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International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group

Coalition pour la surveillance internationale des libertés civiles

January 29, 2022 - 29 janvier 2022

Press conference on France setting a date for Hassan Diab' trial

ICLMG & HDSC 13/01/22 - On January 25, 2022, the Hassan Diab Support Committee and the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) held a press conference commenting on the setting of a date (April 2023) for the trial of Dr. Hassan Diab.

This is a shocking and inexplicable reversal of the January 2018 decision clearing Dr. Diab of all accusations and freeing him unconditionally. France continues its baseless prosecution more than four years after Hassan was exonerated by French anti-terrorism magistrates.

At the press conference, Tim McSorley (National Coordinator, ICLMG), Jo Wood (representing the Hassan Diab Support Committee), Alex Neve (Former Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, Senior Fellow at the University of Ottawa, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs), and Rob Currie (Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University), commented on the shocking implications for Dr. Diab and his family. Watch - Visionnez

Take action: Justice for Hassan Diab!

Some media coverage of the press conference:

David Cochrane, CBC News: Canada should refuse to extradite Hassan Diab to France, supporters say

Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press: Supporters of Hassan Diab urge Ottawa to reject French terrorism proceedings

Mylène Crête, La Presse: Une coalition presse Ottawa de s’opposer à toute nouvelle demande d’extradition

BBC News: Hassan Diab: Canadian academic to stand trial in French terrorism case (the article erroneously states that Dr Diab was ever charged with a crime)

The ICLMG remembers January 29, 2017

ICLMG 28/01/22 - Jan. 29th marks the five year anniversary of the horrific attack on the Centre Culturel Islamique du Québec. We remember the lives of Ibrahima Barry, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Aboubaker Thabti, Abdelkrim Hassane and Azzedine Soufiane, along with the nineteen others who were injured, their families and their community.

Jan. 29th is the day of Remembrance but also of Action against Islamophobia. It is a reminder that more needs to be done to fight violence and hate directed towards Muslims in Canada.

For 20 years, we have seen how Canada’s anti-terrorism policies and support for the so-called “War on Terror” is both a cause and consequence of Islamophobia across Canada and around the world. We join with others in calling for the Canadian government to take action by ending the systemic Islamophobia that continues to cause so much harm, and that helps to reinforce and justify individuals in their own hateful acts.

#GreenSquareCampaign #IrememberJan29

We encourage everyone to join the virtual vigil on Saturday, Jan. 29th: https://www.facebook.com/events/1745971699103666/

For more information on the impacts and ways to counter Islamophobia, visit: https://iclmg.ca/resources-against-islamophobia/

Source: Facebook + Twitter + Instagram

Où en est le Québec dans sa lutte contre l'islamophobie?

La Ligue des droits et libertés 25/01/22 - En solidarité avec les communautés musulmanes et en soutien avec leur combat contre l'islamophobie, la Ligue des droits et libertés vous invite à visionner ce panel pour mieux comprendre l'islamophobie et le rôle que nous pouvons jouer dans la lutte pour y mettre fin, dans une perspective de justice pour toutes et tous. Visionnez - Watch

Two decades of Islamophobia: The invisible toll on the health of Muslims in Canada

Canada secretly amends Safe Third Country Agreement with US to nail door shut to refugees

WSWS 28/01/2022 - In close collaboration with Washington and in blatant violation of international law, Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberal government is moving to completely seal the border to asylum seekers entering Canada from the United States. According to government sources who leaked information to the Montreal daily La Presse last month, Canada and the United States have negotiated an agreement to close “loopholes” in the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA).

The purpose of the agreement, signed in 2004 by Paul Martin’s Liberal government and the administration of George W. Bush, was to allow the Canadian government to turn back all asylum seekers entering Canada from the United States on the pretext that the latter is a “safe country” for refugees. The agreement stipulated that asylum seekers would be turned back if they made their claim at an official port of entry to Canada. However, it did not specify how asylum applications should be handled if they were filed by people who had entered Canada from the US “irregularly.” This loophole encouraged refugees desperate to escape the Trump administration’s vicious persecution of immigrants to cross the 8,900-kilometre-long Canada-US border at unguarded points in order to file their asylum application on Canadian soil. To do so, tens of thousands of impoverished refugees from Latin America, the Middle East and Africa have undertaken a dangerous and often life-threatening journey that often involves walking long distances in bitterly cold temperatures.

