the globe from Iraq and Lebanon in the Middle East to Hong Kong and India in Asia and Chile in the Americas .

The report by Front Line Defenders (FLD) details the physical assaults, defamation campaigns, digital security threats, judicial harassment, and gender-based attacks faced by human rights defenders across the world, who were on the frontline of protests against deep seated inequalities, corruption and authoritarianism. In the cases for which the data is available, the report found:
  • 85% of those killed last year had previously been threatened either individually or as part of the community or group in which they worked.
  • 13% of those reported killed were women.
  • 40% of those killed worked on land, indigenous peoples and environmental issues.
In nearly all countries that experienced mass protests last year, human rights defenders – who mobilized marches, documented police and military abuses, and helped citizens who were injured or arrested – were specifically targeted. Read more - Lire plus
'This is mass rape': China slammed over programme that 'appoints' men to sleep with Uighur women
New Zealand Herald 21/12/2019 - Western coverage of one of China's worst human rights abuses – the mass detainment of over a million Muslim Uighurs – has increased over the past year. Satellite images revealed the Government destroying scores of traditional burial grounds belonging to Uighurs in northwest Xinjiang; drone footage revealed hundreds of blindfolded and shackled men being transferred to detention camps; and just last month, secret Chinese Government documents revealed how the regime was instructed to deal with the ethnic minority.

But lesser reported on is a disturbing policy implemented in the northwest region – a forced-living arrangement between Han Chinese men and Uighur women that's been likened to "mass rape". The Government claims it's designed to promote harmony between the different cultural groups. But activists tell a different story. In November, various Western media outlets reported that Han Chinese men had been assigned to monitor the homes of Uighur women whose husbands had been detained in prison camps.
The reports came out after an anonymous Chinese official gave an interview with Radio Free Asia, confirming the program but denying there was anything sinister about it.
As part of the "Pair Up and Become Family" programme, Han Chinese men stay with and sleep in the same beds as Uighur women.

According to the Chinese Government, the programme is designed to "promote ethnic unity". But to Rushan Abbas, a Uighur activist whose family members have been detained in the Xinjiang camps for more than a year, it's nothing more than systemised rape – part of the Government's brutal ongoing crackdown against the country's ethnic minority.
"This is mass rape," she told "The Government is offering money, housing and jobs to Han people to come and marry Uighur people. While the Chinese Government claims the program is about promoting unity, it also allows officials to keep a close eye on the Uighurs who have spent decades living under increased surveillance. Human rights organisations have slammed the program, saying there is "no evidence that families can refuse such visits" and describing it as "deeply invasive forced assimilation practices". Read more - Lire plus

Guantánamo's Indelible Legacy: E ight ways Gitmo has contaminated American institutions, laws and customs
TomDispatch 20/01/2020 - In January 2002, the Guantánamo Bay Detention Facility in Cuba opened its gates for the first 20 detainees of the war on terror. Within 100 days , 300 of them would arrive, often hooded and in those infamous orange jumpsuits , and that would just be the beginning. At its height, the population would rise to nearly 800 prisoners from 59 countries . Eighteen years later, it still holds 40 prisoners , most of whom will undoubtedly remain there without charges or trial for the rest of their lives. (That’s likely true even of the five who have been cleared for release for more than a decade.)

In 2013, journalist Carol Rosenberg astutely labeled them “ forever prisoners .” And those detainees are hardly the only enduring legacy of Guantánamo Bay. Thanks to that prison camp, we as a country have come to understand aspects of both the law and policy in new ways that might prove to be “forever changes.”Here are eight ways in which the toxic policies of that offshore facility have contaminated American institutions, as well as our laws and customs, in the years since 2002.

1. Indefinite detention: The first item on any list of Guantánamo’s offspring would have to be the category “indefinite detention.” In the context of U.S. law, until that long-ago January, the very notion was both foreign and forbidden . Detention without charge or trial was, in fact, precluded by the Fifth Amendment ’s right to due process, a reality that had been honored since the founding of the republic. Though the detainees there were eventually granted access to lawyers and the right to have their cases reviewed , for only a handful of them has that right of being charged or released been realized .

