International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
June 21, 2019
What we've been up to so far and what's to come for the second half of 2019!
ICLMG 19/09/2019 - 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. We are also supporting the call for a public inquiry that will look at Dr. Diab's case and the Extradition Act overall, and will have powers to compel documents and testimonies to ensure real justice. Take action!

  • Stopping Mohamed Harkat's deportation to torture and getting the Public Safety minister to allow him to stay in Canada. Take action!

  • Obtaining a strong and effective review mechanism for the Canada Border Services Agency, and more information and restrictions on the collection of Canadians' data by military intelligence.

  • The repeal of the Canadian No Fly List, as it violates mobility rights and due process, 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, as it violates both our rights and Canada's sovereignty.

  • 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. We've already met with some parties' policy analysts and researchers to discuss national security and platform positions. Campaign coming soon!

Bill C-59, the National Security Act, 2017, has passed. Parliamentarians have failed to protect Canadians’ rights and freedoms.
ICLMG 18/06/2019 - On June 18, the Senate adopted Bill C-59, the National Security Act, 2017 . It will receive royal assent today, June 21st, 2019. Canadian parliamentarians missed important opportunities to protect fundamental rights and freedoms in Canada and internationally by failing to bring necessary amendments to the Act.“Once again, Canadian lawmakers have failed to act to ensure that national security laws do not come at the cost of privacy, free expression, due process and government transparency,” said Tim McSorley, national coordinator of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG). “Parliamentarians missed an opportunity to defend the rights of people in Canada today.”

The Liberal government has touted Bill C-59 as being a “fix” for the previous government’s controversial Bill C-51 (the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015). But while it brings some important improvements, Bill C-59:

  • Continues to allow CSIS to engage in secret and dangerous threat disruption powers;
  • Maintains the secretive No Fly List, which violates due process and has never been proven to be effective;
  • Preserves overly-broad information sharing rules that infringe on privacy and free expression;
  • Improves on review of national security activities by creating the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency, but falls far short by transferring the weakest aspects of current national security review bodies to the new agency;
  • Grants sweeping new surveillance powers to both the CSE and CSIS, including the collection of metadata, vaguely defined “publicly available information,” and the incredibly broad category of “unselected information” (which essentially means any information);
  • Introduces new powers to give CSIS agents or designated individuals immunity for committing crimes in the line of their work;
  • Fails to prohibit the use and sharing, in all circumstances, of information linked to mistreatment and torture;
  • Allows the CSE to engage in broad and powerful new “active cyber operations” with little oversight, creating the risk of retaliation as well as attacks from leaked new cyber-weapons. [...]

The national security field is an opaque one, and staying informed of all the negative consequences of this bill will be difficult. Despite this challenge, the ICLMG will be monitoring the implementation of the act, and continuing its work of protecting civil liberties and human rights against the impacts of national security legislation in Canada. Read more

Canada should think again about having the ability to use offensive cyber weapons: Expert
ICLMG 18/06/2019 - Canada’s electronic spy agency will soon get new authority to launch cyber attacks if the government approves legislation that is in the final stages of being debated. There’s a good chance it will be proclaimed before the October federal election. But a discussion paper issued Wednesday by the Canadian Global Affairs Institute says Canadians need to debate the pros and cons of using this new power. “This direction not only opens up new possibilities for Canadian defence, it could also represent significant new risks,” says the report.

“Without good answers to the difficult questions this new direction could raise, the country could be headed down a very precarious path.” Among the possible problems: Cyber retaliation. Another: While Canada might try to target a cyber attack, the impact might be bigger than expected — in fact, it might boomerang and smack us back. Third is the lack of international agreement on the use of cyber weapons (although this is a double-edged sword: Without an agreement there are no formal limits on what any country is forbidden from doing in cyberspace).

“To move forward at this point to implement or even formally endorse a strategy of cyber attack would be risky and premature,” concludes the report’s author, computer science professor Ken Barker, who also heads the University of Calgary’s Institute for Security, Privacy and Information Assurance. “There are challenging technical controls that must be put in place as well as a critical international discussion on how cyber weaponry fits within the rules of war.”

