International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
21 février 2020
Complaints commission told RCMP broad exclusion zones ‘impermissible’ a year ago
Ricochet 20/02/2020 - T he RCMP has yet to respond to a nearly year-old report that criticizes the use of broad exclusion zones and makes multiple recommendations for the force in light of unlawful police conduct with Indigenous land defenders.This revelation was made in a letter from the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission , an independent organization that deals with public complaints about the RCMP. Chairperson Michelaine Lahaie wrote the letter in response to a complaint about the RCMP checkpoint and exclusion zone in northwestern B.C., established as part of a police operation on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory to clear a service road for pipeline company Coastal GasLink.

The checkpoint and exclusion zone were criticized as overly broad, arbitrarily enforced, and infringing on individual liberties in the complaint submitted by the BC Civil Liberties Association, Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.“I also consider the issues raised in your correspondence to be of significant public interest,” wrote Lahaie. She then explained she was not undertaking a public interest investigation because of a similar investigation into RCMP conduct in New Brunswick during the 2013 enforcement of an injunction against a blockade by Elsipogtog First Nation members and supporters opposed to shale gas extraction. That investigation resulted in a 116-page report with 12 recommendations for the police, “particularly with regard to Indigenous-led protests,” wrote Lahaie. The CRCC sent its report to the RCMP in March 2019. The report has not been made public because the police have yet to respond.

In that report, the commission found the following:
  • the RCMP had no legal authority to require individuals to produce identification at stop checks,
  • the RCMP had no legal authority to engage in “general inquisition” of individuals at stop checks,
  • the RCMP had no legal authority to conduct routine physical searches,
  • the RCMP could justify restrictions on movement only “in specific, limited circumstances,” and
  • the RCMP can establish “buffer zones” only within “the parameters detailed by the courts” — anything “outside of these bounds is impermissible in a free and democratic society.”
Lahaie also said the commission recommended that RCMP members receive training in “Indigenous cultural matters and sensitivity to Indigenous ceremonies and sacred items.”

“We have been prevented from accessing our territory,” said Molly Wickham at a press conference today. Wickham is a spokesperson for the Gidimt’en clan who holds the traditional Wet’suwet’en name Sleydo’. “I’ve been prevented from accessing my civic residence for a period of time, criminalized as Wet’suwet’en while non-Wet’suwet’en were allowed access to our territory.” Wickham noted that although the exclusion zone has been removed, “people need to be aware the RCMP continue to target Wet’suwet’en people” and “continue to unlawfully arrest and detain people on our territory. One person yesterday was arrested and detained for getting firewood for the camp.” “The RCMP have clearly not yet vacated or officially engaged with our hereditary chiefs and governance. It’s suspicious to me that RCMP and government would claim to have met our conditions without talking to our hereditary chiefs. It seems like a media strategy.” The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have called for the withdrawal of the RCMP and Coastal GasLink personnel from their territory as a precondition for a meeting with Premier John Horgan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“The report is absolutely explosive. It’s shocking and shameful,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, at the press conference. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, a law professor at the University of British Columbia and director of the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, agreed. It is “troubling on a number of fronts,” she said. “It is essential to the national interest that police behaviour be corrected, to protect the rights of First Nations people.” “It is unacceptable that a First Nations person who makes a complaint has to wait seven or eight years for a response. It is not meaningful, it is not timely, it is not appropriate.” The police have “a long and very troubled history” with First Nations, said Turpel-Lafond, describing the period of residential schools when children were taken from their parents, who would be arrested if they protested. The RCMP was established by Canada’s first prime minister, John A. Macdonald, to control and remove Indigenous Peoples from their land. Macdonald was inspired by the Royal Irish Constabulary, a paramilitary police force used by Britain against the Irish. Read more - Lire plus

More info & ways to take action: Unistoten Camp + Gidimt’en Access Point + RAVEN Trust

Mohammed: Consular help is woefully uneven for Canadians in distress abroad
Ottawa Citizen 19/02/2020 - What do northeast Syria, novel coronavirus, and Canadian detainees in China have to do with one another? They are all examples of policy incoherence when it comes to the provision of consular support for Canadians abroad. Although Huseyin Celil has been in detention in China since 2006, his case was recently thrust into the limelight when Conservative MP Garnett Genuis questioned Canada’s ambassador to China, Dominic Barton, about actions taken on Celil’s case during a House of Commons committee meeting.

