International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
July 5, 2019
Justice Minister must immediately release Segal report on wrongful extradition of Hassan Diab
Justice for Hassan Diab 26/06/2019 - We Need Your Help! Please call Justice Minister David Lametti on Thursday July 4 and Friday July 5, 2019 (or July 6, 7, 8 etc.), urging him to release Murray Segal’s report immediately and without redaction, and asking him to order an independent public inquiry into the role that the Department of Justice played in Hassan Diab’s wrongful extradition to France. As you know, more than a month ago, Murray Segal submitted to the Minister of Justice his “external review” of Hassan Diab’s extradition to France in 2014. We are very concerned and disappointed about the extensive delays in making Mr. Segal’s report public.

Please help by phoning Justice Minister David Lametti urging him to release Mr. Segal’s report without further delay and without redaction. Please phone Minister Lametti on Thursday July 4 and Friday July 5. When you call, please give your name and where you are calling from. It is likely you will be talking to an answering machine. You can leave a message to this effect: “Minister Lametti, I am calling to urge you to release Murray Segal’s report on Hassan Diab’s wrongful extradition to France in 2014. While the mandate given to Mr. Segal falls short of a full and independent public inquiry, Mr. Segal’s report needs to be made public as soon as possible, and without redaction. In addition, I urge you to order an independent public inquiry into the role that the Department of Justice played in Hassan Diab’s extradition. We need full transparency and accountability to ensure that the rights of people in Canada are protected and the injustice that happened to Hassan never happens again.”

Please call: Minister Lametti’s House of Commons Office: (613) 943-6636 or Minister Lametti’s Constituency Office: (514) 363-0954. Source + Share on Facebook + Twitter
Canada still shipping LAVs to Saudi Arabia despite human rights concerns
CTV News 27/06/2019 - Canada shows no signs of slowing down shipments of light-armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia despite deepening concerns of human rights abuses and an outstanding debt to Canada of more than $1 billion. A new report from Global Affairs reveals that, from 2016 to 2018, Canada shipped 217 armoured combat vehicles – almost all of them light-armoured vehicles, or LAVs – to the Middle Eastern kingdom. In total, the exports are worth $1.8 billion.

The shipments are part of an existing trade deal, signed under Stephen Harper’s Conservatives and upheld by the Trudeau Liberals, estimated at $15 billion. CTV News has learned that no new arms export permits have been issued and that the earlier deal – the largest arms deal in Canadian history -- is moving forward. But concerns are mounting that Saudi Arabia isn’t honouring payments to Canada. The Crown corporation that helped broker the deal between London, Ont.-based General Dynamics Land Systems and the Saudis was owed $1.9 billion by the end of last year. Sources told CTV News that some payments have been received in 2019, but Saudi Arabia still owes Canada well over $1 billion. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told CTV News last December that he was looking for a way out of the deal. But so far, that hasn’t happened. Read more - Lire plus

Minister Goodale launches Advisory Group on National Security Transparency
Newswire 02/07/2019 - Canadians must know what the Government does to protect national security, how the Government does it, and why it's important. Providing information to Canadians on what the government does to protect their national security is essential to demonstrate that their values are being upheld. Today, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, announced the launch of a National Security Transparency Advisory Group, and the appointment of its 11 members.

The group will advise the Deputy Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada on the implementation of the National Security Transparency Commitment.
The diversity of perspectives and expertise of the members of the National Security Transparency Advisory Group will be instrumental as the government works to increase transparency in a way that enables democratic accountability while protecting our safety and security.

National Security Transparency Advisory Group Members:
  1. William Baker, Chair of the IRCC Departmental Audit Committee, Chair of the RCMP Departmental Audit Committee, and Former Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada
  2. Monik Beauregard, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, National and Cyber Security Branch, Public Safety Canada
  3. Khadija Cajee, Co-Founder, No Fly List Kids
  4. Michel Fortmann, Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Montreal
  5. Mary Francoli, Director, Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs, and Associate Dean, Faculty of Public Affairs
  6. Harpreet Jhinjar, Expert in Community Policing and Public Engagement
  7. Thomas Juneau, Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
  8. Myles Kirvan, Former Associate Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada, former Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General of Canada
  9. Justin Mohammed, Human Rights Law and Policy Campaigner at Amnesty International Canada
  10. Bessma Momani, Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo and Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance and Innovation
  11. Jeffrey Roy, Professor in the School of Public Administration at Dalhousie University's Faculty of Management
Monik Beauregard will serve as a government representative and Co-Chair within the group. Adv isory group members will nominate the other Co-Chair at the first advisory group meeting.