Barker’s paper is in response to the 2017 strategy setting out Defence Department goals, where the possibility of Canada having a cyber attack capability first raised. It wasn’t written with Bill C-59 in mind — now in its final stage before Parliament — which actually gives Canada’s electronic spy agency, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), the power to use what’s called “active” as well as defensive cyber operations.
In an interview Tuesday, Barker said “in the desire to push this thing they need to have more carefully thought about the questions I raise in this paper. Maybe it’s late, but at least it’s available.”

He dismisses the argument that by announcing it has an offensive cyber capability Canada will cause other countries to think twice about attacking us with cyber weapons. “They would attempt to find out what Canada is doing to create cyber attack capabilities,” he argued. “One of the risks once we do endorse this,” he added, “is we open ourselves up to other countries to using Canada as a launching pad for cyber attacks to cover up their involvement, and [then] say ‘That was done by Canada.'” Read more - Lire plus
The RCMP was created to control Indigenous people. Can that relationship be reset?
Global News 15/06/2019 - As Jocelyn Thorpe, a history and women and gender studies professor at the University of Manitoba, explains, the Mounties were created for a specific purpose: to assert sovereignty over Indigenous people and their lands. “We like to think that having good people in the right places changes things, and I think, to a certain extent, that’s true,” Thorpe says. “But if the whole system is based on this idea that some people matter more than others, there’s only so much that can be done.”

Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald , got the idea for the Mounties from the Royal Irish Constabulary, a paramilitary police force the British created to keep the Irish under control. There was no coast-to-coast railway yet, and the ink was barely dry on Canada’s purchase of Western Canada from the Hudson’s Bay Company, an acquisition that paved the way for western settlement. Macdonald envisioned his own Royal Irish Constabulary, says Steve Hewitt, a senior history lecturer at the University of Birmingham and author of three books about the RCMP’s history — except instead of the Irish, they would control the Indigenous people already living on the land.

Although the North-West Mounted Police didn’t become the RCMP proper until it absorbed the Dominion Police in 1920 , its paramilitary origins are still highly visible in everything from its training depot to how it organizes its officers into troops, right down to the horse and the uniform, Hewitt says. “All of that is not an ordinary police force.” And while Canadians may like to position ourselves in opposition to the United States, citing their “even worse record in terms of treatment of Indigenous people,” Hewitt says that’s just a myth we tell ourselves to feel better.

The job of the Mounties “effectively, was to clear the plains, the Prairies, of Indigenous people,” he says. “Ultimately, they were there to displace Indigenous people, to move them onto reserves whether they were willing to go or not.” History books, commissions, inquiries and public apologies reveal what happened next: Indigenous people who resisted were starved onto reserves. The federal government brought in the Indian Act and used Mounties to forcibly remove Indigenous children from their homes, placing them in residential schools rife with abuse.

“Sometimes, the way we talk about history is as if history really is in the past,” she says. “History is the process through which the structures of our today are set up.” What exists now is systemic disregard and antipathy, says Nadine Covill, a lawyer with Merchant Law, which is representing plaintiffs in a proposed $600-million class action against the RCMP and the federal government over their handling of MMIWG investigations. Read more - Lire plus
‘Army’ of RCMP to Protect Pipeline, but No Answers on Indigenous Woman’s Death
The Tyee 17/06/2019 - When her 18-year-old cousin went missing in Smithers last year, Jacquie Bowes didn’t know where to turn. Jessica Patrick, from the Lake Babine Nation, was last seen on Aug. 31 in the northern B.C. forestry town. [...] Bowes filed a missing person report with the RCMP and shared Patrick’s photo on social media. She enlisted family and close friends to search for her cousin, and they spent evenings and weekends combing the area around Smithers. After two weeks, Bowes’ mother and stepfather discovered Jessica’s body on a steep roadside embankment outside Smithers. “Everybody was crying and shaking,” Bowes says. “It was just my close work associates and my family, and we found her.”