The ambassador, who first appeared to be unfamiliar with the case, responded by stating that “because [Celil] is not a Canadian citizenship holder, we are not able to get access to him on the consular service side.” This is, of course, not true. Celil is a Canadian citizen; while China does not recognize dual citizenship, all that matters from a Canadian consular perspective is that he is Canadian. The hyphen in his citizenship status is meaningless, or at least it ought to be, when it comes to receiving consular support. It ought to be equivalent to the robust efforts that the government insists it is providing to other Canadians in detentions in China, such as Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. But Ambassador Barton’s remarks cast significant doubt on that proposition.

Sticking with China, when it comes to novel coronavirus, we have seen the government arrange consular support and even the evacuation of Canadians from Wuhan in recent days. Reports indicate that not only Canadian citizens, but also a handful of permanent residents and Chinese nationals, were permitted to board the government-chartered flights. The process has not been without turbulence: some Canadians had to wait for a second flight, and questions were raised about the speed of Canada’s response in comparison to that of other countries.

Nevertheless, it appears the government was able to facilitate a managed return of Canadian citizens while putting the appropriate public safety measures in place, including a quarantine of returnees at the Canadian Forces Base in Trenton, Ontario. Not insignificantly, Canada managed to make these arrangements in the midst of frosty relations between Ottawa and Beijing, and it took only a matter of weeks to arrange. Two Canadian emergency consular teams were also deployed to Wuhan to provide consular services to Canadians who will have opted to remain.

Compare this to the situation in Syria, where about 45 Canadian citizens have been languishing in detention camps for months in the northeast part of that country, in conditions which cannot be qualified as anything short of a humanitarian emergency. None appears to have been charged with an offence, and yet they are subject to serious human rights abuses on a daily basis: Arbitrary detention, threats to physical security, and a lack of access to medicine, food, and water are just some of the challenges they face. Particularly disturbing is the situation of children who, by no choice of their own, are left to suffer due to the failure of the Canadian government to put an end to their plight. Indeed, last week the uncle of a four-year-old orphaned girl travelled to Syria himself, driven to desperation by the inability or unwillingness of Canadian officials to assist him in bringing his niece to Canada.

The government insists that it cannot help Canadians in Syria because it does not have a diplomatic presence in the country, and because it is too dangerous for consular officials to travel to the areas in which they are being held. Of course, Canada does have a consulate in nearby Erbil, and the absence of a Canadian consulate in Wuhan did not stop the government from arranging evacuation flights out of that city and the deployment of emergency consular teams. Many other countries – such as France, the Netherlands and United States – have arranged for some citizens to be evacuated, so what is actually stopping Canada from assisting Canadian citizens who are stuck in Syria? To be sure, the logistics and security concerns of the China and Syria situations are different, but experiences like the China evacuation (and others, like the Lebanon evacuation in 2006) illustrate that when Canada wants to evacuate its citizens, it finds a way.

The uneven approach in the delivery of consular services leads to the question: Are some Canadians more Canadian than others, or do we uphold the full equality of citizenship in Canada? Rhetorically, it’s clear that we do. Rising in the House of Commons to ask that Ambassador Barton be corrected with respect to Celil’s citizenship, MP Genuis said, “a Canadian is a Canadian.” Not to be out done, Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne responded by borrowing from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s quip that “a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.” As it would appear that we have achieved bipartisan consensus, it’s time to make sure that all Canadians receive the same level of consular services wherever they may go. Read more - Lire plus
Ottawa Police Service tested facial recognition software, but doesn't use it
CBC News 15/02/2020 - The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) has tested facial recognition technology but hasn't used it, according to the force's deputy chief. Deputy Chief Steve Bell confirmed Ottawa police concluded a three-month pilot with NeoFace Reveal in March 2019. The pilot was meant to "examine the efficacy of facial recognition technology as an investigative aid in criminal investigations and particularly how the technology could advance investigations and improve solvency," Bell wrote in an email to CBC on Friday. "OPS concluded a three-month pilot on the facial recognition technology and we do not currently use this technology." That confirmation comes after Toronto police confirmed they've been using a controversial facial recognition app called Clearview AI.