The leak to La Presse, which has close ties to the Liberal Party, came shortly after a ban on migrants entering Canada, put in place at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, was lifted last November. Agitating against the migrants, the anonymous government source responsible for the leak urged the government to quickly implement the till now secret agreement, declaring, “We don’t have the leisure to wait much longer for the new agreement to be implemented to be able to stop this flow, which is totally unsustainable in the more or less short term.” Amending the STCA to nail shut the door to all refugee claimants has been a longstanding demand of the Conservatives and the most right-wing provincial governments, such as the Ford government in Ontario and Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government in Quebec. Stoking anti-immigrant chauvinism and openly courting the far-right, they have regularly referred to the border as a “sieve” and blamed refugees for the dilapidated state of public services.

In a recent tweet, calling for the “closing of Roxham Road,” a commonly used “irregular” border-crossing point for migrants seeking refuge in Canada, CAQ Labour Minister Jean Boulet scapegoated migrants for the spike in COVID-19 cases produced by the Omicron variant. In reality, if Quebec and Canada are now being devastated by the pandemic’s fifth successive wave, it is because Canada’s federal and provincial governments, acting at the behest of big business and the financial oligarchy, have systematically prioritized the protection of corporate profits over human lives The CAQ has played a key role in the implementation of this murderous agenda by embracing an explicit “herd immunity” policy and denying high-quality PPE to education workers, health care staff and other working people. By acceding to the demands of the most right-wing sections of the establishment over the STCA, the Trudeau Liberal government is demonstrating, yet again, that its claims to be “pro-refugee”—that is supportive of those fleeing oppression—are an utter fraud. Read more - Lire plus

Family of four found frozen to death near Canada-U.S. border identified; RCMP investigation continues

Border deaths show need to repeal Safe Third Country Agreement

Supreme Court to review constitutionality of Safe Third Country refugee pact

La Cour suprême du Canada accepte de réviser l’Entente sur les tiers pays sûrs

B.C. agrees to review incarceration for refugee claimants

ACTION: Québec: Annulez les contrats sur la détention des personnes migrantes

Nearly 850 children at immediate risk as violence continues in northeast Syria

UNICEF 23/01/2021 - “Intensifying violence in the city of Al Hasakah, related to the “Ghwayran” prison break attempt last Thursday, has put at serious risk the safety of nearly 850 children who are in detention. Some are as young as 12 years old. According to reports, more than 100 people were killed, and thousands were displaced in the ongoing violence. “As fighting continues, the risk for children increases including to be harmed or forcibly recruited. Violence might also spread to other prisons, inside the camps and local communities.

“Children in the Ghwayran prison are children and have the right to access restorative justice procedures. We call for the release of children from prison. Detention of children should only be a measure of last resort and for the shortest time possible. “In the northeast of Syria, nearly 10,000 children and their mothers are in detention centres or the Al-Hol and Roj camps. They come from more than 60 countries and are struggling to survive amid increasingly dire conditions and the harsh winter. All of them are critically vulnerable and in urgent need of protection. Children don’t have basic services including warm clothes, hygiene, health, education and food.