Through its National Security Consultations , the Government heard strong calls for increased transparency on national security. As a result, the National Security Transparency Commitment was announced in June 2017, a set of six principles and twelve initiatives to ensure that our national security policies and operations are as transparent as possible. An annual public report on work to increase transparency will track progress across Government. The National Security Transparency Advisory Group will meet up to four times per year to engage in discussions and provide their views to the Deputy Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. Read more - Lire plus

Jason Kenney’s ‘War Room’ is a Threat to Free Speech, Say Civil Liberties and Human Rights Groups
Press Progress 03/07/2019 - Civil liberties groups and human rights organizations are warning Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s new “war room” is an attempt to intimidate critics and put a chill on free expression rights in the pro vince. Described as a “fully staffed, rapid response” unit mandated to respond to “all the lies” about the oil industry, the $30 million “war room” is part of Kenney’s so-called “fight back strategy” that aims to wage war against environmental groups.

Kenney has also indicated he will launch a public inquiry into the activities of environmental groups like the David Suzuki Foundation, while Kenney’s energy minister has promised the government will assemble a team of lawyers to launch lawsuits against environmentalists . But organizations like Amnesty International says Kenney’s plan to use the powers and instruments of government to declare “war against environmentalists and human rights defenders” is an assault on free speech. “Talk of a war room, focused on targeting ‘offending’ environmentalists, seems determined to send a clear message,” Amnesty International Canada Executive Director Alex Neve told PressProgress. “Those who do not line up with Jason Kenney’s policies on pipelines and climate change will face repercussions.”

“It is blatant intimidation intended to curtail dissent and opposition and most certainly risks chilling freedom of expression in the province,” Neve added. Cara Zwibel, director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s Fundamental Freedoms program, agrees the campaign’s stated mission could be “very problematic from a free expression perspective. For a government to come out and say they’ll be suing environmental groups or individuals, that does or can create a chill on free expression,” Zwibel said, noting it could send a message that “if people speak out on issues that are important to them, they’ll be penalized.” Read more - Lire plus
Amnesty International calls for probe of Canadian lobbyist firm’s contract with Sudan military regime
Globe and Mail 01/07/2019 - Amnesty International says it is “deeply disturbing” that a Canadian lobbying firm has signed a US$6-million contract to promote the interests of the military regime that has imprisoned and killed protesters after seizing power in Sudan.

The human-rights group, in a letter to two cabinet ministers, is calling on the federal government to “investigate this contract closely” to find out whether it violates Canadian arms-control regulations or contributes to human-rights abuses in Sudan. The lobbying contract, first reported by The Globe and Mail last week, has stirred up anger and outrage among many of the pro-democracy protesters in Sudan who have faced gunfire and tear gas as they march for a civilian government.

Dickens & Madson (Canada) Inc., a lobbying company based in Montreal, signed the multimillion-dollar contract with Sudan’s military regime in early May, less than a month after the military took power in a coup. A few weeks later, security forces killed more than 100 protesters who were camped outside the military headquarters in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. But hundreds of thousands of protesters returned to the streets of Sudan’s cities on Sunday, refusing to abandon their quest for civilian rule.

Under the contract, the Canadian lobbying firm has promised to polish the image of the military regime, obtain favourable media coverage, seek funds and equipment for Sudan’s military and other security forces, and search for possible oil investors. In addition, it would work to improve relations with Russia and Saudi Arabia, seek a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump and explore possible alliances or business deals between Sudan, Libya and South Sudan. Read more - Lire plus

She Defended Her Land Against a Mine in Guatemala. Then She Fled in Fear for Her Life.
The Intercept 23/06/2019 - Teresa Muñoz was riding her motorbike along her regular delivery route on a winding Guatemala road, carrying the homemade cheese she sold for a living, when she saw in her rearview mirror one of the white sedans that employees of the Escobal silver mine drove. Mining company cars had followed her before, but this time, the vehicle swerved. The driver rammed her motorbike, pitching her into the street, and then sped off. Muñoz was left bruised and scraped, convinced they’d meant to kill her.

