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International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group

Coalition pour la surveillance internationale des libertés civiles

February 12, 2022 - 12 février 2022

ICLMG press release: Government must take bold action if it is serious about resolving systemic Islamophobia in CRA counter-terrorism audits

ICLMG 09/02/22 - The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) is concerned about the lack of particular reference to the issues raised by Muslim charities and the reports by independent groups, notably the ICLMG and the University of Toronto Institute of Islamic Studies/National Council of Canadian Muslims, in the federal government’s response to concerns of bias within the CRA.

The ICLMG’s reaction comes as the Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson (OTO) released an update on its review of the issue. Last August, the government announced a review into the concerns raised in two ground-breaking reports into systemic Islamophobia at the CRA, particularly in regards to the agency’s controversial efforts to counter terrorist financing.

“We are both surprised and disappointed by the update provided by the Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson today regarding the agency’s investigation into bias at the CRA, and in particular its Review and Analysis Division (RAD),” said Tim McSorley, national coordinator of the ICLMG. “While we have had positive interactions with the Ombudsperson’s office to this point, we are concerned about the limited focus of their review going forward.”

Today’s announcement does not once mention Islamophobia, and states the review “will be on the fairness of the CRA’s Charities Directorate’s audit process.” While it acknowledges addressing concerns of unconscious biases, and recognizes that Muslim-led charities have raised concerns, these concerns risk being lost if not specifically addressed in the review process. [...]

The scope of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson review should be modified to include these missing elements:

  • The importance of the review to specifically focus on RAD and not only the CRA Charities Directorate in general.
  • The lack of public transparency at RAD, and concerns of a lack of data collection regarding the impact of its work.
  • The role of the CRA’s international obligations, including to the Financial Action Task Force, in the treatment of Muslim charities.
  • The impact of Canada’s 2015 National Risk Assessment (NRA) in creating an environment conducive to systemic racism, racial profiling, targeting and bias towards Muslim Canadians.
  • Whether current practices have created a presumption that Canadian Muslim charities must be monitored, and possibly audited, to verify no terrorist financing risks exist.
  • Whether sanctions administered by RAD against Muslim charities are disproportionate to other charities.
  • The role of the agency within the government’s overall approach, including but not limited to the involvement of the Ministry of Finance, Public Safety and Global Affairs.
  • Whether appropriate and effective review, oversight and accountability mechanisms exist for RAD.

The ICLMG is calling for the following actions to address the issue:

  • That the OTO revisit their framework to explicitly examine questions presented by Muslim Charities;
  • That the Minister of National Revenue immediately suspend the activities of the Review and Analysis Division;
  • That the Prime Minister refer this issue to the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA);
  • That the government commit to reforming its National Risk Assessment on terrorist financing in order to ensure fairness and eliminate unintended consequences on Muslim-led charities in particular, and the charity sector overall.

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ICLMG's Tim McSorley on the Public Safety Minister's comments about the convoy

ICLMG 07/02/22 - Ministers raised the prospect of investigating funding for activities that threaten public safety, despite no law on the books. It was also raised in the context of "foreign interference"/"foreign funding". I think we need to be wary of this vagueness of terms going forward: while yes, I'm concerned (like my neighbors in Ottawa) that groups like the trucker convoy are raising millions of dollars, with very little known of where it comes from or where it is going. But the possibility of broad, vague laws that crack down on "foreign funding" or that go to activities that "threaten public safety" could be used in ways that have significant repercussions for other protest movements that governments disagree with. Imagine this government or another making the same argument in regards people donating to support action from Indigenous land defenders? It's entirely possible. Source

Ottawa has ability to investigate trucker convoy funding, Public Safety Minister Mendicino says

Soft police approach to Ottawa anti-vax protest reveals ‘pure racism’ say critics

Remember Huseyin Celil aCanadians in Chinese prison as Olympics start, activists urge

CBC News - The National 27/01/22 - As Canadian athletes arrive for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, some activists are using the occasion to draw attention to the plight of the more than 100 Canadians detained in China, including Chinese-Canadian Uyghur rights advocate Huseyin Celil.

Did you know that one of Celil's sons has never seen him or that Celil has not received any consular visits for the past 16 years? Watch Share on Twitter

Take action: Tell China to free Canadian Huseyin Celil now!