Clearview AI works by scraping billions of images from the internet. Using nothing more than a photo, it can then turn up a person's name and other information including their address, phone number and occupation. A New York Times investigation revealed the software uses three billion photos from social media sites including Facebook and Instagram. Those photos were then compiled to create a database used by more than 600 law enforcement agencies in the United States, Canada and other countries. Ann Cavoukian, a former Ontario privacy commissioner, said she was dismayed when she learned Toronto police used the technology. "Clearview AI has scraped 3.9 billion facial images off of public social media.… No consent, no notice, nothing," Cavoukian said.

She said one of the biggest dangers with facial recognition tools is accuracy, as they can wrongly identify an innocent citizen as a suspect or person of interest. Ontario Provincial Police also said they used facial recognition technology, but wouldn't specify which tools they used. The RCMP also declined to say which tools they've used. According to Bell, the three-month pilot was a test of NeoFace Reveal, and only a test. "There are no established timelines for the acquisition and implementation of facial recognition software," the deputy chief said Friday. Bell said before the OPS begins using any such technology, it will consult with the community "to ensure the protection of privacy and human rights." Read more - Lire plus

Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario Statement on Toronto Police Service Use of Clearview AI Technology
IPC 14/02/2020 - The indiscriminate scraping of the internet to collect images of people’s faces for law enforcement purposes has significant privacy implications for all Ontarians. We have made it clear in the past that my office should be consulted before this type of technology is used. We were not aware that the Toronto Police Service was using Clearview AI technology until contacted by them on February 5. We are relieved that its use has been halted.

There are vital privacy issues at stake with the use of any facial recognition technology. My office will be consulting with the Toronto Police Service shortly and re-examining their use of facial recognition technology and the appropriateness of using Clearview AI. We question whether there are any circumstances where it would be acceptable to use Clearview AI. We continue to strongly encourage organizations to contact us if they are considering using new technologies that could pose a potential privacy risk to citizens. The use of this technology is of great concern.

We’ve learned through recent media reports that other police services may also be using Clearview AI. They should stop this practice immediately and contact my office. I’ve also asked my staff to contact those we’ve become aware of through the media to discuss the legality and privacy implications of their use of this technology. — Brian Beamish, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario Read more - Lire plus
Leaked Reports Show EU Police Are Planning a Pan-European Network of Facial Recognition Databases
The Intercept 21/02/2020 - According to leaked internal European Union documents, the EU could soon be creating a network of national police facial recognition databases. A report drawn up by the national police forces of 10 EU member states, led by Austria, calls for the introduction of EU legislation to introduce and interconnect such databases in every member state. The report, which The Intercept obtained from a European official who is concerned about the network’s development, was circulated among EU and national officials in November 2019. If previous data-sharing arrangements are a guide, the new facial recognition network will likely be connected to similar databases in the U.S., creating what privacy researchers are calling a massive transatlantic consolidation of biometric data.

The report was produced as part of discussions on expanding the Prüm system , an EU-wide initiative connecting DNA, fingerprint, and vehicle registration databases for mutual searching. A similar system exists between the U.S. and any country that is part of the Visa Waiver Program, which includes the majority of EU countries; bilateral agreements allow U.S. and European agencies to access one another’s fingerprint and DNA databases. Although new legislation following the report’s recommendation is not yet on the table, preparatory work is ongoing.

“This is concerning on a national level and on a European level, especially as some EU countries veer towards more authoritarian governments,” said Edin Omanovic, advocacy director for Privacy International. Omanovic worries about a pan-European face database being used for “politically motivated surveillance” and not just standard police work. The possibility of pervasive, unjustified, or illegal surveillance is one of many critiques of facial recognition technology. Another is that it is notoriously inaccurate, particularly for people of color . [...]

