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International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group

Coalition pour la surveillance internationale des libertés civiles

August 5, 2022 - 5 août 2022

Abdul Nakua: Tackling Islamophobia begins by rebuilding trust with the Muslim community

Policy Options 02/08/2022 - The first anniversary of the killing of four members of the Afzaal family in London, Ont., passed with marches and vigils and a commitment to fight Islamophobia. Last winter, another grim anniversary of the Quebec City mosque massacre was commemorated in a similar manner. Both left an indelible imprint on the Muslim community across the country. One glaring similarity in the two tragedies is the preference to identify and restrict the solutions towards Islamophobia through a narrow and ineffective focus on hate crimes. However, to truly address Islamophobia, we need to look at the deep systemic racism that exists in Canada.

Islamophobia is a complex phenomenon. It must be seen through the larger context of systemic racism such as anti-Indigenous racism, anti-Black racism and anti-migrant discrimination. Fundamentally, Islamophobia is an outcome of the racialization of Muslims as an “other” — mostly through targeting the expression of their “Muslimness.” Islamophobia has been on the rise since 9/11. Under the “war on terror” and the anti-radicalization framework, Muslims were securitized within public, political and media discourses. These policies stigmatized Muslims and made it easy to propagate dangerous Islamophobic discourses. This normalization process rose to a crescendo around 2011 when it moved from the fringe towards the centre as its political utility became evident.

One example of systemic Islamophobia was exposed in two recent reports that examined the targeting of Muslim-led charities by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The first report, by the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG), traced systemic biases in Canada’s anti-terrorism financing and anti-radicalization regimes. The second, titled Under Layered Suspicion, examined three audit reports of six revoked charities and identified a number of systemic biases. These included casting Muslims and their lifestyles and activities as inherently foreign or in the role of the outsider. These reports expose one of the major failures of the anti-terror policies. The concentration of counter-terrorism resources was not based on a comparative risk analysis. There had been neither a substantial assessment of other potential threats of terrorism nor an informed system-wide decision to proceed on this basis.

The staging for these audits could be traced to a 2015 hearing by the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence where Lorenzo Vidino, an American legal scholar with connections to numerous anti-Muslim think tanks in the United States and Europe was a key witness. A Georgetown University report says Vindino’s research “promotes conspiracy theories about the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe and the United States.” He has also openly advocated for the delegitimization of Muslim community organizations by asking for an “Al Capone law-enforcement approach” to shut them down on tax breaches. By doing this, he used a common Islamophobic allegation that mainstream Muslim organizations are influenced by foreign entities such as the Muslim Brotherhood. [...]

Tackling Islamophobia begins by rebuilding trust with the Muslim community. This starts with strong government leadership to review the anti-terrorism laws and policies, and replace them with new fit-for-purpose alternatives. The government must also invest resources to address systemic institutional Islamophobia that we are witnessing in the CRA, the Canada Border Services Agency, the RCMP and CSIS, among other government agencies. The CRA should suspend the review and analysis division (RAD) of the charities directorate until the federal government revises its risk-based assessment model and reforms its anti-terrorism laws. More immediately, the minister of national revenue should declare a moratorium on the targeted audit of Muslim charities by RAD until the review has concluded.

The recent announcement by the federal government that it would establish a special representative on combating islamophobia is a good start. However, producing statistics and narratives of Islamophobia will not solve it. We need to address it directly from a systemic perspective. It should be part of a federal office with clear mandate and sufficient resources to implement a purposeful agenda to correct past wrongs, and to compel us as a society to imagine a new norm that is more inclusive and equitable.

The ugly legacy of Islamophobia should never be allowed to persist. This starts by recognizing that Islamophobia is more than hate crimes. Read more - Lire plus

ICLMG in the media: Canada Ends Muslim Charity Suspension Amid Bias Review

Bloomberg Tax 14/07/2022 - Canada has restored a Muslim-led charity’s ability to hand out tax receipts amid allegations that the national tax authority discriminates against Muslim groups. Human Concern International can once again provide donors with tax receipts after a one-year suspension by the Canada Revenue Agency ended on Wednesday, the agency said Thursday. “The resilience of HCI during the suspension is evidence of our Islamic tradition to serve humanity and safeguard every human life,” Mahmuda Khan, the group’s executive director, said in a news release, adding: “HCI continues to appeal the suspension and the findings of the CRA and advocate on behalf of the Muslim charitable sector and denounce the Islamophobic practices of the CRA.”

The agency suspended Human Concern International beginning in July 2021 over concerns that it engaged in “third party receipting.” The practice involved accepting donations for and issuing tax receipts to other groups not registered as charities that fund-raised in Canada and undertook projects overseas, the agency said last year in a letter outlining the suspension. Human Concern International has maintained throughout the ordeal that the practice was widespread among charities and generally accepted as legal by the agency. The agency didn’t say how its concerns were addressed in its decision to return the group’s charity status. “Overall, for any registered charity, the CRA looks at the whole of its operations and previous non-compliance to determine if it continues to comply with the requirements of the Income Tax Act,” Hannah Wardell, spokeswoman for the agency, said in a statement. The agency has stressed its dedication to diversity, inclusion and anti-racism.

The suspension has cost the charity around C$4 million (US $3.1million) in lost donations, as well as significant legal costs, Munir Betelmal, spokesman for the group, said Thursday. It will continue with litigation challenging the suspension decision in court, he said. Human Concern International is one of many charities that have alleged anti-Muslim discrimination at the hands of the agency. Human Concern International’s suspension fits with the troubling pattern of systemic discrimination against Muslim charities, said Tim McSorley, executive director of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group. “Our research found a troubling history of the CRA initiating audits of Muslim charities based on unsupported allegations that lead to drawn out audits resulting in penalties that are not linked to the initial reasons for investigation, and which cannot be challenged,” McSorley said.

National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier asked the Office of the Taxpayer’s Ombudsperson to investigate the agency’s treatment of charities from Muslim and racialized communities in July 2021. The office hasn’t said when it will release a final report. The Muslim Association of Canada, another national Muslim group, is currently challenging the agency’s treatment of charities at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Source

For more details on Canada Revenue Agency's prejudiced audits of Muslim-led charities, check out ICLMG's report

Letter to Public Safety Minister: Don't conflate human rights work with "violent extremism"

CJPME 04/08/2022 - In Recommendation 20, the Standing Committee’s report requests that the Government of Canada “thoroughly reject the demonization and delegitimization of the State of Israel, and condemn all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups, or individuals, including university campus associations, to promote these views, both at home and abroad.” [...]