The family still doesn’t know what happened. The RCMP major crime unit assigned to her case has told them it is being treated as a homicide, but no charges have been laid and no cause of death has been released. Bowes said they were told they would have answers in March, which became April, and then May. Now investigators have stopped responding to her inquiries. For nine months, they have been waiting for answers.

So when Bowes, a member of the Wet’suwet’en Nation, watched a stream of RCMP vehicles drive into her hometown of Houston in early January, she took notice. The police arrived in response to a peaceful Gidumt’en protest camp 44 kilometres south of Houston on the Morice West Forest Service Road. The camp was slowing work on TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink pipeline . Where were police when her cousin was killed, she wondered? “When Jessica’s search happened, I didn’t see a single officer helping us. Yet they can send a whole army out to Kilometre 44,” Bowes said. “What appalled me was how many officers there were.”

On Jan. 7, police enforced a court injunction by storming the camp and arresting 14 people on civil charges that were later dropped. Several days later, after a meeting between Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and RCMP, a second roadblock 20 kilometres farther down the Morice Forest Service Road at the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre was peacefully removed. And the RCMP announced a temporary detachment or “Community-Industry Safety Office” would be constructed on the forestry road “to ensure the safety of the individuals at the Healing Centre and of CGL employees.”

Five months later the detachment remains, with the equivalent of 16 full-time officers, according to Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief Na’Moks. RCMP would not confirm the number of officers stationed at the detachment. “They’ve put more money into watching us, labelling us and monitoring us than into searching for local murdered and missing women,” says Na’Moks, whose English name is John Ridsdale. “They’re out there 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and they’re not helping our people.”

Dylan Mazur, a community lawyer with the BC Civil Liberties Association, says northern B.C. communities often complain they are “over-policed and under-protected.” And an investigation by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP found the concerns were justified. Its 2017 report on policing in northern B.C. noted 46 per cent of missing persons cases were not investigated “promptly and thoroughly” as required by RCMP policy. Almost half — 49.4 percent — of missing cases for people labelled “high-risk” weren’t properly investigated. Which makes the RCMP’s huge commitment of resources to shut down the Unist’ot’en protests indefensible, says Molly Wickham of the Gidumt’en Clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation. She lives in the area and regularly interacts with officers. Read more - Lire plus
Inuit land protectors arrested on Parliament Hill
The Guardian 11/06/2019 - Several Inuit land protectors from Labrador were arrested on Parliament Hill Monday as they peacefully protested the release of methylmercury at Muskrat Falls. Amy Norman, a Nunatsiavummiuk woman from Happy Valley-Goose Bay, was among 13 Indigenous protesters, land protectors and allies who were arrested Monday near West Block while trying to present a petition with 15,000 signatures calling on Environment Minister Catherine McKenna to take immediate measures to stop the “impending methylmercury poisoning of the Inuit and Innu people’s traditional food web.”

Others who were arrested included NunatuKavut elder Eldred Davis, also of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Carol Koblitsy and Leanne Neckaway of Nelson House, Man., Matthew Behrens, co-ordinator of the Ontario-Muskrat Coalition and Meg Sheehan, an American environmental lawyer. Norman said more than 20 police officers, re-enforced by barricades, prevented the group from gaining access to the House of Commons. Requests to have a representative of the minister's office come down to meet the group and receive the petition were rejected. All those arrested were held briefly, charged with trespassing, and released with a 90-day ban from Parliament Hill. Norman called the police response overkill.

“I didn't expect that many officers there. I didn't expect them to push back so immediately,” she told SaltWire Network. “I’ve been a part of other protests on the Hill and they kind of let you stand there with your signs and do your thing and as long as you're not being violent. … But they immediately brought out these barricades and told us, ‘You can't cross this line.’ It was a very different kind of response." Monday’s run-in with police wasn’t Norman’s first experience with the law — she faced a civil contempt of court charge stemming from peaceful protests in Labrador in the fall of 2016. The charges were withdrawn last week. “It’s so important for me personally to just do whatever I can to fight this project and help my people.”