“UNICEF calls on all parties in the northeast and elsewhere in Syria to keep children out of harm’s way and protect them at all times. We call once again on all member states involved to take urgent action and responsibility in the best interests of children and bring them and their mothers back to their country of origin. “UNICEF continues to facilitate engagement with local authorities, support the logistics of the repatriation, prepare children and their mothers to return home to their countries of origin, and help some of the children to reintegrate. “The clock is ticking for the children in the northeast of Syria. Every day counts and more collective action is needed now.” Read more - Lire plus

Opinion: Parliamentarians can be trusted with sensitive security information

The Globe and Mail 17/01/2022 - Parliament needs its own standing committee that can safely handle classified information and review national-security matters. Canada’s existing committee, the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP), has MPs and senators as members but is part of the executive, meaning it first reports to the Prime Minister, who then tables a redacted version in Parliament. NSICOP must be rethought. To reconcile the government’s legitimate concerns about protecting classified information and Parliament’s constitutional power to compel the production of documents, we need a security-cleared national-security committee of Parliament. National-security experts are dismayed by this partisan sparring, but asking the politicians to stop politicking is not practical. Instead, we need to appreciate why NSICOP was doomed to become a political football, and what we can do to de-escalate this fight and future ones like it.

Although it looks like one, NSICOP is not a parliamentary committee. Its members are parliamentarians, but they serve in an executive capacity. Structuring NSICOP this way was meant to build trust between parliamentarians and the intelligence community, and to provide the committee with the staff and resources needed to conduct effective reviews.

Leaving aside the rather strange notion that parliamentarians must earn the trust of the intelligence services in a democracy, this cautious approach left NSICOP with a fundamental flaw. Formally speaking, sending documents to NSICOP does not meet the requirements of parliamentary privilege and placing our national security committee in the executive has left Parliament without a capacity to securely review classified information.

If one of the legislative houses refuses to back down when demanding classified documents, we are forced to choose between tabling highly sensitive information in an unsecure setting or challenging one of Parliament’s bedrock constitutional authorities.

Transforming NSICOP into a committee of Parliament would untangle this dilemma. Sending classified documents to a parliamentary national-security committee would better address parliamentary privilege and show due respect for Parliament’s constitutional role in holding the executive to account. At the very least, opposition arguments that the executive is skirting legislative scrutiny would no longer be valid if NSICOP were a parliamentary committee, and the government would not have to take the Speaker to court to stall for time or exploit clever loopholes to limit Parliament’s essential rights. Luckily, NSICOP itself is up for review this year. It is time to accept that having an executive-based NSICOP is a source of friction and that tinkering with its current structure will not suffice. Parliament needs to embrace responsible, but real, legislative scrutiny of national security. Read more - Lire plus

Tories continue boycott of national security committee over Winnipeg lab documents

Prime Minister announces members of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians

CSIS survey finds majority of Canadians leery of giving more powers to police, intelligence agencies

The Globe and Mail 16/01/2022 - A poll commissioned by Canada’s spy agency early last year found that a slight majority of Canadians are opposed to expanding the powers of police and intelligence agencies. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service hired EKOS Research Associates to survey the public’s attitudes toward the agency, which is responsible for conducting foreign interference and influence operations, and for countering spying and terrorism.

When asked if police and intelligence agencies should have more powers to carry out security operations, even if the boost in authority came at the cost of personal privacy, 52 per cent of respondents said they disagreed with the idea. Another 32 per cent said they agreed, and 13 per cent said they neither agreed nor disagreed. Younger people were more likely to oppose providing more powers to police and intelligence agencies. More than 60 per cent of respondents under the age of 35 said they disagreed with the idea.

EKOS surveyed 1,204 Canadians between Feb. 1 and Feb. 17. The survey’s margin of error was plus or minus 2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. A report on the results was posted on the federal government’s website in March, 2021. [...]