The terms “demonization” and “delegitimization” are not defined in the report. This is perhaps because these terms do not have clear and agreed-upon definitions, which could be debated or clarified. Instead, they are entirely subjective characterizations which can be applied (or misapplied) to virtually any criticism of Israel which is perceived to be unfair. The report’s inclusion of undefined, vague, and subjective language undermines its usefulness, and increases the likelihood that these concepts will be misused or weaponized against others without any reasonable connection to “violent extremism.”

This is not a hypothetical concern. The language in Recommendation 20 is frequently used to characterize criticism of Israel as antisemitic for the purpose of shutting down legitimate criticism of Israeli human rights violations. To give one example: in February 2022, Amnesty International issued a landmark report which credibly alleged that the Israeli government is practicing apartheid against the Palestinians, which is a crime under international law.[ii] Before the text was even released, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), B’nai Brith Canada, and the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre issued a joint statement denouncing Amnesty International for “demoniz[ing]” and “delegitimiz[ing]” Israel, and accusing the organization of engaging in antisemitism.[iii]

According to the text of Recommendation 20, the Government of Canada would be expected to condemn Amnesty International as “violent extremists,” and condemn any Canadian group or individual which “promotes” its views (that is, its human rights work). One does not need to agree with Amnesty International’s analysis to see that they are not “violent extremists,” and it would be outrageous for Canada to condemn them as such.

Evidently, Recommendation 20 does not provide clarity or leadership on the issue of violent extremism, and its presence is not justified by the content of the report itself. Instead of fighting hate, its intent appears to be undermining activism in support of Palestinian human rights, and it is likely to put a chill on legitimate human rights and anti-racism work. I request that you reject this unfounded and dangerous recommendation when you issue your response to the Standing Committee’s report. I look forward to hearing from you regarding this matter. Read more - Lire plus

‘Terrifying’: Canada’s police going all in on ‘pre-crime’ intervention

The Breach 28/07/2022 - A growing intervention model that partners police with schools, health providers and social workers to identify people believed to be “at risk” of becoming criminals or victims of crime is violating minors’ privacy, omitting crucial race data, and may have contributed to several deaths in Ontario, documents obtained by The Breach reveal.

First created in 2011, the so-called “Situation Tables” have been rolled out in cities across Canada, assessing thousands of people and launching hundreds of interventions led or assisted by police every year. There are around 150 Tables currently active in Canada with funding from provinces or cities, and no provincial or federal oversight.

According to notes of a Table meeting in Ontario obtained from the provincial Ministry of the Solicitor General through freedom-to-information request, police and their partners discussed individuals who died after being evaluated by tables and acknowledged a lack of accountability. As Tables continue to spread across Canada and intervene in non-criminal “situations,” those targeted risk having police and social services show up at their door—and possibly be arrested or hospitalized without consent.

Policing experts and academics are describing the program as “shocking,” “terrifying,” and bound to “amplify racism.” Ontario’s Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner says they would have “serious concerns” if information is being unnecessarily shared between police and different agencies. In press coverage, police and government supporters of Situation Tables routinely highlight the potential for positive outcomes of intervention and cite feel-good anecdotes. But Laura Huey, a criminologist at Western University, said that the evidence proving beneficial outcomes of Situation Tables is “virtually non-existent.” “There has not been one single, independent, peer-reviewed evaluation of any version of a Canadian…table published in a credible research journal,” she said. Situation Tables operate as informal coordinating bodies, with no permanent address. Despite usually being administered by police, their activities are considered outside of police responsibility. “This is about expanding the footprint of public policing, without any indication it is helping anyone at all,” said Kevin Walby, associate professor of criminal justice at the University of Winnipeg, after seeing the documents. “They allow police to insinuate themselves in schools and elsewhere, without representing the harm done by the system.”

Experts in privacy and surveillance have referred to Situation Tables as a form of predictive policing, when police use data and insights to predict who may commit a crime in the future. Depending on whether they’re in a rural or urban area, Situation Tables are typically administered by local or provincial police, and in some cases the RCMP in partnership with mental health agencies. Children’s Aid Services, housing assistance agencies and youth services organizations also participate. Situation Table members meet outside of their employing organizations to identify individuals and families they think are heading for trouble, based on a list of risk factors that include whether a person uses alcohol, displays “negative behavior” or lives in a “negative neighborhood.” Their stated goal is to prevent crime and “social disorder.” In the city of Toronto alone, 537 people or families were subject to intervention in 2018. The first Table was launched in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan in 2011 under then-Chief of Police Dale McFee, who has become a prominent promoter of the model. It has since expanded across Canada, and also the United States, where there are at least a dozen in operation.

For a Table members to refer an individual or family for intervention, they typically must first obtain consent. But if they agree a person is at “Acutely Elevated Risk,” the person’s information can be shared—and an intervention deployed—without consent. In those cases, agencies must inform the person after the fact that their information has been shared. Police describe Situation Table interventions as helpful visits from police and their partners, but some interventions have led to people being jailed or forcibly hospitalized. Previous reports have shown the interventions disproportionately target minors and Indigenous women, collect sensitive data from people into a Risk Tracking Database, and routinely launch interventions without consent. Tari Ajadi, a PhD candidate at Dalhousie University who studies racism and public policy, told The Breach he has “massive concerns” about the Situation Table approach. “It’s a really horrible model,” Ajadi told The Breach. “This is a bunch of institutions ganging up on people who are defenseless. Situation Tables turn the model of collaborative community-centric care on its head, and put it in the grasp of the carceral state…How could this ever be allowed in the context of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?” Despite claims by police that they reduce crimes, data from cities with Tables show crime has in some cases risen after they were launched. Read more - Lire plus

'You’re going to end up in the cage’: Montreal police still routinely stop Black youth to demand they identify themselves under the flimsiest of pretexts

Privacy committee to study RCMP use of spyware tools

CTV News 22/07/2022 - The House of Commons Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics Committee voted Tuesday to begin a special summer study to examine the RCMP's use of spyware, calling on the national police force to be more transparent about the software it uses to conduct surveillance or collect data as part of its investigations. MPs on the committee have decided to hold a series of meetings starting in August that will focus on determining which "device investigation tools" the RCMP uses, as well as the terms and conditions of using this software. The committee has called for the RCMP to provide a list of warrants obtained, if any, for the use of this software, and are also seeking information related to the potential wiretapping of MPs, their parliamentary assistants, or any other Parliament of Canada employee. As part of the study, MPs will be calling for any RCMP officers who have made decisions around the use of surveillance tools; Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino; and the current and former federal privacy commissioners to testify, with the option to invite additional witnesses as desired.