The EU has taken big steps to connect a host of migration and security databases in recent years. New legislation passed last April established a database that will hold the fingerprints, facial images, and other personal data of up to 300 million non-EU nationals, merging data from five separate systems. According to the report by 10 police forces, Deloitte consultants proposed doing the same with police facial images, but the idea was met with unanimous opposition from law enforcement officials. Nonetheless, the report recommends linking all of EU member states’ facial databases, which would seem to have the same practical effect. In another internal EU police report — this one from a working group on Prüm that looked at the exchange of drivers’ license data — police note that “a network of interconnected national registers can be regarded as a virtual European register.” Read more - Lire plus
Former US drone operator recalls dropping a missile on Afghanistan children and says military is ‘worse than the Nazis’
News.Au 13/02/2020 - t was February 2007, and the US Airman had just fired a laser-guided supersonic bomb from his Predator drone aimed at a building in Afghanistan from his control station in Las Vegas, 12,000km away. He was taking out an enemy combatant believed to be inside, but at the last minute he saw a little child run into his crosshairs — the focus point of his drone lens — just as the Hellfire missile hit. It’s an image which has haunted him ever since, even though his Air Force superiors insisted the child was actually a dog.

Thirteen years on from that mission, the same type of missile Mr Bryant fired was used to assassinate Iranian general Qasem Soleimani while on a trip to Baghdad in January, ratcheting up tensions in the Middle East. Drones have become the defining weapon of war in the 21st century, with demand for the killing machines ferociously increasing. But finding enough people to command the unmanned airborne terminators can be difficult – a pilot shortage is believed to be a problem with the RAF’s planned £1.1 billion ($2.1 billion) Protector drone program, The Times reports . That’s partly because drone operators have been found to suffer higher levels of “psychological distress” than other military groups. And Mr Bryant knows about the horror of the job better than most — when he left the Air Force in 2011, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Now he publicly denounces what he did during his time commanding drones, and he was furious to see them used in the killing of Soleimani. “We have not learned the lessons of the past,” Mr Bryant tells Sun Online. “We’re still doing things not like the Nazis, but worse than the Nazis, because we should know better.” Here, he shares his hellish story of raining death and destruction from the heavens.

Mr Bryant was a “sensor”, meaning he acted as the drone’s eyes, controlling its multiple camera systems and being responsible for targeting its weapons alongside a pilot who directed navigation. He still remembers his first attack on three men in Afghanistan.
Two of the men were torn apart and killed instantly — the third was still alive, his right leg blown off above the knee. “I saw the blood squirt out of his leg,” Mr Bryant says. “Then I watched him cool down.” On his thermal imaging display, he watched his dismembered victim die a horrible, agonising death, his body slowly fading from warm white to cold black in the infra-red feed as the blood drained from his body.

The moment the missile hit, a member of Mr Bryant’s squadron gleefully shouted: “SPLASH!” His cackling colleague proudly declared: “Bryant’s popped his cherry!” But Mr Bryant wasn’t laughing. “That image on the screen is still in my head,” Mr Bryant tells Sun Online. “Whenever I think about it, it still hurts me.” And he couldn’t look away — Mr Bryant was ordered to keep his eyes on the grisly scene in case anyone came to pick up the bodies. Despite the thousands of miles between where he was sitting and where his victims lay, he felt their deaths closely. “When I pulled the trigger, I knew that it was wrong,” Mr Bryant said. “When the missile struck I knew in my soul I had become a murderer.” Read more - Lire plus
Paid by the Pipeline: A Canadian Energy Company Bought an Oregon Sheriff’s Unit
The Intercept 12/02/2020 - At a casino in the small coastal town of North Bend, Oregon, dozens of law enforcement officers and corporate security personnel gathered for a two-day training on how to wage propaganda battles against protesters. The November 2018 event was organized by the National Sheriffs’ Association, one of the country’s largest law enforcement organizations, and hosted by the Coos County Sheriff’s Office, which has spent years monitoring opposition to the Jordan Cove Energy Project — a proposed liquid natural gas pipeline and export terminal that the Trump administration has named one of its highest-priority infrastructure projects.The cost of the event, however — totaling $26,250 — was paid by Pembina Pipeline Corp., the Canadian fossil fuel company that owns the Jordan Cove project.

In fact, for nearly four years, Pembina was the sole funding source of a unit in the sheriff’s office dedicated to handling security concerns related to Jordan Cove — despite the fact that there is not yet any physical infrastructure in place to keep secure. The pipeline and terminal cannot begin construction without approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is scheduled to vote on whether to license the project in February. Yet between 2016 and 2020, the department’s liquid natural gas division, known as a “combined services unit,” spent at least $2 million of Pembina’s money. The energy company put the funding on hold in April 2019 but left open the possibility that the arrangement could be revived in the future. Pembina and the sheriff’s department are currently discussing how they may continue to work together, and Coos County Sheriff Craig Zanni said he expects the partnership to be renewed.