Speaking with media at a news conference Monday morning, Norman described the massive impact of the Muskrat Falls project on her community. “I’ve seen my elders cry, I know people who sleep with life jackets under their beds,” she said. “The standards of safety are not being met. This is a public safety concern. This is a public health concern.” Norman said members of surrounding communities, such as Happy Valley-Goose Bay, that are downstream of the development are concerned not only with the release of methylmercury contamination of the ecosystem and, in turn, the fish and wildlife Indigenous people rely on, but also the integrity of the dam. Norman cited a 2011 joint federal-provincial study on Muskrat Falls that found that to prevent methylmercury poisoning the reservoir area of the dam must be cleared of all trees, brush, foliage and topsoil. That, Norman said, is not being considered. Read more - Lire plus

Native rights advocates try to bust ‘riot-boosting’ law in court
International Cry 15/06/2019 - The U.S. District Court here scheduled a June 12 court date to consider a lawsuit from the Indigenous Environmental Network and others against South Dakota’s newly-enacted “riot boosting” legislation. The legislation is intended to save South Dakota budget money during anticipated conflict over proposed Canadian Keystone XL Pipeline construction through unceded 1851 and 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty territory.

It consists of measures Gov. Kristi Noem championed in the 2019 legislative session, which threaten citizens who encourage or organize resistance – with fines, civil liabilities, and criminal penalties of up to 25 years in prison. The legislation beefs up funding for suppression of activism by drawing money from pipeline and other private project investors. “This is a blatantly unconstitutional attempt to suppress protests of the Keystone XL Pipeline before they even begin,” said Dallas Goldtooth with the Indigenous Environmental Network.

Goldtooth said the plaintiffs were glad to have their day to be heard in court. “Indigenous voices have long protected Mother Earth’s biodiversity and we will not be silenced. We refuse to live in fear for demanding climate justice and protecting our sovereignty as native nations and its peoples,” he said. The other plaintiffs are the NDN Collective, Dakota Rural Action, the Sierra Club, and Nick Tilsen of the NDN Collective. Goldtooth and Tilsen, of Lakota descent, allege they plan to protest the Keystone XL Pipeline and to advise and encourage others to do the same.

They also allege they “are not inciting any individuals to commit imminent violent or forceful actions,” that they “advocate against violence,” and they “plan to advise and encourage others to try and stop the pipeline through peaceful methods.” All plaintiffs are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of South Dakota. “By equating peaceful organization and support of protest with ‘riot boosting’ and incitement to riot, the plaintiffs’ ability to speak out against the Keystone XL Pipeline is stifled,” says Courtney Bowie, ACLU of South Dakota legal director. Read more - Lire plus
Advocates urge Ottawa to cease sales of military goods to Saudi Arabia amid growing backlash against war in Yemen
The Globe and Mail 21/06/2019 - Human rights and arms control advocates are urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to heed a growing Western backlash against the Saudi-led war in Yemen and stop existing sales of military goods to Saudi Arabia, including combat vehicles made in Southwestern Ontario. The death toll since 2015 in Yemen is nearing 100,000, according to a new estimate prepared by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, a non-governmental organization that collects and analyzes data on political violence and protests. It counts the lives lost since the Saudi-led military intervention into Yemen started in March, 2015 – an effort to oust Iran-backed Houthi militias that had won control of key parts of the country.

A British court ruled this week that Britain broke the law by allowing sales of arms to Saudi Arabia that might have been deployed in the war in Yemen. While the court’s decision does not mean Britain must immediately halt arms exports to Saudi Arabia, it does mean there is a stay on the granting of new export licences to sell arms to the kingdom, Britain’s biggest weapons purchaser. A week earlier, the Belgian government went further. It cancelled eight weapons exports licences for military equipment sales destined for Saudi Arabia, including, according to Belgium’s Le Soir newspaper, those allowing the export of CMI Defence’s armed turrets to Canada as part of a massive sale of Canadian-made combat vehicles to the desert kingdom. This deal, struck under the Harper government and approved for export under the Trudeau government, was originally estimated to be worth as $15-billion over 14 years.