For years, she had been a leader in the fight against the silver mine, the project of Tahoe Resources, a U.S.-headquartered Canadian company. Located in the southeastern Guatemala city of San Rafael las Flores, Escobal was on its way to becoming one of the largest silver mines in the world. Muñoz and her family helped organize community votes on the mine, participated in rallies to stop production, and educated people about the mine’s potential harms.

In response to the anti-mining movement in San Rafael, Tahoe hired firms run by U.S. and Israeli ex-special forces veterans to protect the project and lobbied the Guatemalan government to quash the resistance. Over the course of the 12-year conflict, mine opponents have been shot, imprisoned, and even killed. For Muñoz, the fight meant exile. “I’m sure, as is my family, that if I had continued there, I wouldn’t be alive anymore,” she told The Intercept. In 2016, she abandoned the land for which she’d risked everything and sought asylum in the United States, a process that has stalled since Donald Trump’s crackdown on asylum-seekers began. Read more - Lire plus 
The missing outrage from Canada’s political leaders on U.S. child ‘torture facilities’
Maclean's 26/06/2019 - Updated June 27: This post has been amended to include a response from the NDP.
For more than a year, it has been public knowledge that the United States is separating thousands of immigrant babies and children from their parents and caging them in detention centres under inhumane conditions: traumatized children sleep on concrete floors under foil blankets and glaring florescent lights that never dim. In February, the New York Times reported that the U.S. Department of Justice received 4,500 complaints in four years about the sexual abuse of immigrant children held at government-funded detention facilities, including an increase in complaints under the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families. Six children are known to have died in custody, though it could be more; the U.S. government is not  reporting  the deaths. The government has confirmed it has lost track of thousands of children who will never be reunited with their parents. The mistreatment, in violation of the Flores settlement , which mandates that children must be held in safe and sanitary conditions and moved out of Border Patrol custody without unnecessary delays, ignited global outrage and condemnation from public figures,  including Pope Francis.

The past week saw a renewed focus on the situation, with lawyers and doctors who visited overcrowded, unsanitary Texas detention centres  reporting  flu and lice outbreaks going untreated, children left filthy and uncared for, and taking care of one another because of the lack of attention from guards. The New Yorker  published a devastating glimpse inside the centres, referred to by one  doctor  as “torture facilities.” Public outrage was further stoked by a video  of U.S. Department of Justice lawyer, Sarah Fabian, attempting to argue in court that soap, blankets, toothbrushes and beds are not necessities for detained children. This week, under pressure, the U.S. government moved hundreds of children , only to move some back. On Tuesday, a heart-breaking photograph of a man and his young daughter who died attempting to reach the United States went viral. It was reminiscent of the image of three-year-old drowned Syrian Alan Kurdi laying on a beach that galvanized politicians and the public in September 2015.

On Monday, a day before the photograph’s release, Maclean’s contacted the Canadian government and political party leaders to request statements on the incarceration of children at the southern U.S. border. The responses were mixed, and raise questions about Canada’s ongoing relationship with the United States that embraces it as a “safe country” for asylum seekers.

Detention of migrant children was not discussed when Prime Minister Trudeau and President Trump met at the White House last week, PMO spokesperson Eleanore Catenaro told Maclean’s via email. Their  conversation  included the ratification of NAFTA, expanded trade between the countries, rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran, opioid-related deaths and the detention of two Canadian citizens by the Chinese government.

Catenaro provided quotes from the Prime Minister on the topic of migrant children, all dating to June 20, 2018, days after U.S. Homeland Security announced that nearly 2,000 children had been incarcerated between April and May. That day, in the  House of Commons , NDP MPs Guy Caron and Jenny Kwan pressed Trudeau as to why Canada continued to see the U.S. as a “safe country,” as defined in the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA), a pact between Canada and the U.S. dating to 2004 which requires migrants to claim asylum in the first safe country in which they arrive; if someone makes a claim in the U.S., they would not be allowed to make one in Canada. “A safe third country means that the country with which we signed an agreement is a place where asylum seekers are treated fairly, humanely, and decently,” Caron said, asking Trudeau “if he is prepared to say that that situation is unacceptable, will he now say that the country that is treating people that way is no longer a safe third country for refugees?” Read more - Lire plus