CSIS remains relatively unknown to many Canadians. When asked to name the organization responsible for investigating threats to the country, just three in 10 of the poll’s respondents were able to correctly identify the agency. A similar survey conducted in 2018 also found that three in 10 respondents were unable to name CSIS. Wesley Wark, a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, a Waterloo, Ont.-based think tank, said the Canadian public’s unfamiliarity with CSIS poses a “genuine problem.” Prof. Wark said Canadians have a limited understanding of contemporary national security threats and the work of security agencies in the country, mostly because of a lack of public discussion. “Part of the reason why we don’t have better transparency and better public knowledge is that our political leaders have been unprepared to deliver it,” he said. Prof. Wark said he thinks the government has a responsibility to better inform Canadians, possibly by releasing a national security strategy. “There’s not enough public education, there’s not enough transparency, there’s not enough documentation available. There is a real democratic deficit in terms of knowledge about national security,” he added. Read more - Lire plus

The Uyghurs of China: Who they are, human rights abuses, implications for US policy

Campaign for Peace, Disarmament & Common Security 25/01/2022 -

A Panel Discussion with:

- Garner Bovington, author of The Uyghurs: Strangers in Their Own Land and professor of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University

- Kate Kizer, human rights advocate and columnist at Responsible Statecraft

- Alkan Akad, China Specialist, Amnesty International

The Chinese government’s treatment of its Uyghur Muslim minority has become one of the most contentious issues in U.S.-China relations. American officials regularly denounce the Chinese leadership for what it claims is the “genocide” of the Uyghurs, while Chinese leaders deny the claims and say Washington’s obsession with the issue is obstructing normal bilateral relations.

What is the truth of the matter? Obtaining accurate, unbiased information on the treatment of the Uyghurs in China’s far-western Xinjiang Autonomous Region is difficult. Nevertheless, international human rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights groups have found evidence of mass detentions and other severe abuses of Uyghurs in Xinjiang. But does this constitute genocide? The evidence for this remains contested.

And granted the evidence of widespread abuses of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, how should the U.S. government and the American public respond? Investigating and condemning China’s abysmal human rights record is one thing, but making it the centerpiece of U.S. policy at the expense of other critical issues, like war avoidance and climate change, is another. Besides, as Chinese leaders have regularly pointed out, America’s human rights record is hardly unblemished either.

The Committee for a Sane U.S.-China Policy has organized this webinar with experts on the Uyghur situation to address these questions and discuss appropriate U.S. responses. Watch - Visionnez

A Rare Public Wake-Up Call from the ICRC on Guantanamo Transfers


Just Security 20/01/2022 - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) made an exceedingly rare public statement on Jan. 18, “calling for accelerated efforts by the US government to transfer all of the [Guantanamo Bay] detainees that it deemed eligible for transfer without further delay, and with due respect for their safety and opportunities for reintegration.” The statement begins by expressing the ICRC is “gravely concerned” – serious language in the diplomatic sphere – “that the remaining people held at Guantanamo Bay have been behind bars for so many years with little or no clarity as to what will happen to them,” noting that some were “deemed eligible for transfer” more than a decade ago. (The New York Times’ Guantanamo Docket has information on all 39 men remaining at Guantanamo, almost half of whom are approved for transfer so long as certain security conditions are met, some for over a decade in an early Obama-era review process, others in recent years after review by the Periodic Review Board.)  

As the statement recites, the ICRC is “an independent and neutral humanitarian organization… empowered by the 1949 Geneva Conventions to visit detainees and prisoners of war to assess conditions of detention and treatment of people.” Its broader mandate includes “ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence.” The ICRC has a unique role among international organizations, privately interceding with States “with the aim of ensuring that detainees’ dignity and wellbeing are respected and that the conditions of detention are in line with laws and internationally recognized standards.” ICRC delegations began visiting the Guantanamo detention facility in January 2002, shortly after it opened. For 20 years, it has been meeting privately with detainees who consent to do so, addressing concerns to U.S. authorities, and facilitating communication between detainees and their families. 

Crucially, the ICRC’s communications with detainees are confidential, as are its communications with governments that hold them. That’s what enables the organization to maintain trust on all sides of an armed conflict, in situations all over the globe, in order to further its humanitarian mission. It’s also what makes Tuesday’s statement publicly calling on the U.S. government to take action exceedingly rare, if not unprecedented. [...]