In addition to hosting the law enforcement training, the unit used Pembina’s funds to purchase riot control equipment, monitor the activities of Jordan Cove opponents, and coordinate intelligence-gathering operations with private security companies that also worked for Pembina. Local residents, environmental activists, and tribal members have staged rallies and sit-ins and participated in public hearings in opposition to the project, which they say would exacerbate the global climate crisis, damage vital waterways, and violate Indigenous sovereignty. Dozens of property owners could see their land seized via eminent domain.

Law enforcement agencies often receive funding for equipment via corporate-backed professional associations and private foundations — a practice that civil liberties groups have criticized as enabling private influence with little oversight. The arrangement between Pembina and the Coos County Sheriff’s Office was unusual, however, given the department’s scrutiny of activists engaged in First Amendment-protected speech in opposition to its corporate benefactor.

“It’s stunning. It’s the complete opposite of how the police have presented themselves in recent history — that they are neutral parties positioned above the political fray,” said Jeff Monaghan, a criminology professor at Canada’s Carleton University who studies police surveillance. “This is a public police force that has essentially opened up a private, corporately funded wing and, in doing so, is entrenching itself on one side of a very complicated political debate.”

The Coos County partnership is an extreme example of a trend in policing that has gained momentum across the United States — particularly since thousands of protesters from around the world gathered at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota in 2016 and 2017 in an effort to halt construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. Corporations are developing creative means to funnel millions of dollars to local law enforcement groups, and this funding has often been paired with increasingly elaborate private security and propaganda operations.

An investigation by The Intercept and Type Investigations, based on more than 15,000 pages of documents obtained via open records requests from the Coos County Sheriff’s Office and the city of Portland, sheds light on the fusion of public and private interests working to monitor and stymie opposition to the Jordan Cove Energy Project. The documents also reveal new details about a network of private actors profiting off the suppression of protest movements nationwide, among them veterans of the Dakota Access pipeline campaign who have since contributed to the policing efforts around Jordan Cove. Read more - Lire plus

“They Have Not Relented”: U.S. Maintains Support for Yemen War as Saudi Airstrike Kills 31 Civilians
Amnesty International 06/02/2020 - In Yemen, 31 people were killed in U.S.-backed Saudi airstrikes over the weekend, including women and children. The strikes in the northern al-Jawf province came just hours after the Houthis said they had shot down a Saudi fighter jet in the same area.

The United Nations called the drone strike “shocking.” The deadly strike follows a recent uptick in violence in northern Yemen and comes as the war there hits a five-year mark. More than 100,000 have died, and far more have been displaced, since the conflict began in 2015. On Sunday, the United Nations said the Houthis and U.S.-backed Saudi and United Arab Emirates coalition had agreed to a major prisoner swap, the first of its kind in the long-running war. We speak with Shireen Al-Adeimi, a Yemeni scholar, activist, and an assistant professor at Michigan State University. Read more - Lire plus

Saudi Arabia: Specialized Criminal Court a political tool to muzzle critical voices
Amnesty International 06/02/2020 - A new report published by Amnesty International today exposes how despite all their rhetoric of reforms, the Saudi authorities are using the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) as a weapon to systematically silence dissent. Alongside the report, the organisation is also launching a campaign calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all human rights defenders detained for their peaceful expression.

In the report titled “ Muzzling critical voices: Politicized trials before Saudi Arabia’s Specialized Criminal Court”  the organization documents the chilling impact of the SCC’s prosecutions of human rights defenders, writers, economists, journalists, religious clerics, reformists and political activists, including of Saudi Arabia’s Shi’a Muslim minority who have suffered grossly unfair trials before the SCC and received harsh sentences, including the death penalty, under vague counter-terror and anti-cybercrime laws.

Extensive examination of court documents, government statements and national legislation, as well as interviews with activists, lawyers and individuals close to the cases documented were included in the report. Amnesty International wrote to the Saudi authorities on 12 December 2019 and received one response from the official Human Rights Commission summarizing relevant laws and procedures but failing to directly address the cases raised in the report. “The Saudi Arabian government exploits the SCC to create a false aura of legality around its abuse of the counter-terror law to silence its critics. Every stage of the SCC’s judicial process is tainted with human rights abuses, from the denial of access to a lawyer, to incommunicado detention, to convictions based solely on so-called ‘confessions’ extracted through torture,” said Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Regional Director.