Livermore, Pardy & Welsh: Ottawa shirking duty to help Canadians stuck abroad

The Hill Times 31/01/2022 - There is little that is more predictable than the soothing words spoken by Canadian governments when citizens are in difficulty in foreign countries. “We are fully aware;” “we are working to help;” and “we are doing everything to see them back safely in Canada” are among the familiar refrains.

For many Canadians in serious difficulty, the reality is different. Serious problems are not resolved quickly, communications and transportation are often difficult, legal problems are complex and even longer than in Canada to resolve, and frequently foreign governments do not see the problems of Canadians as warranting urgent action. There are daily stories and reminders of such experiences and as recent ones demonstrate they are often matters of life and death. Since the 2015 election of the Trudeau government, there have been three deadly and tragic stories. In each, the actions—or lack thereof—by the government have contributed to the problems. [...]

Today, nearly 50 Canadian children, women, and men have spent over two years in “filthy, deeply degrading, life-threatening, and often inhuman conditions” in detention centres in northern Iraq and Syria, in the words of Human Rights Watch 2021 annual report. Again, the Canadian government has refused to take action to have these Canadians returned to Canada. This, despite the willingness of the authorities administering the detainees to have the Canadians returned. As well, other governments, including the United States and allies in Europe and elsewhere, have made arrangements for the repatriation of their citizens from the same areas. The United Nations and the House Foreign Affairs Committee have urged Canada to “pursue all options possible” to repatriate its citizens with the UN placing Canada on a “list of shame” for its lack of action.

So far only a four-year-old child has returned to Canada, initially without her mother, but in the face of court action, the mother was issued a passport and returned home. Who made the arrangements for this child? Not Canadian authorities but a former American diplomat who went to the region and made the arrangements. Some of these Canadians have now filed an application with the Federal Court seeking relief from the lack of action by the Canadian government. The case is yet to be heard but it is hoped the court will force the government to take the necessary action to have these Canadians returned home using the mobility and legal rights guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The government argues it is too dangerous for Canadian officials to go to the region to make the arrangements for the repatriations. This is fallacious—other governments go to the region; international humanitarian organizations operate in the area daily; and the authorities administering the regions are willing and able to assist. But the government maintains Canadian officials are without the ability to do so.

The government’s reasons for not helping are specious and are meant to disguise its complete unwillingness to help this specific group of Canadians. They are the reminders of the thousands of foreigners who rushed to the region in support of the early success of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (IS/Daesh) in 2014. Countering military action by local governments supported by the United States and Russia put an end to IS in the region. Thousands of the intervening foreign nationals were killed and thousands of other, and women and children, especially, were detained. For the most part, only the Canadians have been refused help by their government. In doing so, Ottawa conveniently ignores these persons are Canadians and are legally entitled to the support and assistance. [...]

Discretion must not be a cover for discrimination. Read more - Lire plus

Syria: Britain accused by MPs of abandoning young children in Islamic State camps

Report of the Inquiry by the APPG on Trafficked Britons in Syria

Air travellers using special code to avoid Canadian no-fly list snags; No Fly List Kids co-founder: the list should still be abolished

The Canadian Press 02/02/2021 - More than 850 people have been assigned a special number to help avoid being inadvertently ensnared by Canada's no-fly list. A dozen of these travellers have been cleared to board an aircraft as a direct result of having the personal code since the program began in November 2020, says Public Safety Canada. The department has touted rollout of the Canadian Travel Number as a key step in revamping passenger screening procedures after many young children were stopped at airports because their names are the same as, or close to, ones on the no-fly roster.

Passengers who have experienced difficulties can apply for a travel number via the Public Safety website to help avoid false matches when booking flights to, from or within Canada. The government requires air carriers to send a passenger's name and date of birth as early as 72 hours before a flight so that their identity can be verified and any false name match can be resolved in advance. The government is now responsible for screening passengers against the Secure Air Travel Act watchlist, commonly known as the no-fly list. Federal officials inform the air carrier should there be any additional screening requirements or an outright prohibition on allowing the person to fly.