The indefinite detention that began at Guantánamo Bay has now spawned its mirror image in the camps for undocumented immigrants (and their children) along the U.S. Mexican border. Even the optics there are proving to be carbon copies of Guantánamo: the open-air wire cages , the armed guards, and the physical abuse of migrants and asylum seekers, both adults and children. At Guantánamo Bay, the government didn’t distinguish between juveniles and adults until years after the facility had opened, another example of a policy Gitmo brought into existence that was previously inconceivable in the U.S. legal system. In some ways, in fact, the situation at the border may be even worse, as the detained there are kept in unsanitary conditions without sufficient access to doctors . Read more - Lire plus

Editorial: The Tropic of Torture, from Guantanamo to Washington
DemocracyNow! 23/01/2020 - All eyes are on the U.S. Senate this week for the impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump, only the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history. But another important trial is happening at the same time, far from the eyes of the public, at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Behind the razor-wire fencing of “Camp Justice,” five of the remaining 41 Guantanamo prisoners sit through more pretrial hearings, almost 20 years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks they are charged with perpetrating.

One witness this week is Dr. James E. Mitchell, a retired Air Force psychologist who, with his partner, psychologist John “Bruce” Jessen, developed and then implemented the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program. Mitchell and Jessen actively participated in torture sessions at CIA black sites. Both have long maintained that they were only contractors, taking orders from the CIA. Despite having no prior experience with interrogation, they were paid handsomely, receiving at least $81 million in taxpayer dollars from the U.S. government for their work on the torture program. Torture is a war crime, and those who torture should be prosecuted. But Mitchell is not the one on trial this week. Indeed, he defiantly said in court this week, “I’d get up today and do it again.” Mitchell was sitting in the courtroom, not far from his torture victims.

The pretrial hearings at Guantanamo this week are an attempt by the defense attorneys for the five, all who face the death penalty, to suppress statements the defendants made to the FBI during or not long after being tortured by the CIA. Among the five prisoners is the alleged 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times — some or all of which were directly conducted by Mitchell. Waterboarding is a torture technique that uses water and a wet towel over one’s mouth and nose to bring a victim to the brink of suffocation, simulating drowning.

Mitchell and Jessen shun the word “torture,” preferring the euphemism “enhanced interrogation techniques,” or “EITs.” The American Civil Liberties Union sued Mitchell and Jessen on behalf of two CIA prisoners and the family of another CIA torture victim, Gul Rahman, who died during his brutal interrogation and torture at a CIA black site in Afghanistan. In the lawsuit, the ACLU summarized some of these “EITs”: “Torture methods devised by Mitchell and Jessen and inflicted on the three men include slamming them into walls, stuffing them inside coffin-like boxes, exposing them to extreme temperatures and ear-splitting levels of music, starving them, inflicting various kinds of water torture, depriving them of sleep for days, and chaining them in stress positions designed for pain and to keep them awake for days on end.” Read more - Lire plus

US dropped record number of bombs on Afghanistan last year
The Guardian 28/01/2020 - The US dropped more bombs on Afghanistan in 2019 than any other year since the Pentagon began keeping a tally in 2006, reflecting an apparent effort to force concessions from the Taliban at the negotiating table.

According to new figures released by US central command, US warplanes dropped 7,423 bombs and other munitions on Afghanistan, a nearly eightfold increase from 2015. The increasing intensity of the air campaign has been accompanied by an increase in civilian casualties attributed to US forces. According to UN data, the US accounted for half the 1,149 civilian deaths attributed to pro-government forces in Afghanistan over the first three-quarters of 2019. Read more - Lire plus

Canada’s go-ahead for new Saudi exports leaves questions unanswered
Open Canada 09/12/2019 - With Global Affairs Canada giving the green light to 48 permits for arms exports to Saudi Arabia, Justin Mohammed of Amnesty International Canada explains why its review was problematic and examines the questions that remain. For arms control advocates, September 17 was a day of celebration. Canada officially joined the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), an international convention that aims to better regulate the global trade in weapons.

Little did we know that on the very same day, officials at Global Affairs Canada (GAC) signed off on a memorandum addressed to then-Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland indicating that there is “no credible evidence linking Canadian exports of military equipment or other controlled items” in the commission of violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In so doing, the department paves the way for a resumption of arms exports to the Kingdom, noting that 48 permit applications have been deemed “ready for approval” and await the minister’s authorization.

The status of exports to the Kingdom had been uncertain since November 2018, when, in the wake of the brutal killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Freeland instituted a review of exports and a moratorium on new permits. GAC’s memo was recently made public and, from what can be discerned from the unredacted portions, it’s majorly flawed both in process and substance. The first question to ask is whether this memo actually constitutes the conclusion of the long-awaited review.