In the United States, members of Congress, including Republicans, have been blocking sales of military equipment to Saudi Arabia for months, angry about the deaths of civilians in Riyadh’s air campaign in Yemen and the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Turkey last year. On Wednesday, an independent report on Mr. Khashoggi’s death blamed the Saudi government and linked the killing to Riyadh’s deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. After a six-month investigation, the 100-page report by Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, accused Saudi Arabia of a “deliberate, premeditated execution" and concluded “there is sufficient credible evidence regarding the responsibility of the crown prince demanding further investigation.”

Despite these developments, Canada continues to assemble and ship armoured combat vehicles, also known as light-armoured vehicles (LAVs), to the Saudi monarchy. Many of these vehicles are equipped with medium- or high-calibre gun systems supplied by CMI Defence of Belgium – armaments including a powerful cannon designed to shoot anti-tank missiles. Photos and videos continue to circulate on social media showing Canadian-made LAVs engaging in skirmishes with Houthi militia in Yemen or even purportedly captured by Houthi fighters. The Canadian LAVs are easily identifiable because of their amphibious shape, distinctive triangular front corners and eight wheels. Read more - Lire plus
UK: Arms to Saudi Arabia ruling welcomed as 'rare piece of good news for Yemen'
Amnesty International UK 20/06/2019 - Amnesty Int ernational has welcomed a judgment from the Court of Appeal today which has found that the UK Government’s decision to continue licensing exports of military equipment to Saudi Arabia is unlawful.

The ruling came in a judicial review brought by Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), which was joined by Amnesty, Human Rights Watch and Rights Watch UK. Lucy Claridge, Amnesty International’s Director of Strategic Litigation, said: “This judgment is a rare piece of good news for the pe ople of Yemen. During four years of devastating war the Saudi Arabia-led coalition has killed thousands of civilians in Yemen, flattening homes, schools and hospitals in indiscriminate airstrikes. This is the first time that a UK court has acknowledged the risks of continuing to lavish Saudi Arabia with military equipment for use in Yemen. We welcome this judgment as a major step towards preventing further bloodshed."

“We call upon the Secretary of State to undertake this review as a matter of urgency and believe it should result in suspension. We hope that this marks the end of this chapter of shameful impunity and leads to increased scrutiny of other major arms suppliers to Saudi Arabia, such as France and the US. We continue to call for the immediate suspension of all arms transfers to all parties to the conflict for use in Yemen.”

A crucial aspect that the Court of Appeal emphasised is the importance of research by Amnesty, other NGOs and the UN as authoritative evidence of the risks of continuing to license arms exports to Saudi Arabia, which the Secretary of State must now properly take into account in licensing decisions. On the question of evidence of whether past violations are a relevant consideration when assessing whether there is a real risk of future violation, the court said: “In our view that is obviously correct. How could it reasonably be otherwise?”

As a result of this judgment, the Secretary of State’s decisions not to suspend current licensing exports and to continue to grant further licences will be quashed. He has undertaken not to grant any new licences for export of arms or military equipment to Saudi Arabia for possible use in the conflict in Yemen until those decisions have been re-taken on the correct legal basis, unless he applies for and gets deferral of the court’s order. Read more - Lire plus
Jim Bronskill: CSIS destroyed secret file on Pierre Trudeau, stunning historians
The Canadian Press 15/06/2019 - Canada's spy service destroyed a Cold War dossier on Pierre Trudeau in 1989 instead of turning it over to the national archives, The Canadian Press has learned. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service says the secret file on the former prime minister was scrapped because it fell short of the legal threshold for retention by either the service or the archives.