Tuesday’s statement should serve as a serious wake-up call to the Biden administration, which has barely begun efforts to transfer detainees and has yet to name officials responsible for doing so in the Departments of State and Defense (which, under Obama, had Special Envoy positions charged with implementing transfers and other aspects of Guantanamo policy). The Biden administration need not name envoys to get serious about transfers, but it does need a diplomatic strategy and empowered officials responsible for implementing it. It’s not too late for 2022 to be the year that Guantanamo is on a path towards responsible closure. Read more - Lire plus

I Spent 20 Years Covering America’s Secretive Detention Regime. Torture Was Always the Subtext.

No legal reason stopping Guantanamo Bay closure, but it will take political will: law prof

After 16 years in Guantanamo, will Hambali get a fair trial?

Even After Release, Guantánamo Survivors Live Under Surveillance and in Anguish

'I was held in Guantanamo Bay then tortured in Afghanistan, 17 years on I still can't open a bank account'

“Guantánamo is like a tomb”: the Syrian trying to rebuild his life in Uruguay after spending 12 years in Gitmo

Art from Guantanamo

TAKE ACTION: Tell President Biden: Close Guantanamo

Ban Weaponized Drones from the World

The ICLMG has signed this petition amongst dozens of organizations

Roots Action/World Beyond War 2022 - Meticulous researchers have documented that U.S. drones are killing many innocent civilians in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. Drones are making the world less stable and creating new enemies. Their remoteness provides those responsible with a sense of immunity.

Weaponized drones are no more acceptable than land mines, cluster bombs, or chemical weapons. The world must renounce and forbid their manufacture, possession, or use. Violators must be held accountable.

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, urge

  • the United Nations Secretary General to investigate the concerns of Navi Pillay, the U.N.'s top human rights official, that drone attacks violate international law -- and to ultimately pursue sanctions against nations using, possessing, or manufacturing weaponized drones;
  • the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to investigate grounds for the criminal prosecution of those responsible for drone attacks;
  • the U.S. Secretary of State, and the ambassadors to the United States from the nations of the world, to support a treaty forbidding the possession or use of weaponized drones;
  • President Barack Obama Donald Trump Joe Biden to abandon the use of weaponized drones, and to abandon the "kill list" program regardless of the technology employed;
  • the Majority and Minority Leaders of the U.S. House and Senate, to ban the use or sale of weaponized drones;
  • the governments of each of our nations around the world, to ban the use or sale of weaponized drones. Source + Sign the petition!

Calling Civilian Casualties a ‘Failure,’ Democrats Urge Biden to Do Better

The New York Times 20/01/2022 - Congressional Democrats on Thursday urged President Biden to overhaul his counterterrorism strategy and targeting criteria for drone strikes, citing grave concerns about “repeated civilian casualties arising from secretive and unaccountable lethal operations.” The letter came a day after The New York Times published newly declassified surveillance footage providing additional details about the final minutes and aftermath of a botched drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan, in August that killed 10 innocent civilians, including seven children. Eleven senators and 39 members of the House, led by Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Christopher S. Murphy of Connecticut, cited that strike as “emblematic of this systemic failure that has persisted across decades and administrations.”

“When there is little policy change or accountability for repeated mistakes this grave and this costly,” the senators wrote, “it sends a message throughout the U.S. armed forces and the entire U.S. government that civilian deaths — including deaths where there was no military target — are the inevitable consequence of modern conflict, rather than avoidable and damaging failures of policy.” The letter, which was also led by Representative Ro Khanna of California, was a stinging rebuke of the administration’s current policies amid growing evidence of recurring episodes over multiple administrations in which civilian bystanders have been killed during drone strikes. And it came as top officials in Mr. Biden’s administration were working on a new policy governing drone warfare away from traditional battlefields. “We cannot ignore the terrible consequences of U.S. drone strikes over several administrations,” Ms. Warren said in a statement. “I’ve long pushed for greater accountability for civilian casualties, and the president should seize this moment to systematically reform our counterterrorism strategy.”