Upon introducing the system, the government said it would improve the security of air travel and protect passenger privacy since airlines, which long used the no-fly list for screening, would no longer have direct access to it. As of Jan. 20, more than 1,200 Canadian Travel Number applications had been received and 859 issued, Public Safety said. The majority of people who asked for a number were between the ages of 31 and 60. Just six per cent of applications were for children. About 70 per cent of applicants identified as male and the same percentage were Canadian citizens.

Khadija Cajee, co-founder of No Fly List Kids, said while she is aware of some people applying for the new travel number, the fact many families have not been flying during the COVID-19 pandemic means it is difficult to tell how the system is working. Cajee said while the system revamp is welcome, she has come to believe Canada's no-fly list should simply be abolished. “When you have a list, that list always targets somebody. And inevitably there are going to be a lot of innocent people targeted on this list,” said Cajee, a member of the federally appointed National Security Transparency Advisory Group, which counsels agencies on implementing their openness commitments. “I think what the government is saying is that this individual is too dangerous to fly, but not too dangerous to roam our streets.”

Sarah Willson, whose husband and son have experienced airport delays, said her family is also waiting to see how their next flights go before applying for travel numbers. The government has cautioned that a travel number will not prevent delays if the airport problem is related to a different program, such as another country's security list. Willson, who is also active with No Fly List Kids, said the group has asked Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino for data related to the various other activities at airports such as pre-flight security screening and secondary customs inspections. “There's a whole bunch of reasons why people are getting flagged.” Read more - Lire plus

New report "In Their Words: Untold Stories of Islamophobia in Canada" reveals impact of everyday Islamophobia on Muslims

Islamic Relief Canada 29/01/2022 - In time for the fifth anniversary of the Quebec mosque shooting anniversary and the National Day of Action Against Islamophobia, Islamic Relief Canada is releasing a new report today that sheds light on how everyday Islamophobia affects Canadian Muslims.

“We often hear about Islamophobia in the context of violent attacks, but what is less known are the everyday incidents and microaggressions Muslims experience regularly in all spheres of their lives. With our report, we wanted to share those stories, and capture the long-term effects of hate,” says Reyhana Patel, head of communications and government relations at Islamic Relief Canada.

The report features previously untold, compelling stories from Muslims across the country and from all walks of life. A few highlights include:

  • A teacher in Quebec who was asked to remove her hijab in the workplace due to Bill 21 and almost lost her job for not complying
  • A man who temporarily stopped participating in organized sport in Alberta after he experienced racial slurs and discrimination
  • A hijab-wearing Ontario woman who was physically and verbally attacked on a university campus for being Muslim
  • A victim of the Quebec mosque shooting, Aymen Derbali, who was shot seven times and left paralyzed and unable to support his family

Some of the key findings from the report are that Islamophobia is not only systemic and normalized but also gendered, with Muslim women disproportionately being victims of Islamophobia. The report also reveals that short and long-term consequences for those who experience Islamophobia can include emotional and mental trauma, stress in personal and professional relationships, and even long-term physical injury.

Islamic Relief Canada, a leading member of the Green Square Campaign on January 29, is calling on governments to reflect upon the gravity of Islamophobia in Canada and immediately take all necessary actions to tackle Islamophobia and its root causes — through both practice and policy.

The full report can be viewed here. Source

Omar Alghabra says tweet calling him ‘terrorist’ is example of hate minorities deal with

Mushtaq: Actions to address Islamophobia too few as hate crimes continue

Vidéo: Commémoration citoyenne de l'attentat du 29 janvier 2017 - 5e anniversaire

The Hassan Diab Support Committee Presentation

Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University 01/02/2022 - The Sociology & Anthropology Student Association welcomes the Hassan Diab Support Committee to present on their past and ongoing advocacy work for Dr. Hassan Diab of Carleton University, who is facing extradition charges from France. The committee gives us background information on his case, the socio-political context of the charges, and presents ways in which both public community members and Carleton students can get involved.

Please visit their website: justiceforhassandiab.org for more information and ways to get involved and call for the dismissal of the arbitrary charges laid against him.