Concerns over the RCMP's use of spyware tools were sparked after documents tabled in the House of Commons in June shed new light on the police force's use of spyware to conduct surveillance and collect data, including through accessing microphones and cameras of phones belonging to suspects of major criminal and national security investigations. In the documents, the RCMP says the tools used by the Technical Investigation Services Covert Access and Intercept Team are used "primarily" to "covertly and remotely" access text messages and other private communications that couldn’t be collected using wiretaps or "other less intrusive investigative techniques." "Police sometimes need to use advanced technology-based capabilities to address investigative barriers such as those caused by encryption," read part of the RCMP's submission to the House of Commons. The agency also said that these "on-device investigate [sic] tools" were used 10 times between 2018-2022, and that "in every case, a judicial authorization was obtained" before the tools were deployed.

Bloc Quebecois MP and committee vice-chair Rene Villemure proposed the motion, telling his colleagues during a meeting on Tuesday to discuss taking up the study, that while concerns were raised in the Commons when the disclosure was first made by the national police force, questions remain. "This document should be clarified. And the questions I would put have to do with this document. There are no accusations, we're looking into things," he said in French. On the heels of the RCMP confirming it uses these tools, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) expressed concern about police in Canada using spyware against Canadians in targeted investigations. "What we don’t know is vast. What kinds of investigations are deemed serious enough to use such invasive tools? What tools are being used, and who supplies them? Is it one of the many vendors of spyware known for selling such tools to authoritarian states who use it to target human rights defenders and journalists? What are the internal decision and authorization processes undertaken to authorize this nuclear option for surveillance of Canadians?" asked Brenda McPhail, the CCLA's director of privacy technology and surveillance program in a statement calling for an open discussion on the use of these tools.

The proposal for this study was met with resistance from the Liberal members of the committee, who expressed hesitations over whether the panel of MPs was best placed to take on this work, attempting unsuccessfully to amend the motion to limit its scope. "I agree with my colleagues, it's important to hold our institutions to account but it's also important at the same time to ensure that there is trust in public institutions that's maintained at the same time," said Liberal MP and committee vice-chair Iqra Khalid during Tuesday's meeting. She suggested the subject matter may be better placed with the top-secret National Security Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP). "I understand that members would like to have that conversation in a more public forum, which obviously restricts the ability of us to ask those classified questions which we may not get answers to, or to receive those classified documents which we may not receive, because of the sensitive nature of this," said Khalid. Conservative MP and committee member James Bezan said he disagreed, and that the issue was something the committee should be delving into. "I think that we want to be very cautious on how we deal with it, including on issues of national security. But, we don't want the RCMP to use the guise of national security or public safety as a way to pull the veil over this information, and hide it from parliamentarians," Bezan said. The committee is aiming to finalize its study and submit a report to the House of Commons by the start of the fall sitting, on Sept. 19. Read more - Lire plus

Canada said her case was urgent. Four months later, this Afghan women’s activist waits with no visa

Toronto Star 03/08/2022 - It gave Farzana Adell Ghadiya hope in April when the well-known Afghan women’s rights activist learned her visa application had been marked urgent for processing by Canadian immigration officials. But almost four months after that last update in the wake of a Star story highlighting her plight, the 38-year-old woman is languishing in limbo in a country where advocates say are picking up Afghan refugees in sweeps and sending them back to the Taliban’s embrace.

“The country where I’m right now does not grant visas anymore to Afghans, but rather deports them to Afghanistan as a group after the visa expires,” said Adell Ghadiya, who was the chief of staff for the UN Commission on the Status of Women for the Afghan government overthrown by the Taliban last August. “This deportation process is even co-ordinated by the embassy of Afghanistan in this country.” The Star agreed to withhold the name of the country where Adell Ghadiya is for her safety. Last August, Ottawa set a target to bring in 40,000 Afghans through a special immigration program for those who worked for the Canadian government in Afghanistan and a humanitarian program for women’s rights advocates, human rights defenders, journalists and at-risk minorities. But as the federal government is inching toward its goal of inviting 40,000 Afghans and showing no intent to lift the cap, advocates are alarmed by what would happen to those who have yet to hear from immigration officials.[...]

Matthew Behrens of the Ottawa-area-based Rural Refugees Rights Network said his members have individually contacted their MPs — including Jenna Sudds, parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth — about Adell Ghadiya’s file and were told as early as April 12 that the case had reached Fraser’s office and been flagged “urgent.” “Why is it that three and a half months after it was marked urgent, there’s been no action on it? We have specifically asked what further information might you require to finalize the file and the word from the minister’s office has been ‘We have everything we need,’” said Behrens, whose group’s online petition for Adell Ghadiya has already collected 30,000 signatures. “In dealing with MPs’ offices, they are all frustrated with the immigration minister’s office as we are. They can’t get answers either. We asked them what else we can do, they just say, ‘Keep up the pressure.’ These are Liberal MPs.” Meanwhile, Adell Ghadiya, an ethnic Hazara, has already run out of money months ago and must rely on the charity of her Canadian supporters to survive. “In this difficult situation, both my passport and my visa are going to expire soon and I am afraid that this country will send me back to Afghanistan. I have no chance to live there as long as Taliban has the authority to control the country,” she told the Star from her undisclosed location. [...]

Behrens said volunteers have been in touch with Adell Ghadiya daily to keep her spirits up but they’re worried for her untreated diabetes. “Even if she could eventually arrive in Canada, she could lose her eyesight and she could suffer organ damage because of her untreated conditions,” he said. “We are as so-called feminist government, subjecting a woman’s rights activist to trauma is beyond despicable. Her case is in the minister’s office. It cannot go any higher. Why can’t they just open that file, stamp it and issue her travel papers and send her here?” Behrens said there’s already a team of volunteers to help settle Adell Ghadiya in the Ottawa area and all she needs is the permit to come. “She is not going to be a burden in any way on the Canadian state. She’s ready to work. She’s got free housing. She’s got a tremendous support network,” he said. “So every time Fraser says, ‘Oh, it’s really difficult.’ Well, it’s not that difficult.” Read more - Lire plus

TAKE ACTION: Canada Must Save At-Risk Afghan Women’s Rights Activist Farzana Adell

Senate Votes to Help Vets Poisoned by Military “Burn Pits.” Why No Help for Sick Iraqis & Afghans?

U.S. played secret role in Nigeria attack that killed more than 160 civilians

The Intercept 28/07/2022 - The United States played an unacknowledged role in the 2017 bombing of an internally displaced persons’ camp in Nigeria that killed more than 160 civilians, many of them children. A surveillance plane circled above the Rann IDP camp, which housed 43,000 people and was controlled by the Nigerian military, before a jet arrived and bombed the area where people draw water from a borehole, survivors of the attack said. The jet then circled and dropped another bomb on the tents of displaced civilians sheltering there.