Times Investigations of U.S. Airstrikes

Reporting by The Times has helped uncover the toll of America's air war in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Afghanistan Faces “Tsunami of Hunger” as U.S. Sanctions Crash Country’s Economy

DemocracyNow! 21/01/2022 - The World Food Program has warned Afghanistan faces a “tsunami of hunger” as the economy continues to collapse, due in part to U.S. sanctions and the freezing of Afghan assets following the Taliban takeover of Kabul. Meanwhile, President Biden once again defended his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan on Wednesday without acknowledging the humanitarian crisis that followed his exit. We speak with journalist Jane Ferguson, who recently traveled to Afghanistan to report on the collapse of basic government services and the various factors that led to the collapse of the economy, which she says was “completely reliant on international aid.” She also speaks about the “massive pressure” the White House is under to respond to the humanitarian crisis, as well as the Taliban’s handling of the growing women’s rights movement. “What these women really need is more eyes on their movement, more of them on air, more of their voices being put on television and in the newspapers,” she says. Her most recent New Yorker piece is titled “Afghanistan Has Become the World’s Largest Humanitarian Crisis.” Read more - Lire plus

Democrats dicker in Congress as Biden flirts with Afghan genocide

USAID contractors denounce agency's betrayalof thousands of Afghans who carried out its mission

Biometrics and counter-terrorism: UN briefing shows global spread of technology

statewatch 27/01/2022 - The UN's Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) recently published a briefing on the use of biometrics for counter-terrorism purposes, offering a snapshot of how states around the world are increasingly deploying biometric technology. CTED is "a special political mission in support of the Counter‑Terrorism Committee, which was created by resolution 1373 (2001), following the 11 September terrorist attacks in the United States," and recently had its mandate renewed. It carries out country visits and assessments to aid in the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions, which now include requirements to establish biometric databases and watchlists. The briefing notes that "although the extent of biometrics use and expertise varies significantly, 118 of the 193 United Nations Member States have made at least marginal progress in introducing biometrics for counter-terrorism purposes."

"CTED’s engagement with relevant stakeholders has identified the following trends in Member States’ use of biometric technologies for counter-terrorism purposes:

• States are expanding the range of physical spaces (e.g., border crossing, public spaces, etc.) and digital spaces (e.g., social media) where they are validating biometric data.

• States are employing new and more sophisticated technologies to capture, collect, process, and analyse biometric data.

• A wider range of government officials (e.g., intelligence agencies, national and local police forces, border guards, immigration officers) and some private-sector actors (e.g., contractors) have been authorized to access biometric data.

• Some States have begun to accelerate the sharing of biometric data as part of counter-terrorism cooperation and information-sharing measures.

• States have increasingly developed terrorist watch lists and databases that link or cross-check with biometric databases, including by carrying out biometric checks against INTERPOL notices and databases in order to identify and detect criminals and terrorists."

"CTED’s analysis and engagement with relevant stakeholders has identified a range of challenges relating to the responsible use of biometric technologies in counter-terrorism. These include:

• Technological weakness and limitations

• Insufficient capacity

• Insufficient legal and administrative frameworks

• Insufficient oversight, safeguards, and protection of privacy and data, and the duration of data retention

• Reinforcement of existing discrimination and inequalities

• Potential misuse and challenges to protected freedoms of religion, expression, and association

• Limited sharing of biometric data and information

• Lack of effective remedies in case of violations

• Risk of fraud and abuse of biometric data"

"CTED’s analysis indicates that many States have faced significant human rights-related challenges in their use of biometric tools and their data-sharing protocols. These challenges have included inadequate privacy and data-protection frameworks under domestic law and lack of clear procedural safeguards for, and effective oversight of, the application of biometric technology. In the absence of such frameworks, biometric technologies can pose threats to privacy and personal security, including through their use for broader purposes such as mass surveillance, which can facilitate profiling and discrimination, often against marginalized groups, including women, minorities and asylum seekers." Read more - Lire plus

Facial recognition and police records: European biometric systems to be expanded

EU, Egypt Bid to Lead Global Counterterrorism Body an Affront to Rights

HRW 25/01/2022 - The European Union (EU) may be about to present a joint bid with Egypt to co-lead the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum, a multilateral platform with far-reaching influence on global counterterrorism policy, according to a recently leaked document. Given Egypt’s abhorrent record of human rights violations in the name of counterterrorism, the EU should seriously reconsider its move.