Write to PM Justin Trudeau calling on him to honour his words and put an end to Dr. Hassan Diab’s ordeal Watch - Visionnez

Biden Team Gets It Right on Inadmissibility of Torture Evidence in Al-Nashiri Case

Just Security 01/02/2022 - The Biden administration just took an important step to restore the rule of law in the Al-Nashiri case at the Guantanamo military commissions: it categorically rejected the use of statements obtained through torture at any stage in the proceedings and promised that the government will not seek to admit any statements the petitioner made while in CIA custody. This should be unremarkable, as it clearly reflects U.S. domestic and international legal obligations and Biden administration policy, but the position the Department of Justice (DOJ) took in its brief filed in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday is actually an about-face from the position prosecutors took before the military commission judge. The Al-Nashiri case has a long history, but this most recent controversy stems from prosecutors’ decision to seek to admit statements obtained through torture in pre-trial proceedings in the capital case of Abd Al-Rahim Hussein Al-Nashiri, the “alleged mastermind” of the U.S.S. Cole bombing. Although the prosecution eventually withdrew the particular statements at issue, it had essentially reserved the right to rely on torture-obtained evidence in future proceedings. 

In October of last year, Al-Nashiri filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that sought “to enjoin the government from offering, and the military commission judge from considering, torture-derived evidence.” The much-awaited U.S. government response — called a “moment of truth” for the Biden administration on torture — came yesterday. Here’s the key passage from the government’s brief:

The government recognizes that torture is abhorrent and unlawful, and unequivocally adheres to humane treatment standards for all detainees. See Executive Order 13491. In the absence of direct authority interpreting Section 948r(a), the government took the position below that Section 948r(a)’s prohibition on admission of statements obtained through torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment applies only to the trial and sentencing phases of a military commission and not to pretrial proceedings. Since that filing, the government has reconsidered its interpretation of Section 948r(a) and, as a result of that review, has concluded that Section 948r(a) applies to all stages of a military commission case, including pretrial proceedings. In accordance with that conclusion, the government will not seek admission, at any stage of the proceedings, of any of petitioner’s statements while he was in CIA custody. Read more - Lire plus

7 former prisoners tell us how to close Guantanamo (video)

Guantanamo detainee to be transferred to mental health facility in Saudi Arabia

Abu Zubaydah: ‘I didn’t know who I was any more’: how CIA torture pushed me to the edge of death

The CIA tortured him after 9/11. Then they lied. Will the truth ever come out?

White House discusses reinstating Trump's terror designation for Yemen's Houthis

The Intercept 08/02/2022 - When Joe Biden came into office, one of his first moves was to reject the Trump administration’s last-minute designation of the Houthis as a terrorist organization, after warnings from the United Nations and aid groups that imposing sanctions would exacerbate the famine in war-torn Yemen. “The revocations are intended to ensure that relevant US policies do not impede assistance to those already suffering what has been called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement in February 2021. Now the Biden administration is considering reversing that reversal and redesignating the Houthis as a terrorist group at the request of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, despite what experts say would be disastrous consequences for Yemeni people. The Houthi rebels who have controlled Yemen’s capital since 2014 recently launched a rare attack on the UAE for its participation in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. [...]

Experts warn that either designation could usher in punishing sanctions. Both designations would likely make it difficult or impossible for nongovernmental organizations to deliver humanitarian assistance to the country. The major difference between the two categories is that the Treasury Department maintains the Specially Designated Global Terrorists list and seizes the assets of any individuals or groups on it, whereas the State Department controls the Foreign Terrorist Organizations list. “Designating the Houthis as an FTO could have a devastating impact on efforts to get humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people which is precisely why the Administration reversed the Trump designation a year ago,” said Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow in the Brookings Institution’s Center for Middle East Policy. Scott Paul, senior manager of humanitarian policy for Oxfam America, echoed Riedel’s concerns, pointing to the harmful effect that sanctions have had on even humanitarian goods. As a result of Trump administration sanctions, “even imports covered by licenses were severely impacted and vital goods like food and medicine were becoming more scarce,” Paul said. Read more - Lire plus

Arms exports to UAE may be fuelling Yemen war, newly-released records show

Rep. Ro Khanna: The U.S. Could End the Yemen War Tomorrow. It’s Time to Stop Arming the Saudis