The Nigerian air force expressed regret for carrying out the airstrike, which also killed nine aid workers and seriously wounded more than 120 people. But the attack was referred to as an instance of “U.S.-Nigerian operations” in a formerly secret U.S. military document obtained exclusively by The Intercept. Evidence suggests that the U.S. launched a near unprecedented internal investigation of the attack because it secretly provided intelligence or other support to the Nigerian armed forces, a contribution hinted at by Nigerian military officials at the time. The U.S. inquiry, the existence of which has not been previously reported, was ordered by the top American general overseeing troops in Africa and was specifically designed to avoid questions of wrongdoing or recommendations for disciplinary action, according to the document.

Conducted as part of a long-running counterinsurgency campaign against the terrorist group Boko Haram, the January 17, 2017, attack on the camp, located in Rann, Nigeria, near the Cameroonian and Chadian borders, also destroyed at least 35 structures, including shelters for war victims who had been forced from their homes. The Nigerian Air Force bombed the internally displaced persons’ camp — which had been set up by the Nigerian military — because “the location was not reflected in the operational map as a humanitarian base,” according to Maj. Gen. John Enenche, Nigeria’s director of defense information. “Hence, it appeared as a place that could equally be used for enemy activities.”

Nigerian human rights activists questioned how the military could be unaware of the camp and alleged a cover-up. The tents were visible from the air, according to satellite imagery. Last year, Agnès Callamard — then-United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions — noted the absurdity of the strike. “The military presence in Rann, its role in establishing the camp and their facilitation of the humanitarian distribution on the day, raise many questions,” she wrote in a 2021 report. “No independent investigation was carried out.” Read more - Lire plus

Burkina Faso : l'armée reconnait la mort de civils lors d'un raid aérien

TV5 Monde 22/07/2022 - "Des actions de ciblage visant des groupes terroristes responsables de plusieurs exactions ont été effectuées dans plusieurs localités (Djamanga, Djabiga, Mandéni, Bounou, Obiagou, Pognoa-Sankoado) de la région de l’Est" lundi 1er août, indique l'état-major de l'armée burkinabé dans un communiqué.

"Au cours de ces opérations qui ont permis de neutraliser plusieurs dizaines de terroristes, les frappes ont malencontreusement causé des victimes collatérales au sein des populations civiles", ajoute-t-il. Les victimes, dont le nombre n'a pas été communiqué par l'état-major, "se trouvaient à proximité d’un repaire terroriste sur l’axe Kompienga-Pognoa" lorsqu'elles "ont malheureusement été mortellement atteintes par des projectiles", souligne le texte.

Des habitants de la région ont affirmé qu' une "trentaine de civils", majoritairement des femmes, ont été tués lors des frappes de l'armée. "Elles étaient réunies pour l'inauguration d'un moulin lorsque le drame s'est produit", a expliqué l'un d'eux sous couvert d'anonymat. L'état-major indique qu'une enquête "a immédiatement été ouverte en vue de situer les responsabilités" et présente ses "sincères condoléances aux familles et aux proches des victimes". Il assure de son "engagement à collaborer pleinement avec les services compétents et les populations pour faire toute la lumière sur cet incident malheureux". Lire plus - Read more

Turkish drone attacks in 48 hours: Nearly 15 people killed and injured in four attacks on SDF-held areas

SOHR 23/07/2022 - As Turkish forces continued to escalate their aerial operations on areas under the control of the Autonomous Administration in north and north-east Syria, SOHR monitored four drone attacks carried out by Turkish Airforce in the past 48 hours. Turkish forces waged two attacks on Ain Al-Arab (Kobani) in Aleppo, while two drones hit Al-Qamishli in Al-Hasakah province. Turkish drone attacks left six military personnel, including four women, dead and at least eight others injured. The death toll is believed to rise. This comes in light of ongoing Turkish propaganda of an imminent military operation in Syria, following the tripartite summit between Iran, Russia, and Turkey presidents. [...]

Accordingly, the number of attacks carried out by Turkish drones on areas controlled by the “Autonomous Administration in northern and north-eastern Syria, AANES” since early 2022 has reached 38. These attacks left 27 people dead, including two children and nine women, and over 74 others injured. Read more - Lire plus

“The Drone Problem”: How the U.S. Has Struggled to Curb Turkey, a Key Exporter of Armed Drones

Casualties Of Turkish Shelling Of Syria’s Hasakah Rise To 9

2 Civilians Injured In Turkish Drone Attack On Syria’s Ain Issa

Turkey Fires 58 Shells On Syria’s Aleppo, Government Soldiers Wounded

Iraq Requests Urgent UNSC Meeting Over Turkish Attack on Kurdish Resort That Killed 9

US CENTCOM Extends Condolences To Families Of SDF Fighters Targeted By Turkey

ACTION: Biden: Stop Turkey's invasion

Israeli sniper kills 16-year-old Palestinian boy in Jenin

DCI Palestine 02/08/2022 - Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy last night in the northern occupied West Bank. Dirar Riyad Lufti Al-Haj Saleh, 16, was shot in the back with live ammunition by Israeli forces around 10:35 p.m. on August 1 in Jenin refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. An Israeli sniper deployed on top of a residential building shot Dirar from approximately 90 meters (295 feet). He sustained an entry wound to his back right shoulder and the bullet expanded inside his body resulting in severe internal bleeding. An ambulance transported Dirar to the Jenin Government Hospital, where he was pronounced dead around 10:40 p.m.

“Israeli forces know no bounds and continue to kill Palestinian children with impunity,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Israeli soldiers seemingly shoot to kill with complete disregard for international norms, perpetrating war crimes, as the international community stands silent.” Dirar was targeted as the Israeli military made an incursion into Jenin refugee camp about 20 minutes earlier that night. Dirar and other Palestinian residents confronted Israeli forces deployed in and near military vehicles that were located about 50 meters (165 feet) away at the time he was shot, according to information collected by DCIP. Under international law, intentional lethal force is only justified in circumstances where a direct threat to life or serious injury is present. However, investigations and evidence collected by DCIP regularly suggest that Israeli forces use lethal force against Palestinian children in circumstances that may amount to extrajudicial or wilful killings. Dirar is the 18th Palestinian child shot and killed by Israeli forces in 2022, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Read more - Lire plus

Free Khalil Awawdeh and Raed Rayan: 115 prisoners joining collective strike to release long-term hunger strikers

Myanmar: First executions in decades mark atrocious escalation in state repression

Amnesty International 25/07/2022 - Responding to reports that Myanmar’s military authorities have carried out executions for the first time since the late 1980s, Amnesty International’s Regional Director Erwin van der Borght said: “These executions amount to arbitrary deprivation of lives and are another example of Myanmar’s atrocious human rights record. The four men were convicted by a military court in highly secretive and deeply unfair trials. The international community must act immediately as more than 100 people are believed to be on death row after being convicted in similar proceedings. [...]