Since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came to power in 2013, Egypt has become a human rights black hole. Security forces have severely repressed civil society and committed horrendous abuses against scores of human rights defendersjournalistslawyers, protestersopposition politiciansbusinesspeople, and families of activists, often groundlessly labelling them as “terrorists”. Tens of thousands of real or perceived Muslim Brotherhood members have been jailed since the government outlawed the group as “terrorist” in 2013. Thousands of members were sentenced to long prison terms following grossly unfair mass trials before military courts. Other alleged dissidents didn’t make it to trial, as they were instead executed by security forces in operations poorly disguised as shootouts. The Egyptian military’s campaign in North Sinai is replete with counterterrorism violations, some so severe, systematic, and widespread that they may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity.

The EU itself has consistently but timidly raised concerns over Egypt’s human rights abuses in statements at the United Nations. However, its awareness of the country’s poor rights record hasn’t prevented the bloc from handing unconditional military, political, and economic support to Egypt’s abusive government. Yet, the joint bid under consideration would go beyond the usual mere hypocrisy and dodgy backdoor deals: it would be an open affront to the peaceful Egyptian critics who have paid a high price for their efforts to secure human rights and a democratic future for their country, and whom the state has labelled as “terrorists” for daring to do so. Rather than shamefully considering a joint bid with Egypt overlooking its miserable rights record, the EU should start taking meaningful action to address it, as Human Rights Watch and other NGOs, as well as the European Parliament, have urged. With a new UN Human Rights Council session approaching, intensifying efforts to create a long-overdue human rights monitoring and reporting mechanism on Egypt would be a good place to start. Read more - Lire plus

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

Cette année marque le 5e douloureux anniversaire de l’attentat perpétré contre la Grande mosquée de Québec. Le 29 janvier 2017, nous avons perdu six de nos concitoyens de confession musulmane qui ont laissé derrière eux des veuves, des orphelin·e·s, des familles éplorées et une société sous le choc. Compte tenu des recommandations de la Santé publique, la commémoration de ce tragique attentat se tiendra virtuellement.

Vous êtes donc invité·e·s à assister à la cérémonie qui sera diffusée sur Facebook, le samedi 29 janvier 2022 entre 18h et 19h (heure de l'est).

Des prises de parole seront retransmises en direct afin que nous puissions partager un moment de paix, de recueillement et de solidarité. Cet événement sera l’occasion, cette année encore, d'honorer les victimes, leurs proches et le Québec inclusif auquel nous aspirons toutes et tous. Rappelons que depuis l’an dernier, le 29 janvier est officiellement une journée nationale d’action contre l’islamophobie. Pour nous soutenir dans l’organisation de cet événement, nous vous invitons à diffuser les informations relatives à la commémoration dans vos réseaux, ainsi qu’à poursuivre votre engagement contre le racisme, la discrimination et l’islamophobie au Québec.

Pour ne pas oublier!

Pour ne pas que ça se reproduise!



The Green Square Campaign

January 29, the National Day of Remembrance of the Quebec City Mosque Attack and Action Against Islamophobia, serves as a reminder of the work we must do as a nation to eradicate Islamophobia, hate and racism in Canada. In honour of the memory of the victims, in recognition of those who selflessly and courageously put themselves in harm’s way to protect others, and in solidarity with the survivors of this tragedy, we mark this day by inviting each and every Canadian to stand with us by joining the Green Square Campaign.