Killing of ISIS Leader Shows That U.S. Forever Wars Will Never End

The Intercept 03/02/2022 - In a national address delivered this morning, President Joe Biden performed what has now become a familiar ritual for U.S. politicians: announcing the death of a terrorist leader. The latest enemy figure whose death has been presented to Americans as a victory was the head of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi, who was reportedly killed alongside his family during a U.S. special forces raid in northern Syria last night. In brief remarks, Biden characterized the raid as a victory that had made the world more secure, and without cost to Americans. “Last night at my direction, U.S. military forces in northwest Syria successfully undertook a counterterrorism operation to protect the American people and our Allies, and make the world a safer place,” Biden said in a statement early Thursday morning. “Thanks to the skill and bravery of our Armed Forces, we have taken off the battlefield Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi—the leader of ISIS. All Americans have returned safely from the operation.”

The raid on a home where al-Quraishi was staying killed a total of 13 people, including a number of women and children. Images on social media of mangled corpses immediately began circulating in the aftermath, broadcast from the scene by local journalists. [...]

Although al-Quraishi, alongside his family, does appear to be dead, Biden’s claim in his public address that the world has been made safer by the killing of yet another terrorist leader is hard to credit. Since the outset of the Global War on Terrorism over two decades ago, the periodic killings of commanders from groups like the Taliban, Al Qaeda, al-Shabab, and, most recently, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have been touted as significant victories and even turning points in America’s so-called war on terror. Despite these repeated tactical victories, from which U.S. presidents have extracted much political capital over the years, the underlying wars themselves have continued and even worsened. [...]

There is little reason to assume that the killing of al-Quraishi will result in anything more than a tactical reorganization of the Islamic State, or even its splintering into other, new extremist groups amid the ongoing misery and chaos of the Syrian civil war. His death is also unlikely to mean an end to the U.S. “forever wars” in the region, which have switched to a permanent mode of militarized policing in which the U.S. reserves the right to carry out bombings and assassinations at will but does not refer to these actions as “war,” even when civilians are killed in the process. After a long list of failures and defeats, the U.S. public has clearly tired of its conflicts in the Middle East. But despite rhetoric from American leaders about ending the forever wars, they look likely to continue under new definitions and with new tactics. In his remarks announcing the death of al-Quraishi, even Biden refrained from promising a forthcoming end to the conflicts or even a radically transformed security situation for Americans. Though al-Quraishi, a man whom most Americans would likely have been unable to name, is now dead, along with several civilians, the two-decade-long conflict that led to his emergence still continues ­— with no horizon in sight. Read more - Lire plus

We Don’t Need a Department of Homeland Security

The Nation. 28/01/2022 - The Department of Homeland Security was quite literally a product of 9/11 and so was formed in a political climate of nearly unwavering support for anything Congress or the White House proposed to combat extremist violence. It officially arrived on the scene just weeks after the 9/11 attacks as the “Office of Homeland Security” when President George W. Bush appointed former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge as its first director. By 2002, now a “department,” it would bring together 22 different government agencies, including the Transportation and Security Administration, Customs and Border Protection, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Its mission, as stated in a proposal by President Bush, was to “protect our homeland…against invisible enemies that can strike with a wide variety of weapons.” In the end, that new department would represent the largest reorganization of government since World War II. Though few here think of it that way, it would prove to be a second Pentagon and, over the years, would be funded in a similarly profligate fashion. Under such circumstances, you won’t be surprised to learn that its creation also led to a striking amount of redundancy in the national security establishment. DHS is often not focused on threats of violence at all, but on responding to allegations of mistreatment by its own officers toward people in their custody or toward one another. A list of 2019 and 2020 congressional testimony by DHS officials typically included topics like monitoring reports on terrible conditions in Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities, on the mistreatment and deaths of immigrant children in Customs and Border Patrol custody, or on harassment and bullying within the Coast Guard. [...]

Even more sinister, when it comes to redundancy, our government now has a second armed entity that can direct its force in an arbitrary way. Twenty years after the 9/11 attacks, the forever-war and new-Cold-War-focused Pentagon is, of course, staggeringly overfunded, even if its rank and file are—take my word for it as a military spouse—ever more depleted from our endless wars abroad, the pandemic ravaging this country, and relentless training. Meanwhile, since 9/11, we’ve overfunded what quickly became a second Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, capable of focusing on whatever it considers to be most politically expedient.