News of the decision to purge the file, which is coming to light only three decades later, has stunned and disappointed historians. "It's just outrageous, there's no other word to describe it," said John English, who wrote an acclaimed biography of Trudeau. "It's a tragedy that this has happened, and I think the explanation is weak." Steve Hewitt, who has spent years chronicling the country's security services, called the destruction "a crime against Canadian history. This wanton destruction cries out for parliamentary intervention to ensure that historically significant documents held by government agencies are preserved instead of being made to disappear down an Orwellian memory hole," said Hewitt, a senior lecturer at the University of Birmingham. Read more

Scientists Are Aiding Apartheid in China
Just Security 16/06/2019 - The Chinese government has effectively created a system of apartheid in its resource-rich and strategically important northwestern Xinjiang region. It is targeting Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities based on their racial identity with its use of internment camps, mass surveillance, repression of political and cultural expression, and other forms of discrimination.

As part of these efforts, the Chinese government has  genetically profiled  much of the population of Xinjiang — everyone between 12 and 65 — as part of the most comprehensive and intrusive system of biometric surveillance ever implemented.
On the face of it, trying to use forensic genetic technologies to distinguish one group of people from another may not seem too problematic if it helps police or national security investigations. But when you consider the history of using science for the purpose of oppression, the ongoing genetic research is a serious potential threat to human and legal rights.

Following the horrors of Nazi medical experimentation and the attendant decline of eugenics, the use of racial categories in science lost much of its credibility and legitimacy. However, in the aftermath of 9/11, by using euphemisms like biogeographic ancestry and phenotypical appearance, the international forensic genetic community resurrected once discredited notions of race , arguing that these categories can potentially assist police investigations and national security. But scholars, like  Troy Duster  of University of California, Berkeley, and Duana Fullwiley  of Stanford University, have argued that this normalization of racial categories in forensic genetic research could make these technologies of oppression against marginalized peoples. In Xinjiang, we see the realization of the draconian potential of this resurrection of race.

Many scientists in the field of forensic genetics have participated in this process, which raises the question of whether they have been complacent or even complicit in the crime of apartheid under international law. The U.N.  Convention  on Apartheid defines this crime as “inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.” Read more - Lire plus

Des groupes de défense des libertés civiles intentent un recours juridique cont la loi 21
NCCM - CNMC 17/06/2019 - La poursuite du CNMC et de l’ACLC conteste la validité de la nouvelle loi, sous motif qu’elle est inconstitutionnelle et causera un dommage irréparable aux minorités religieuses. Il est attendu que la demande de sursis soit entendue en cour jeudi, le 20 juin.

Les demandeurs dans cette poursuite incluent également Ichrak Nourel Hak, une étudiante en éducation qui porte le voile. « La décision de porter le hijab est la mienne et provient de moi. La décision de l’enlever devrait également venir de moi, et non du gouvernement. Cette loi m’a arraché de mon rêve et envoi le message clair que je ne suis pas une partie valorisée de la société québécoise. Toutes mes années d’études, tous mes efforts pour faire partie des meilleurs enseignants du Québec se sont évaporés en un instant. Étant une femme malentendante, j’ai dû travailler bien plus fort que la plupart de mes collègues pour me rendre là où je suis aujourd’hui. J’étais fière de mon progrès et de mes accomplissements. Cependant, cette loi vient de me couper les ailes, » dit Mme Hak.

Le projet de loi 21 empêche les individus qui portent un symbole religieux d’avoir certains postes dans le secteur public, incluant celui d’enseignant, de policier et de procureur. Cette loi va significativement restreindre, en autres, les droits et libertés des femmes musulmanes qui portent le hijab, des juifs qui portent la kippa, et des sikhs qui portent un turban.