Phyo Zeya Thaw, a former member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, and prominent democracy activist Kyaw Min Yu, also known as Ko Jimmy, were convicted of and sentenced to death by a military tribunal in January for offenses involving explosives, bombings and financing terrorism under the Anti-Terrorism Law – charges that Amnesty International believes to be politically motivated. Read more - Lire plus

Track and target: FAQ on Myanmar CCTV cameras and facial recognition

Who buys and controls the CCTV? Myanmar’s slippery slope to mass surveillance

The Assassination of Ayman al-Zawahiri: CIA Drone Kills al-Qaeda Leader - and 12 Civilians - at Safe House in Kabul

DemocracyNow! 02/08/2022 - President Biden claimed Monday a CIA drone strike killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul, Afghanistan. Trained as a surgeon in Egypt, where he was born into a prominent family, al-Zawahiri was a key figure in the jihadist movement since the 1980s. The U.S. has long accused al-Zawahiri of being a key 9/11 plotter along with Osama bin Laden, who was killed in a U.S. raid in Pakistan in 2011. The Taliban has since criticized the attack, saying the drone strike was a “violation of international principles.” For more, we’re joined by Afghan journalist Bilal Sarwary and national security expert Karen Greenberg, who say the Taliban’s apparent sheltering of al-Zawahiri in a prominent Kabul neighborhood was shocking. “This is a strike inside the heart of Kabul in an area that is very, very well known to the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies,” says Sarwary, whose sources report at least 12 Arab nationals were killed in the strike despite Biden announcing there were no civilian casualties. Read more - Lire plus

Today's letters: Terrorist leader Al-Zawahri and extra-judicial killings

Nicaragua: Rights experts denounce shutdown of over 700 civil society groups

UN News 29/07/2022 - The arbitrary shutdown of hundreds of civil society organizations in Nicaragua is deeply concerning and will have a chilling effect on activists and human rights defenders across the country, UN-appointed independent human rights experts said on Friday. In a letter to the Nicaraguan Government last Monday, the group of 16 UN experts upheld that the action “represents a clear pattern of repressing civic space”. The UN experts echoed a statement earlier this year by the High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the crackdown. They expressed shock over the extent of the shutdowns by the National Assembly at the request of the Government – counting more than 700 closures, 487 in just the past month.

Even though room for non-governmental organisations to operate in has been reduced since political protests against the administration of President Daniel Ortega began in 2018, the recent enforcement of a 2020 Law on Foreign Agents and a 2022 Law on Regulation and Control of Non-Profit Organizations (NPO) has accelerated closures. Ahead of the NPO Law that entered into force in May, the experts provided legal analysis along with their concerns. Specifically, the law imposes burdensome administrative and registration procedures, the disclosure of data of beneficiaries, and significantly restricts foreign funding. To date, the experts have not received any response to their concerns. “We regret to see that, once again, counter-terrorism and anti-money laundering legislation is being misused to unnecessarily and disproportionately restrict the activities of civil society and fundamental freedoms,” the experts said, highlighting a global trend. [...]

The UN experts expressed concern about the deterring effect that these shutdowns have on civil society, noting that hundreds of activists have already fled the country and sought refuge in neighbouring States to fear of reprisals. “We urge the State to abstain from further closures and immediately reverse these severe restrictions on associations,” the experts said. “A functioning, well-established and diverse civic and political space is key in any democratic country”. Read more - Lire plus

India's plot to criminalize Islam in Kashmir

India's Plot to Criminalize Islam in Kashmir

Israel sends veiled threat to attorneys of outlawed Palestinian NGOs

+972 magazine 18/07/22 - A Defense Ministry official sent a letter to several of the lawyers representing the six Palestinian organizations that have been designated by Israel “terrorist organizations,” hinting that doing so could violate Israel’s anti-terror laws. According to the letter — which was sent on July 14 to Michael Sfard, who is representing Al-Haq, Avigdor Feldman, who represents the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), and another attorney who represents one of the other six organizations outlawed by Defense Minister Benny Gantz in October 2021 — the three may be in violation of Israel’s terror laws for collecting fees from the groups.

The letter states that the lawyers were required to receive prior approval from the Finance Ministry to collect the fees, so as to ensure that the lawyers would be excluded from Israel’s anti-terror laws. Although it is not stated, the letter implies that the very act of collecting those fees could amount to a security offense, which carry a severe penalty in Israel. The letter was sent in the run up to July 20, during which a Defense Minister committee will be hearing appeals by Al-Haq and the Defense For Children International-Palestine (DCI-P), two of the six organizations that are trying to overturn their designation. The Defense Ministry’s legal advisor, who sent the letters, will be representing the state in these hearings. “In view of the timing and significance of the letter,” Sfard wrote in a response letter to the Defense Ministry, “it is very difficult not to interpret it as a threat by the government toward a lawyer whose work is strictly legal.”

The lawyers say that not only did they inform the Defense Ministry ahead of time that they would be representing the groups, but that this is the first time they have ever received any such notice, which they view as little more than an attempt to threaten them. In his letter, Sfard stated that he disagreed with the position that prior approval is a necessary for collecting attorneys’ fees, adding that he has represented organizations that have been declared “terrorist organizations” for over a decade, and has informed the Defense Ministry at every instance. Almost all Palestinian organizations in the occupied territories, including the PLO, Fatah, and others, are deemed “terrorist organizations” by Israel. Sfard described the absurdity of a situation in which the same ministry that is behind the designation is now trying to bar these organizations from legal representation, saying the move gives the ministers the power to “steer the organizations in question to seek different representation, perhaps of the kind that would be more ‘convenient’ for the state.” Read more - Lire plus

Lost in the Matrix – how police surveillance is mapping protest movements

The Network for Police Monitoring 02/08/22 - How can British police, who have struggled for so long to justify its surveillance on alleged “extremists”, ever hope to adequately categorise something as subjective as people’s political opinions? As Netpol asked in March 2021, how do campaigners become “aggravated activists” – the new label applied to those taking action that challenges state and corporate interests?

thematic review on “how effectively the police deal with protests” by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire & Rescue Services confirmed, in 2021, what we had long suspected – that “aggravated activist” was the police’s replacement for the much-maligned term “domestic extremist”. Now for the first time, a recent report released by Parliament’s Security and Intelligence Committee has given us the Matrix – more precisely the “threshold and terminology matrix” that determines who is potentially categorised as an “aggravated activist” and at what level: low, moderate or substantial.