During the Trump administration, DHS suppressed those populations the president and his advisers deemed the greatest threats to this country, even if that meant young children whose families were seized at the southern border. No less chillingly, during the Trump presidency, DHS Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli acknowledged that the agency had sent its employees to monitor and suppress protests in Portland, Ore., against the police killing of George Floyd. DHS officers began patrolling that city’s streets in unmarked vehicles and detaining protesters allegedly without even telling them why in order, according to Cuccinelli, to “move them to a safe location for questioning.” However, a November 2020 report issued by the DHS’s own inspector general concluded that the people deployed to Portland had no authority (or training) to act as law enforcement officers and had engaged in unconstitutional, violent attacks on protesters, journalists, members of watchdog groups, and bystanders. Read more - Lire plus

The dangerous incentive in a new domestic terror unit

What if the U.S. hadn't gone to war after 9/11?

The Intercept 08/02/2022 - On September 19, 2001, CIA officers collected cardboard boxes filled with $3 million in nonsequential $100 bills to buy off Afghan warlords, beginning America’s martial response to the 9/11 attacks. A day later, President George W. Bush stood before Congress and declared a “war on terror” that would “not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.” Over the next 20-plus years, the tab on that conflict, which began in Afghanistan but spread across the globe to Burkina Faso, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Niger, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen, has ballooned to more than $6 trillion. The payoff has been dismal: To date, the war has killed around 900,000 people, including more than 350,000 civilians; displaced as many as 60 million; and led to humanitarian catastrophes and the worst U.S. military defeat since the Vietnam War. American cash has built armies that have collapsed or evaporated when challenged; meanwhile, the number of foreign terrorist groups around the world has more than doubled from 32 to 69.

It didn’t have to be this way, according to a new study of counterterrorism approaches from Brown University’s Costs of War Project. “Terrorism is a political phenomenon,” writes researcher Jennifer Walkup Jayes in “Beyond the War Paradigm: What History Tells Us About How Terror Campaigns End,” which was shared exclusively with The Intercept ahead of its release on Tuesday. “Counterterrorism strategies which address the root causes of terrorism, rather than the organizations and people that commit it, might end the waves of terrorist violence.” Sophisticated statistical analyses have demonstrated that there are proven, effective methods to hasten the demise of terrorist organizations, according to Walkup Jayes’s report. But the “war paradigm,” which was a departure from America’s previous law enforcement approach to counterterrorism, is not one of them.

One innovative study of 648 militant groups cited by Walkup Jayes notes that only 7 percent of terrorist groups were defeated through military efforts. [...] Experts say this cascade of failures could have been largely avoided. “You can envision a scenario, after 9/11, in which the terrorist attacks were treated primarily as a criminal justice problem,” said Stephanie Savell, co-director of the Costs of War Project, noting that the FBI and the CIA could have led the effort with a goal of arresting, prosecuting, and imprisoning Osama bin Laden and others who planned the attacks. While noting that the Costs of War report highlights drawbacks to this approach, Savell told The Intercept that it would have been transformational. “You wouldn’t have seen 20 years of conflict and this incredible waste of resources,” she said. “The U.S. response wouldn’t have led to this spiral of escalation, of war and violence begetting more war and violence.” Read more - Lire plus

Biden team promises new approach to extremism, but critics see old patterns

Rethinking Security: Preventing Violence: Lessons from Health and Social Care

Strengthening Democracy Is a Better Counterterrorism Strategy

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Canada must protect encryption!

Canada’s extradition system is broken. One leading legal expert calls it “the least fair law in Canada.” It has led to grave harms and rights violations, as we’ve seen in the case of Canadian citizen Dr Hassan Diab. It needs to be reformed now.

Click below to send a message to urge Prime Minister Trudeau, the Minister of Justice and your Member of Parliament to reform the extradition system before it makes more victims. And share on Facebook + Twitter + Instagram. Thank you!

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Reform Canada's extradition law + Justice for Hassan Diab!

Canada’s extradition system is broken. One leading legal expert calls it “the least fair law in Canada.” It has led to grave harms and rights violations, as we’ve seen in the case of Canadian citizen Dr Hassan Diab. It needs to be reformed now.