“Our research gives lie to the shiny new reformist image Saudi Arabia is trying to cultivate, exposing how the government uses a court like the SCC in the ruthless suppression of those who are courageous enough to voice opposition, defend human rights or call for meaningful reforms.” The government’s rhetoric about reforms, which increased after the appointment of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, stands in stark contrast to the reality of the human rights situation in the country. At the same time as they brought in a set of positive women’s rights reforms, the authorities unleashed an intense crackdown on some of the highest profile women human rights defenders who had for years fought for those reforms as well as other citizens promoting change. Read more - Lire plus

NYPD subpoenaed journalist’s Twitter data, citing anti-terrorism law
CPJ 14/02/2020 - The New York Police Department should not use anti-terror laws in an attempt to access journalists’ data, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.On December 9, 2019, the NYPD issued a subpoena to Twitter requesting private data connected to the account of Tina Moore, the bureau chief of police coverage for the New York Post , a local daily, according to a report published yesterday by paper. The police department withdrew the subpoena on February 12 after being contacted by the newspaper’s lawyers, according to that report.

According to a copy of the subpoena posted on the New York Post ’s website, the department requested the data under the authority of the USA Patriot Act, a post-9/11 anti-terrorism law. “Using the Patriot Act to subpoena a journalist’s social media data is not only a gross overstep by the New York Police Department, it is reminiscent of how countries without democratic safeguards use anti-terrorism laws to dampen or retaliate against critical journalism,” said CPJ Advocacy Director Courtney Radsch. “Police should respect reporters’ right to keep source information private, rather than subpoenaing tech companies to gain information on journalists and their sources and methods.” The subpoena requested that Twitter turn over connection logs, the IP address history, and other information concerning Moore’s account from October 9 to 14, 2019. [...]

Ian Plunkett, director of global policy communications at Twitter, told CPJ in an email that, per the company’s legal guidelines , Twitter may notify users of a legal request pertaining to their accounts. He confirmed that Twitter did not comply with the NYPD subpoena.
Anti-terror legislation is used around the world to surveil, jail, and threaten journalists; in 2019, anti-terror legislation was used against journalists in Turkey , India , Russia , Nigeria , and Nicaragua . Read more - Lire plus
Father and brother of British volunteer, 27, fighting with the Kurdish-led YPG against ISIS in Syria appear in court on terror charges for 'sending him £150'
Daily Mail 14/02/2020 - The father and brother of a British volunteer fighting against ISIS in Syria have appeared in court charged with terrorism offences after allegedly sending him £150. A small group of protesters gathered at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on Friday after Paul Newey, 49, and Samuel Newey, 19, were charged with illegally assisting Daniel Newey. 

Paul was accused of funding terrorism, even though Daniel's Kurdish-led military unit was backed by Britain and trained by the SAS. After the defeat of ISIS , th e Kurdish units have now found themselves in conflict with Turkish forces. Mr Newey, wearing a Barbour-style quilted jacket and dark trousers, pleaded not guilty to sending £150 to his 27-year-old son, knowing or reasonably suspecting that the money would or may be used for terrorism. Mr Newey’s younger son, Samuel, who appeared beside him in court wearing a blue suit, was not asked to enter pleas relating to a charge of engaging in conduct to assist his older brother. 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.

NEW Saudi Arabia: Free jailed activists
In Saudi Arabia, human rights violations are legitimized through the ‘Specialized Criminal Court’. The past 2 years have seen an unprecedented crackdown on Saudi activists, and this court acts to legitimize this oppression. Now is our chance to put pressure on King Salman to end grave human rights violations.

Sign the petition and demand that the King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman immediately and unconditionally releases all those who have been imprisoned for peacefully protesting.
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.
Release Yasser Albaz from arbitrary detention in Egypt
UPDATE : It's been more than a year since Yasser has been detained without charge - take action now!

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.
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.
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
Mary Ann Higgs
Kevin Malseed
Brian Murphy
Karen Seabrooke
Bob Stevenson
Colin Stuart
James Turk
Jo Wood

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!