How campaigners are categorised will lead, in turn, to the kind of policing operation they can expect to have used against them. Although presented in the Security and Intelligence Committee report as primarily concerning far-right movements, this information is vital for anyone taking part in protests across Britain and who is at risk of oppressive policing, from surveillance to criminalisation for peaceful protest. Read more - Lire plus

Tool to assess jailed terrorists before release criticised as unreliable and prejudicial to Muslims

The Guardian 17/07/22 - A tool used by authorities to assess the risk posed by convicted terrorists before their release from prison is unreliable and should be investigated, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and a peak body for Muslims have argued. The Violent Extremism Risk Assessment 2 Revised, known as VERA-2R, is used to measure the threat posed by extremists, often when considering whether they will be subject to strict court orders once their prison sentence is completed. The federal government said 21 people in jail with terrorism convictions were due for release before 2027. The tool has already been used in about a dozen cases, the majority of them in NSW. But according to separate recent submissions made to the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (INSLM), the AHRC and Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) have serious concerns the tool could be used to justify an offender’s detention after they had served their sentence.

“Post-sentence orders based on anticipated harm can only be justified where there is cogent and compelling evidence of future risk,” the AHRC said in its submission. “It is clear from experience in a number of cases that the primary tool relied on by expert witnesses in PSO [post-sentence order] matters, VERA-2R, is not sufficiently reliable for this purpose. “The Commission urges the INSLM to inquire into the use of this tool.” The Islamic Council said in its submission the factors measured using VERA-2R meant Muslims were more likely to be considered at risk of extremist violence than non-Muslims. “Fundamentally, there is a lack of evidence to support that the VERA-2R has predictive validity in its application to assess risks posed by individuals suspected to have a propensity to commit acts of terrorism, as well as future risks after an offender’s sentence is served.

“The tool was never designed to be used outside of prisons and jails, and certainly not as a predictive tool of radicalisation to violence in the community. “Increased use of the VERA-2R to predict violent radicalisation runs the risk of not appropriately addressing the risk of terrorism as well as subjecting individuals and communities to disproportionate surveillance and inappropriate interventions.” The monitor, Grant Donaldson SC, is reviewing Division 105A of the criminal code, which allows the continuing detention of terrorist offenders if a court is satisfied a person at the end of their custodial sentence poses an unacceptable risk of committing a serious terrorism offence if released. The laws support the issuing of continuing detention orders for up to three years. [...] The AHRC said the tool, developed in the Netherlands in 2009, was described by its creators as having limitations, with a message on the VERA-2R website stating that its “predictive validity is problematic due to the low base rate of terrorists and violent extremists”. Read more - Lire plus

Top rights experts urge repeal of Hong Kong’s national security law

UN News 27/07/22 - Independent UN-appointed human rights experts who have urged China to repeal Hong Kong’s 2020 national security law (NSL) after claiming that its use had led to the arrest of children, said on Wednesday that they welcomed pledges to replace it with a more transparent and consultative process. Chinese and Hong Kong officials have said the law, imposed “overnight” by Beijing in June 2020, was necessary to restore and safeguard stability after anti-government and anti-China demonstrations erupted in 2019. The UN Human Rights Committee underscored the shortcomings of the National Security Law (NSL), including its lack of clarity on “national security” and the possibility of transferring cases from Hong Kong to mainland China.[...]

He added that since it was introduced in 2020, the NSL had reportedly led to the arrests of “over 200 people, including 12 children.” The Committee monitors the application of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) by State parties. It released its findings on Hong Kong following a scheduled review in Geneva. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is a signatory to the Covenant for investigation, prosecution, trial and execution of penalties, but mainland China is not. “Once a State party has subscribed to the Covenant, there is an obligation that those rights are paramount. “In other words, your local legislation cannot derogate from those rights. There are human rights, after all, universal rights,” explained Mr. Arif Balkan. “China is not a party to the ICCPR. But then China can implement the NSL within Hong Kong. So that creates a lacuna for residents of Hong Kong,” he added. Read more - Lire plus

Hong Kong high court quashes reporting ban on key national security case

Hong Kong protester ‘Captain America 2.0’ wins appeal against national security sentence, jail time reduced to 5 years

Sunak wants to extend the Prevent program to those who ‘vilify the UK’. That’s wrong – and he’s chosen the wrong target

The Guardian 03/08/22 - Rishi Sunak promises new leadership for the UK, but that doesn’t seem to be attracting enough support from the Conservative “selectorate”, so this is what he is promising today: he will double down on the failing Prevent strategy, by pivoting to targeting “Islamist extremism” and those who “vilify” the United Kingdom. This would require some agility, so Sunak promises to widen the already fuzzy government definition of extremism – criticised widely for being too expansive – to encompass those who “vilify our country”. The implication seems to be that any public sector worker covered by the Prevent duty would be required to refer anyone they believe is “vilifying” to the authorities. And here’s the first question for Sunak? Would this include nationalists in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, some of whom would readily vilify England? If not, why not? What about writers within our mainstream media, in publications such as the Spectator, whose apparent dislike of the tolerance and diversity that Britain represents seems evident in its pages?

Would Sunak’s policy include those who have non-mainstream political views on our nation’s colonial history? What about those who hate some of our nation’s symbols, like the monarchy, the national anthem or even one of our national sports teams? His campaign’s press release tries to pre-empt some of these concerns by noting that “criticism of the government or any government policy will not be included”. But that’s not a good enough caveat – the very notion of “vilifying our country” being targeted is illiberal and hugely hypocritical – especially for a former chancellor in a government that claimed to champion free speech and to stand up against the “thought police”. Little wonder that his big new idea is the subject of anger and ridicule on social media. [...]

In his campaign pronouncement, Sunak at least acknowledges that Prevent is “failing”. Simply put, Prevent is ineffective, sows the seeds of distrust and disproportionately affects certain communities. And sources of these concerns range from the UN special rapporteur, a former head of MI5, Eliza Manningham-Buller, and a host of human rights groups.