Click below to send a message to urge Prime Minister Trudeau, the Minister of Justice and your Member of Parliament to reform the extradition system before it makes more victims. And share on Facebook + Twitter + Instagram. Thank you!

Phone PM Justin Trudeau

TAKE ACTION: Justice for Hassan Diab!

NEW Just Peace Advocates' action: Write a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau: Say “No" to a second extradition of Hassan Diab


Tell President Biden: Close Guantanamo

Now, with growing support in Congress, President Biden has an opportunity to end these ongoing abuses by closing the detention center.

Help us close Guantánamo and ensure the transfer of all cleared detainees to countries where their human rights will be respected. 

Act Now to tell President Biden to shut down the Guantánamo Bay detention facility!


NDP must oppose F-35 purchase

The 2015 Liberal election platform boldly proclaimed: “We will not buy the F-35 stealth fighter-bomber.” Since then, the Liberals have quietly moved to ensure its acquisition is a fait accompli. It is time for the NDP to call on the Parliamentary Budget Officer to assess the full lifecycle cost of purchasing 88 F-35s and request government release its estimate of the greenhouse gases likely to be emitted by these jets. Send a letter to the NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, NDP Defence Critic Lindsay Mathyssen, and all NDP MPs calling on them to start raising questions about the Liberal's fighter jet plans.


Stop Killer Robots

Governments and companies are rapidly developing weapons systems with increasing autonomy using new technology and artificial intelligence. These ‘killer robots’ could be used in conflict zones, by police forces and in border control. A machine should not be allowed to make a decision over life and death. Let’s act now to protect our humanity and make the world a safer place.


Canada: Condemn Israeli Silencing of Palestinian Groups

Send an email urging Canada to:

1) Condemn Israel’s wrongful designation of these human rights groups, and

2) Demand Israel rescind such labels over the Palestinian organizations

Protect Human Rights Defenders in Palestine!


Free Cihan Erdal

Cihan Erdal is a Canadian permanent resident, queer youth activist, doctoral student, and coordinator of the Centre for Urban Youth Research at Carleton University in Ottawa. He was unjustly detained in Turkey on unfounded charges in September 2020, after being swept up in a mass arrest of politicians, activists, and academics in Istanbul. Send a message to Canadian officials now the Canadian government can take to help bring Cihan safely home.

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How to Help Afghans in Afghanistan and Canada

Muslim Link - The people of Afghanistan are in dire need of humanitarian aid and Canada has committed to accepting 20,000 Afghan refugees.

How can you help? Click below for a list of ways you can support the people of Afghanistan at home and abroad.

Demand action from Canada in response to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan


Protect our rights from facial recognition!

ICLMG - Facial recognition surveillance is invasive and inaccurate. This unregulated tech poses a threat to the fundamental rights of people across Canada. Federal intelligence agencies refuse to disclose whether they use facial recognition technology. The RCMP has admitted (after lying about it) to using facial recognition for 18 years without regulation, let alone a public debate regarding whether it should have been allowed in the first place.

Send a message to Prime Minister Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair calling for a ban now.

Take action to ban biometric recognition technologies

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Trudeau: 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.


Stop Mohamed Harkat's Deportation to Torture

No one should be deported to torture. Ever. For nearly 19 years, Mohamed Harkat has faced the ordeal of being place under a kafkaesque security certificate based on secret evidence and accusations he cannot challenge, and facing deportation to torture in Algeria.

Please join us and send the letter below to Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino, urging them to stop the deportation to torture of Mr. Harkat.

  • Your letter will also go to your Member of Parliament, along with the ministers of Justice & of Immigration.
  • And don't hesitate to also sign and share this petition!
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China: Free Canadian Huseyin Celil

The Chinese authorities accused Huseyin of offences related to his activities in support of Uighur rights. They held Huseyin in a secret place. They gave him no access to a lawyer, to his family, or to Canadian officials. They threatened him and forced him to sign a confession. They refused to recognize Huseyin’s status as a Canadian citizen, and they did not allow Canadian officials to attend his trial. It was not conducted fairly, and resulted in a sentence of life in prison in China. His life sentence was reduced to 20 years in February 2016. Huseyin has spent much of his time in solitary confinement. He lacks healthy food and is in poor health. Kamila needs her husband, and the boys need their father back