« Depuis la nuit dernière, le gouvernement du Québec a légalisé la discrimination religieuse – et nous refusons de l’accepter. Cette loi honteuse est une marque noire sur la province inclusive et progressiste qu’est le Québec. La vie et les moyens de subsistance d’individus sont affectés, poussant plusieurs musulmans, juifs et sikhs ainsi que d’autres communautés religieuses dans les marges de la société, dans une période tendue où l’islamophobie, l’antisémitisme et d’autres formes de racisme sont en pleine ascension. C’est pour cette raison que nous passons immédiatement aux mesures juridiques, afin de prévenir la mise en place d’une citoyenneté de deuxième classe par le gouvernement » dit Mustafa Farooq, Directeur exécutif du CNMC. Lire plus 

Next Customs and Border Protection press secretary will be Katharine Gorka
Media Matters 19/06/2019 - Katharine Gorka, who is expected to take over as the new Customs and Border Protection press secretary, previously falsely claimed that “the Muslim community in this country really isn’t working with us to prevent” terrorism.

CNN reported on June 18 that Gorka “is expected to be the new press secretary at Customs and Border Protection. Acting CBP Commissioner John Sanders told CNN Tuesday that Gorka is expected to take the position and he advocated for her to join the agency.” Gorka, who has been working as a senior adviser in the Department of Homeland Security since January 2017, also previously wrote for She is married to right-wing radio host and anti-Muslim commentator Sebastian Gorka .

BuzzFeed News reported in August 2017 that she has been “advising top officials at DHS on counterterror policies, drafting the department’s reports to Congress on terrorism recruitment, and trying to instill her anti-Islamist philosophy throughout the department.” HuffPost  and BuzzFeed News also reported that she helped deny funding from the Countering Violent Extremism program to Life After Hate , a nonprofit that works to help “people leave the violent far-right.” Read more - Lire plus
Surveillance and human rights: Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of expression
UNHRC 28/05/2019 - Surveillance of individuals – often journalists, activists, opposition figures, critics and others exercising their right to freedom of expression – has been shown to lead to arbitrary detention, sometimes to torture and possibly to extrajudicial killings. Such surveillance has thrived amid weak controls on exports and transfers of technology to Governments with well-known policies of repression.

In the present report, the Special Rapporteur begins by identifying the problem of targeted surveillance seen from the obligations that human rights law imposes on States and the related responsibilities of companies. He then proposes a legal and policy framework for regulation, accountability and transparency within the private surveillance industry. He concludes with a call for tighter regulation of surveillance exports and restrictions on their use, as well as a call for an immediate moratorium on the global sale and transfer of the tools of the private surveillance industry until rigorous human rights safeguards are put in place to regulate such practices and guarantee that Governments and non-State actors use the tools in legitimate ways. Read more - Lire plus
Kenya: Robert Alai may be first blogger charged under new anti-terrorism law
The Nation 19/06/2019 - Blogger Robert Alai could become the first Kenyan to be charged under the controversial anti-terrorism law that targets publishers of information, including media houses, publications, journalists and bloggers.
Police had on Monday warned him over publishing of photos of terror victims, but arrested him on Tuesday over the same offence.

Mr Alai had posted pictures of officers who died in Wajir on Twitter prompting a swift warning from police spokesperson Charles Owino who said such acts will not be tolerated. The police have stated that Mr Alai’s offence was disclosure of information in relation to terrorism activities.

Section 27 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2012 provides that, “a person who publishes, distributes or otherwise avails information intending to directly or indirectly incite another person or a group of persons to carry out a terrorist act commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding thirty years.”

Section 19 of the same Act also provides that, “a person who, knowing or having reasonable cause t o suspect that an officer is conducting an investigation under this Act, discloses to another person anything which is likely to prejudice the investigation, or interferes with material which is relevant to the investigation, commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years.” Read more - Lire plus 

Krept & Konan accuse police of using anti-terror laws to 'clampdown' on rappers
Mirror 15/06/2019 - Two of the UK's best-known rappers have accused police of using laws intended to fight terrorism to instead clamp down on musicians. Krept and Konan say they were horrified when two fellow hip hop artists were given a suspended prison sentence because of their lyrics earlier this year.