If it does, it’s woefully inadequate. After a year, GAC produced a whopping six-page report (the first of which is a summary). The department, which was ostensibly tasked with examining the risks posed by Canada’s exports, produced a document that instead focuses on the impact of the moratorium on Canadian economic interests, stakeholder views, Canada-Saudi bilateral relations, and the positions of “like-minded” countries. In other words, things that have nothing to do with the risk that Canadian exports could be used to commit serious international crimes. Read more - Lire plus

Trump may extend his travel ban under the guise of anti-terrorism efforts
Mic 22/01/2020 - When President Trump took office, he quickly followed up on his campaign promises to crack down on immigration. One of his most infamous moves was the implementation of a highly contested "Muslim ban," which restricted travel from certain mostly Muslim-majority countries. Now, Trump plans to extend his travel ban with the announcement expected to come on the original order's three-year anniversary.

Officially titled "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States", the initial ban included North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Iran. The fact that most of those countries are Muslim-majority — plus the president's own history of Islamophobic remarks — betrayed Trump's true focus. The ban first went into effect on Jan. 27, which means its anniversary is next Monday. According to Politico, Trump may make his announcement to extend the ban as early as then. Although the new list of countries isn't finalized, those under consideration are Belarus, Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania.

Numerous civil rights organizations and several states have filed legal challenges regarding the ban. This saw the removal of several countries named in the first iteration of the ban (Iraq, Sudan, and Chad). According to a report from The Associated Press earlier this month, one source said that the expansion could include these countries once again. “Different Muslim ban — same xenophobic administration,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) told AP. “An expanded Muslim ban will worsen our relationships with countries around the world. It won’t do anything to make our country safer. It will harm refugees, alienate our allies, and give extremists propaganda for recruitment.” Read more - Lire plus

2019 has been very busy, and we are looking at a busy year 2020! Before giving you the summary of what we've been up to in the second half of 2019, here are a few things we will do in 2020:

  • We will continue to call for justice for Dr. Hassan Diab’s case and for the reform of the Extradition Act.

  • We will monitor the implementation of the National Security Act, 2017 (formerly Bill C-59), especially around mass surveillance and immunity for CSIS employees, in order to protect our civil liberties.

  • We will continue to push for a strong and effective review mechanism for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

  • We will continue advocating for the repeal of the Canadian No Fly List, as it violates mobility rights and due process, and for putting a stop to the use of the US No Fly List by air carriers in Canada for flights that do not land in or fly over the US, as it violates both our rights and Canada’s sovereignty.

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 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.
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. TWITTER ACTION
All-in-one action page: Stop Mohamed Harkat's Deportation to Torture
Call PM Trudeau, write a letter to Public Safety Minister & your MP, and sign Sophie Harkat's petition to stop the deportation of Moe Harkat.

If sent back to Algeria, Moe faces detention, torture and death.

No one should be deported to torture. Ever.
OPP must be held accountable for violent repression of land defenders
The terrifying incident happened in April 2008 during a land occupation and road blockades by members of Tyendinaga Mohawk Nation, near Belleville, Ontario. Although the road blockades involved only a small number of community members – none of whom were armed -- the Ontario Provincial Police sent more than 200 officers, including the Tactics and Rescue Unit (TRU), tasked with responding to “the most serious threats to peace and order”. The UN Committee against Torture called on Canada to launch a thorough and impartial review to ensure accountability.
Five Eyes: Save encryption
Ministers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the U.S. have gone public with their plans for a huge attack on our personal security.

They want to force companies to crush the encryption that protects our private data and messages. But ordinary people need and use encryption every day, in everything from online banking to personal messaging in apps like WhatsApp.

Tell ministers to stop their attacks, and commit to protecting our privacy and security.
Call on Justin Trudeau to ensure justice for Abousfian Abdelrazik
In September 2003, Canadian citizen Abousfian Abdelrazik was arrested in Sudan, while he was back in the country visiting his ailing mother. Over the next three years he was imprisoned for nearly 20 months and was held under house arrest for 12 months. He was denied a lawyer, and was never charged or brought before a judge. During that time he was badly tortured in three different prisons. Not only did Canada fail to take steps to protect him, CSIS officials frequently obstructed efforts to secure his release.
Make January 29 a National Day
On Jan. 29, 2017, a lone gunman entered a mosque in Quebec City and opened fire on dozens of Muslim-Canadian worshipers. By the time the shooting had ended, six had been tragically killed, and 19 more injured. 

 W e, citizens and residents of Canada, call on the government of Canada to henceforth designate January 29th as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia and other forms of religious discrimination or a National Day of Action against Hate and Intolerance .
Les opinions exprimées ne reflètent pas nécessairement les positions de la CSILC - The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the positions of ICLMG.
to our amazing supporters!
We would like to thank all our member organizations, and our patrons who are supporting ICLMG on Patreon ! As a reward, we are listing our patrons who give $10 or more per month (and wanted to be listed) directly in the News Digest. Without you, our work wouldn't be possible!

Kathryn Dingle
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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!