+ Urge China to stop targeting Uyghurs in China and abroad



Anti-terrorism laws

Législation antiterroriste

Advocacy group calls on Sri Lanka to repeal ‘anti-terror’ law

Freedom of speech and of the press

Liberté d'expression et de la presse

India - Journalists Acting Against National Security To Lose Government Accreditation

India cancels television license on vague ‘national security’ grounds

Editor arrested in Kashmir as press crackdown escalates

Hong Kong

75-year-old Hong Kong activist facing sedition charge denied bail after planning Beijing Olympics demo

Australia denied access to dual citizen detained for alleged ‘subversion’ in Hong Kong

Online harms

Contenu préjudiciable en ligne

Lawful Access Returns: Online Harms and Warrantless Access to Subscriber and Transmission Data

Time to Hit the Reset Button: Canadian Heritage Releases “What We Heard” Report on Online Harms Consultation

Liberals to work with experts on revision of 'fundamentally flawed' online harms bill

EARN IT Act — an attack on free expression and privacy — is back

CDT Leads Broad Human Rights Coalition Urging Senate to Drop EARN IT Act

Oversight and review

Contrôle et examen

Liberals agree to include Conservative senator on national security committee boycotted by O’Toole


Police see major budget increases despite majority support for defunding

Privacy and surveillance

Vie privée et surveillance

Clearview AI dit qu’elle ne peut détruire les photos de Québécois

CIA is secretly collecting bulk data pertaining to Americans, senators say

Use of controversial phone-cracking tool is spreading across federal government

S.T.O.P. Welcomes IRS Decision To Stop Facial Recognition, Calls On States To Do Same

Stop the sale of NSO Group

Whistleblower claims NSO offered ‘bags of cash’ for access to cellphone network

Hungarian journalists targeted with Pegasus spyware to sue state



Amnesty International report: Isreal's Apartheid Against Palestinians

Take action: Canada: Acknowledge and Sanction Israeli Apartheid + CJPME's action

RightsCon 2022 Registration

From July to Dec - De juillet à décembre 2021

Check out our biannual summary of activities: What We've Been Up To from July to December 2021.

In 2022, we plan to continue our work on the following issues:

- The Canadian government's concerning "online harms" legislative proposal, including its approach on "terrorist content," mandatory reporting to law enforcement and new powers for CSIS;

- Protecting our privacy from government surveillance, including facial recognition, and from attempts to weaken encryption, along with advocating for privacy law reform;

- Justice for Mohamed Harkat, an end to security certificates, addressing problems in security inadmissibility and establishing a long overdue independent review and complaint body for the CBSA;

- Justice for Hassan Diab and launching a video on extradition law reform;

- Greater transparency and accountability for CSIS;

- The return of the 40+ Canadian citizens indefinitely detained in Syrian camps, including 26 children;

- The end to the CRA's prejudiced audits of Muslim-led charities, revealed in our June 2021 report;

- Greater accountability and transparency for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), including the establishment of a strong, effective and independent review mechanism;

- Monitoring the implementation of the National Security Act, 2017 (Bill C-59);

- Advocating for the repeal of the Canadian No Fly List, 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;

- Pressuring lawmakers to protect our civil liberties from the negative impact of national security and the "war on terror", as well as keeping you and our member organizations informed via the News Digest;

- And much more!

Read more - Lire plus and share on Facebook + Twitter + Instagram

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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 the hundreds of people who have supported us over the years, including on Patreon! As a reward, we are listing below our patrons who give $10 or more per month (and wanted to be listed) directly in the News Digest. Without all of you, our work wouldn't be possible!

Bill Ewanick

Mary Ann Higgs

Kevin Malseed

Brian Murphy

Colin Stuart

Bob Thomson

James Turk

John & Rosemary Williams

Jo Wood

The late Bob Stevenson

Nous tenons à remercier nos organisations membres ainsi que les centaines de personnes qui ont soutenu notre travail à travers les années, y compris sur Patreon! En récompense, nous nommons ci-dessus nos mécènes qui donnent 10$ ou plus par mois et voulaient être mentionné.es directement dans la Revue de l'actualité. Sans vous tous et toutes, notre travail ne serait pas possible!