The duo told Mirror Online that the Metropolitan Police's hostility to drill music is a dangerous attack on freedom of speech - and could end up forcing youngsters into a life of crime. They have launched a campaign calling for authorities to stop using the Serious Crime Act to target drill artists. But police have said targeting drill - which often features gritty, violent lyrics - is necessary because it "glamorises" violence. Last year Scotland Yard persuaded YouTube to remove 30 music videos - warning they could provoke a violent response.

In January London rappers Skengo and AM were given a nine month suspended sentence for performing a track with violent lyrics at a concert. The Met Police said performance of their track Attempted 1.0 - which features the words "Should've been a murder" in the chorus - breached a gang injunction. Experts from Index on Censorship said it was the first time a prison sentence has been used for performing a song. And last year members of drill collective 1011 were banned from releasing new music without police permission. Krept and Konan have branded the moves "moral cowardice" and said drill music is merely a reflection of the lives disenfranchised youths live. On Friday Krept, real name Casyo Johnson, told Mirror Online: "The police are comparing making music to terrorism or sex offences.

"These rappers are rapping about their lives and the reality of what's happening to them. "People are living that reality now, and their only option is music. "It's easy for someone to say 'why don't you get a job', but they see music as an expression which they want to get out." And the 29-year-old said drill music is being unfairly targeted - even though there is no debate around other forms of entertainment.Krept said: "You can turn on the TV and see Scarface, or Narcos, but no one is saying you should be taking down Netflix . Read more - Lire plus
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.
NEW 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.
Letter to Justice Minister: Release Report and Launch Public Inquiry into Hassan Diab Case Now
The external review report into the case of Hassan Diab, written by Mr. Murray Segal, has been submitted to the office of the Justice Minister.
Send a message to the Justice Minister calling for the public release of the report, and the launch of a public inquiry into the case of Hassan Diab that will actually examine the Extradition Act and have powers to compel documents and testimonies.
All-in-one action page: Stop Mohamed Harkat's Deportation to Torture
Call PM Trudeau, write a letter to Public Safety Minister Goodale & your MP, and sign Sophie Harkat's petition to stop the deportation of Moe Harkat.

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

No one should be deported to torture. Ever.
Canada: Don't roll back refugee rights
The federal govt plans to significantly roll back the human rights of refugees, and is hurrying these rights restrictions into law by including them in the federal budget (Bill C-97).

The new restriction would stop any refugee claimant from having an independent hearing to decide on their claim, if they previously filed a refugee claim in the United States and in certain other countries.

Using the quick tool below, call on Parliament to reject the rights-violating amendments to IRPA proposed in Bill C-97.
Your phone is not safe at the border
Canada’s border agents can search your phone and laptop at borders and airports, including looking through your private photos, personal messages, and call history.

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

Fight back with us: demand updated laws , learn more about your rights, and make a complaint if your privacy has been violated at the border.
OPP must be held accountable for violent repression of land defenders
The terrifying incident happened in April 2008 during a land occupation and road blockades by members of Tyendinaga Mohawk Nation, near Belleville, Ontario. Although the road blockades involved only a small number of community members – none of whom were armed -- the Ontario Provincial Police sent more than 200 officers, including the Tactics and Rescue Unit (TRU), tasked with responding to “the most serious threats to peace and order”.  The UN Committee against Torture called on Canada to launch a thorough and impartial review to ensure accountability.
Five Eyes: Save encryption
Ministers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the U.S. have gone public with their plans for a huge attack on our personal security.

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

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

 W e, citizens and residents of Canada, call on the government of Canada to henceforth designate January 29th as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia and other forms of religious discrimination or a National Day of Action against Hate and Intolerance .
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.
Iran: Free Saeed Malekpour!
Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian national with permanent residency in Canada, has been imprisoned in Iran since his arrest on 4 October 2008. In late 2010, he was initially sentenced to death for “spreading corruption on earth” in relation to a web programme he created for uploading photos which the Iranian authorities said was used on pornographic websites. This was an open source programme and Saeed Malekpour has maintained that the use of this web programme on other websites was without his knowledge. His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 2012.
Discrimination and racism
Discriminaiton et racisme

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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