Criticisms have also come from his own party. The former chair of the women and equalities committee, Conservative MP Maria Miller, said that Prevent has become “a significant source of tension” in Muslim communities; and Conservative MP Lucy Allan said that “teachers are being forced by the Prevent programme to monitor and scrutinise what children are saying, with suspicion and mistrust”. Other reasons cited for the failure of this “pre-crime” policy to achieve its goals from the get-go include its ineffectiveness in averting terrorism and its accompanying lack of transparency, its disproportionate targeting of Muslim communities and how it has led to racial profilingRead more - Lire plus

Podcast: The cost of saying no to the FBI

The Intercept 27/07/22 - Since the 9/11 attacks, the FBI has dedicated huge resources to recruiting informants, particularly targeting Muslim Americans or immigrants from Muslim-majority countries. Saying no can carry serious consequences. This week on Intercepted: Intercept reporter Murtaza Hussain tells the story of one man who rejected the FBI’s request. Aswad Khan was visiting his family in Connecticut when the FBI tried to recruit him to spy on mosques, but he wouldn’t spy on people in prayer. That’s when Khan’s life was turned upside down. Listen/Read more - Écouter/Lire plus

Surveillance is pervasive: Yes, you are being watched, even if no one is looking for you

The conversation 22/07/2022 - The U.S. has the largest number of surveillance cameras per person in the world. Cameras are omnipresent on city streets and in hotels, restaurants, malls and offices. They’re also used to screen passengers for the Transportation Security Administration. And then there are smart doorbells and other home security cameras.

Most Americans are aware of video surveillance of public spaces. Likewise, most people know about online tracking – and want Congress to do something about it. But as a researcher who studies digital culture and secret communications, I believe that to understand how pervasive surveillance is, it’s important to recognize how physical and digital tracking work together. Databases can correlate location data from smartphones, the growing number of private cameras, license plate readers on police cruisers and toll roads, and facial recognition technology, so if law enforcement wants to track where you are and where you’ve been, they can. They need a warrant to use cellphone search equipment: Connecting your device to a mobile device forensic tool lets them extract and analyze all your data if they have a warrant.

However, private data brokers also track this kind of data and help surveil citizens – without a warrant. There is a large market for personal data, compiled from information people volunteer, information people unwittingly yield – for example, via mobile apps – and information that is stolen in data breaches. Among the customers for this largely unregulated data are federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Read more - Lire plus

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URGENT Tell Trudeau: Condemn Israel's attacks on Gaza!

Israel has launched yet another aggressive war against the people of Gaza, deploying airstrikes against residential buildings in civilian neighbourhoods. Many people have already been killed, including a five-year-old girl. Shockingly, Israel continues to commit these war crimes with impunity. Not only has Canada failed to condemn Israeli aggression, but Canadian military exports to Israel continue to increase every year. Canada must condemn Israel's attacks on the people of Gaza, and suspend military trade with Israel!

Send an email to Trudeau, to the Foreign Affairs Minister, our diplomats at the UN, other political leaders, and your own MP! ISRAELI VIOLENCE MUST END NOW!


NEW Protect the memory of the Tiananmen Square crackdown

On June 4, 1989, hundreds if not thousands of peaceful protesters were killed by Chinese troops in and around Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Thousands were imprisoned. In the 33 years since public remembrances have been criminalized in mainland China.

This has made the annual commemoration in Hong Kong crucial.

Chow Hang-tung, a human rights lawyer, is serving 22 months in jail for “unlawful assembly” for peacefully commemorating the crackdown. She is also awaiting trial for “inciting subversion” under the Hong Kong National Security Law which could result in up to 10 years jail.

Sign the petition and call on the Hong Kong authorities to release Chow Hang-tung and other activists being punished for peacefully commemorating the victims of the 1989 crackdown now.


Please join us for this conversation with two luminaries – Guantanamo survivor Mohamedou Ould Slahi and law professor Dr Khaled Abou El Fadl – discussing Slahi’s ongoing case seeking compensation for torture, and the role of Islam as a spiritual, ethical, and intellectual resource in struggles for justice, beauty, and non-violence. Organized by Noor Cultural Centre. Co-sponsored by the ICLMG, Amnesty and more.

Sunday August 7, 2022 at 2 pm EST. Click below for the youtube link.

Please share on Facebook + Twitter + Instagram


Stop Mohamed Harkat's deportation to torture

For 20 years, Moe and Sophie Harkat have fought against illegal detention, secret hearings, the surveillance state invading their home, and deportation to torture. Enough is enough. For the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Torture, please send a message to end this nightmare (all it takes is two clicks!)


LeadNow petition: Protect Hassan Diab from further injustice. Say NO to any future request for Hassan's extradition!

Petition organized by the Hassan Diab Support Committee - Following the return of Dr. Diab to Canada in 2018, PM Trudeau said: “I think for Hassan Diab we have to recognise first of all that what happened to him never should have happened […] and make sure it never happens again.”

Mr. Trudeau must honor his own words and protect Hassan. The unfair political trial of an innocent Canadian citizen cannot be tolerated. PM Trudeau and the Canadian government must:

(a) Put an end to this continuing miscarriage of justice, and

(b) Refuse any future request for Hassan Diab’s extradition.


Please share on Facebook + Twitter + Instagram

NOUVELLE pétition de LeadNow: Protégez Hassan Diab de toute nouvelle injustice. Dites NON à toute future demande d'extradition!

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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!

Version française: Le Canada doit réformer la loi sur l'extradition! + Partagez sur Facebook + Twitter + Instagram

Phone PM Justin Trudeau

TAKE ACTION: Justice for Hassan Diab!

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


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!

Regardez la vidéo avec les sous-titres en français + Agir


RCMP off the land

This is unconscionable. The RCMP are violently harassing Wet’suwet’en land defenders again for fighting against the sovereignty-violating Coastal Gaslink pipeline. We’ve heard reports directly from land defenders that drilling for CGL is imminent — and the RCMP's specialized unit CIRG (Community-Industry Response Group), is ramping up their enforcement. They have a history of using excessive force and violence against Indigenous people — all in the name of profit.

We know that the BC government and high ranking RCMP officials have the power to deploy — and remove the RCMP. If enough of us fill their inboxes with emails demanding they respect Indigenous sovereignty and call off the RCMP, it could be enough to force them to act and halt all construction. Send a message directly to key decision makers asking them to stop the violence.

+ Wanna do more? Join a group

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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


Free Jack Letts and all Canadian Detainees in NE Syria

Canada must immediately act to free four dozen Canadian men, women and children left to rot in one of a series of notorious Northeastern Syrian prisons and detention camps described as “Guantanamo on the Euphrates.” 

The longest held detainee is Jack Letts, 26, who has been imprisoned for almost 5 years without charge under conditions the United Nations has described as meeting the “threshold for torture, cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment under international law.”