  1. Make a green square and wear it on your jacket from January 25-29.
  2. Share your story! Make a video or post a message and tell us why the Green Square campaign is important to you and what action you want to see to make Canada a safer place for all Canadians. Use the hashtags #GreenSquareCampaign #WeRememberJan29
  3. Monument Lighting: Get your local monuments, city halls, or landmarks lit green on January 29th.
  4. Organize a vigil or virtual event
  5. Friday Khutba: Organize a special jummah prayer at your mosque to pray for the victims, their families and for the safety and well being of Canadians of all backgrounds.
  6. Add a temporary frame around your Facebook profile picture
  7. Green Letters Campaign
  8. Download a virtual Green Square Zoom/Google Meet/Microsoft Teams background.

Click the button below for links, graphics and more details.


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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Canada must reform its extradition system now!

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!


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!

Parliamentary petition


No More Attacks on Afghanistan

World Beyond War - In response to a bombing at the Kabul airport, the US president authorized 2 drone strikes on August 27 and 29 that killed several Afghan civilians, including a family of ten. Official counts indicate that at least 241,000 people have been killed in the Afghanistan and Pakistan war zones. We oppose any further attacks on Afghanistan, “over the horizon” or by troops on the ground.

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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


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.


Stop the illegal arrests of Canadian journalists

On Nov. 19, photojournalist Amber Bracken was arrested by the RCMP while on assignment for The Narwhal on Wet’suwet’en territory. Amber — along with freelance filmmaker Michael Toledano — was held in jail for 3 nights before being released on the condition that she'll appear in court on Feb. 14.

Please call on the federal Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino to exercise his oversight responsibility of the RCMP and to complete a full investigation that stops these illegal arrests from happening once and for all.


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

Hong Kong plans to add more national security crimes, broaden definition of spying

Attacks on dissent

Attaques contre la dissidence

Cameroon: More than a hundred detainees from Anglophone regions and opposition party languishing in jail for speaking out

UK: How will the police and crime bill limit the right to protest?

Hundreds detained in Kazakhstan in wake of violent unrest

Freedom of speech and of the press

Liberté d'expression et de la presse

France targets groups, websites with expanded powers under anti-terror law

Migrant and Refugee Rights

Droits des migrant.es et des réfugié.es

UK Home Office tells Afghan and Yemeni asylum seekers they can return safely

Company that advised Afghans not to flee before Taliban takeover was previously paid £700k by UK Government

UK Home Office accused of ‘bullying’ asylum seekers into handing over phones


Horizon Ottawa Concerned with Motion Vying to Stifle Democracy at Ottawa Police Services Board

Algorithmic Policing Policies through a Human Rights and Substantive Equality Lens (webinar)

LEAF and The Citizen Lab Joint Submission on Toronto Police Use of AI Policy

San Francisco Police Illegally Used Surveillance Cameras at the George Floyd Protests. The Courts Must Stop Them

Privacy and surveillance

Vie privée et surveillance

In the Golden Age of Surveillance, Can Privacy Laws Save Us? (podcast)

Ottawa’s use of our location data raises big surveillance and privacy concerns

Interview: Phone of HRW Director Attacked Using Pegasus Spyware

Saudi Human Rights Activist, Represented by EFF, Sues Spyware Maker DarkMatter For Violating U.S. Anti-Hacking and International Human Rights Laws

Unsafe anywhere: women human rights defenders speak out about Pegasus attacks

ECHR: Strasbourg Court provides a strong standard on data retention and secret surveillance

EU: Mass travel surveillance: no problem, says court

Europol: Council Presidency proposes workaround for illegal data processing

UK can join EU surveillance schemes with no parliamentary scrutiny, warns new report

EU: Police to support anti-encryption policy development


Lanceur.ses d'alertes

Julian Assange Wins Right to Appeal Extradition; Stella Moris Blasts “Politically Motivated Prosecution”

Denmark's former defence minister charged with treason, faces 12 years in prison for revealing that Denmark and the US stole information from undersea cables



Thich Nhat Hanh After 9/11: Ignorance, Discrimination, Fear & Violence Are Real Enemies of Humanity

New book: The Suspect: Counterterrorism, Islam, and the Security State by Rizwaan Sabir

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!