Send an email and call!

Mother’s Day to Father’s Day Chain Fast to Free the Canadian Captives


Write a Letter: Stop the Smear Campaigns against Palestinian Advocacy

Recently, we have witnessed an intensified campaign by the pro-Israel lobby in Canada to smear Palestinian activists and their supporters. Last week, the National Post (NP) ran an online article about Palestinian-Canadian writer Khaled Barakat and the advocacy organization Samidoun. On April 30, the same article was splashed across their front page of their paper and has since been referenced in the Canadian Senate and the Jerusalem Post.

Send your letter to Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino to tell them that you join with the 80 organizations that have called to “Stop the Smear Campaigns against Palestinian Advocacy”.


Urgent Action to Stop the Deportation of Mohamed Ibrahim and his Family

Mohamed Ibrahim, an Egyptian national, alongside his wife, Shaimaa, and 5 children - the youngest of whom a toddler who was born in Canada - have been given a removal order by the CBSA and are facing deportation back to Egypt where Mohamed will be facing a high risk of human rights abuses by the current Egyptian regime as a result of his peaceful political activism in Egypt. Mohamed and his family arrived in Canada in 2017 and applied for asylum. However, his claim was rejected due to a legal error of his lawyer.

We call on the Minister of Immigration to give Mohammed Ibrahim and his family protection on humanitarian and compassionate grounds pursuant to section 25(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.


Tell Trudeau: Stop Arming Apartheid!

As revealed in CJPME's "Arming Apartheid" analysis, Canada is selling almost $20 million in arms to Israel each year – its highest level in 30 years! At the same time, Israeli forces continue to violently raid Al-Aqsa and across occupied Palestine, and human rights organizations – including Amnesty International – have all recently concluded that Israel imposes an apartheid regime against Palestinians!

There is no excuse for Canada to continue exporting arms to a country practicing apartheid and other abuses. Help us push the Canadian government to suspend arms exports to Israel, and investigate whether Canadian-made weapons have been used against Palestinian civilians! Canada must end its complicity now!


Email your MP – No more weapons to Saudi Arabia

Canada has blood on its hands. Now approaching its seventh year, the war in Yemen has killed over a quarter of a million people. Over 4 million people have been displaced because of the war, and 70% of the population, including 11.3 million children, are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. The Saudi-led coalition has bombed Yemeni markets, hospitals, and civilians, and yet Canada has exported over $8 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia since 2015, the year the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen began. Send a letter now calling on the Canadian government to stop sending weapons to Saudi Arabia and stop arming the horrific war in Yemen.

+ Write letter: Canada’s silence on Saudi mass executions deeply troubling


Canada: End the Safe Third Country Agreement

The Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) between Canada and the United States puts refugees at risk. Under the STCA, refugees who arrive at official ports of entry to seek protection in Canada are sent back to the US, where some have suffered serious rights violations in detention. This encourages refugee claimants to cross the border into Canada between ports of entry, sometimes in perilous conditions.

Despite the constitutionality of the STCA being in question, reports suggest that the government is attempting to expand this agreement. 

Take Action now and send a message to Minister Fraser to respect refugee rights by rescinding the Safe Third Country Agreement.


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!


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.




Reddition de comptes

Watchdog launches criminal probe over missing Secret Service messages

More missing texts, this time from Trump DHS officials, raise new Jan. 6 questions

Homeland Security Watchdog Halted Text Retrieval Effort

Jan. 6 text messages wiped from phones of key Trump Pentagon officials

Former Australian spy boss: Government should be sceptical of calls for legislative clarity by national security community

Criminalization of dissent

Criminalisation de la dissidence

Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs hosted a Peace and Unity gathering. RCMP made arrests

The case of Alaa Abd el-Fattah and Egypt’s crushing of dissent (video)


Talented Artist Khaled Qassim Approved For Release From Guantánamo: But When Will He Be Freed? – OpEd

Guantánamo Prisoner Said He Was Waterboarded; Agents Omitted It From Memo

Critical suppression hearing resumes in Guantanamo's USS Cole bombing case

The Shameful and Forgotten Origin of Guantanamo Bay

Migrant and refugee rights

Droits des migrant.es et réfugié.es

B.C. ending immigration detention arrangement with CBSA, citing human rights

BCCLA's twitter thread and press conference on the BC decision

The Toronto Star editorial: Rethinking immigration detentions

Canada’s Immigration Department updates anti-racism strategy following backlash

EU’s Drone Another Threat to Migrants and Refugees

Privacy and surveillance

Vie privée et surveillance

IFEX: You say protection, I say surveillance: Undermining privacy rights in the Americas

EU court ruling means Switzerland must overhaul flight passenger data law

Digital nightmare: The Arab dissidents ruined by phone hacking

Woman Tells Congress What It’s Like to Be Hacked by NSO’s Pegasus

Documents reveal advanced AI tools google is selling to Israel

Deconfiguring the Security State: Surveillance technologies as alternative forms of incarceration



Is Canada about to cave on US ballistic missile boondoggle?

CFPI online event August 10: Understanding Canadian Peacekeeping: Myths and Reality

Jihad Rehab: former Guantánamo prisoners call for documentary to be withdrawn

Check out our biannual summary of activities: What We've Been Up To from January to June 2022. Lisez la version française ici.

Here are the issues we plan to work on for the rest of 2022:

  • Monitoring the evolution of Bill S-7 – the electronic device border search bill – as it passes through the Senate and House of Commons;
  • Ensuring that the Canadian government’s proposals on “online harms” do not violate fundamental freedoms, or exacerbate the silencing of racialized and marginalized voices online;
  • Protecting our privacy from government surveillance, including facial recognition, and from attempts to weaken encryption, along with advocating for privacy law reform (including monitoring the new Bill C-27, the Digital Charter Implementation Act);
  • Justice for Mohamed Harkat, an end to security certificates, and addressing problems in security inadmissibility;
  • Justice for Hassan Diab and reforming the extradition law;
  • Greater transparency and accountability for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS);
  • The return of the 44 Canadian citizens indefinitely detained in Syrian camps, including 26 children;
  • The end to the CRA’s prejudiced audits of Muslim-led charities;
  • Pushing for Canadian government action on behalf of Iranian Canadians negatively and unjustly impacted by the US terror listing of the IRGC
  • Greater accountability and transparency for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), including the establishment of a strong, effective and independent review mechanism. This includes evaluating and advocating for improvements to the proposed Public Review and Complaints Commission Act  (Bill C-20);
  • Monitoring the review 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!

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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

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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!