Judge blocks Trump policy keeping asylum-seekers locked up
PBS 02/07/2019 - A federal judge in Seattle on Tuesday blocked a Trump administration policy that would keep thousands of asylum-seekers locked up while they pursue their cases, saying the Constitution demands that such migrants have a chance to be released from custody.U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman ruled Tuesday that people who are detained after entering the country to seek protection are entitled to bond hearings. Attorney General William Barr announced in April that the government would no longer offer such hearings, but instead keep them in custody. It was part of the administration’s efforts to deter a surge of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Pechman said that as people who have entered the U.S. and been detained here, they are entitled to the Fifth Amendment’s due-process protections, including “a longstanding prohibition against indefinite civil detention with no opportunity to test its necessity.” Immigrant rights advocates including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project sued to block the policy, which was due to take effect July 15. “The court reaffirmed what has been settled for decades: that asylum-seekers who enter this country have a right to be free from arbitrary detention,” Matt Adams, legal director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, said in a written statement. “Thousands of asylum-seekers will continue to be able to seek release on bond, as they seek protection from persecution and torture.”

For the past 50 years, the government has given such asylum-seekers bond hearings before immigration judges where they can argue that they should be released because they are not flight risks and pose no threat to the public, the groups told the court. That gives the asylum-seekers an opportunity to reunite with relatives in the U.S. and to find lawyers to handle their asylum claims, making them more likely to succeed. The new policy would end that practice, keeping between 15,000 and 40,000 immigrants in custody for six months or more without requiring the government to show that their detentions are justified, in violation of their due process rights, the groups argued. Read more - Lire plus

USA: Authorities are misusing justice system to harass migrant human rights defenders
Amnesty International 02/07/2019 - Since 2018, the US government has conducted an unlawful and discriminatory campaign of intimidation, threats, harassment, and criminal investigations against people who defend the human rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers on the US–Mexico border, Amnesty International said in a new report released today.

‘Saving lives is not a crime’: Politically motivated legal harassment of migrant human rights defenders by the USA reveals how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have increasingly misused the criminal justice system to deter activists, lawyers, journalists, and humanitarian volunteers from challenging – or simply documenting – the systematic human rights violations that US authorities have committed against migrants and asylum seekers.

“The Trump administration’s targeting of human rights defenders through discriminatory misuse of the criminal justice system sets it on a slippery slope toward authoritarianism. The US government is disgracing itself by threatening and even prosecuting its own citizens for their vital work to save the lives of people in a desperate situation at the border,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

The US government has inappropriately investigated human rights defenders for alleged crimes including human smuggling, based on their humanitarian and human rights-related activities, and their expression of political or other opinions. While the most sweeping investigations targeted human rights defenders supporting a large caravan of migrants and asylum seekers in November 2018, authorities have continued to target those and other defenders since then, including simply for helping asylum seekers to know their rights and request protection at an official port of entry.

US authorities have subjected human rights defenders to warrantless surveillance, interrogations, invasive searches, travel restrictions, and, in isolated cases, a false arrest and unlawful detention. In so doing, they have violated the Constitution, US and international law, and DHS policies – all of which prohibit discriminatory restrictions of freedom of speech and expression. In some cases, US and Mexican authorities have reportedly collaborated in the unlawful restrictions against human rights defenders on their shared border. Read more - Lire plus

Pia Klemp: I Helped Save Thousands of Migrants from Drowning. Now I'm Facing 20 Years in Jail
Newsweek 19/06/2019 - In today's Europe, people can be sentenced to prison for saving a migrant's life. In the summer of 2017, I was the captain of the rescue ship Iuventa. I steered our ship through international waters along the Libyan coastline, where thousands of migrants drifted in overcrowded, unseaworthy dinghies, having risked their lives in search of safety. The Iuventa crew rescued over 14,000 people. Today, I and nine other members of the crew face up to twenty years in prison for having rescued those people and brought them to Europe. We are not alone. The criminalization of solidarity across Europe, at sea and on land, has demonstrated the lengths to which the European Union will go to make migrants' lives expendable.

Two years ago, Europe made renewed efforts to seal the Mediterranean migrant route by draining it of its own rescue assets and outsourcing migration control to the so-called "Libyan Coast Guard", comprised of former militia members equipped by the EU and instructed to intercept and return all migrants braving the crossing to Europe. NGO ships like the Iuventa provided one of the last remaining lifelines for migrants seeking safety in Europe by sea. For European authorities, we were a critical hurdle to be overcome in their war against migration.

In August 2017, the Iuventa was seized by the Italian authorities and the crew was investigated for "aiding and abetting illegal immigration." Thus began an ongoing spate of judicial investigations into the operation of search and rescue vessels. Sailors like myself, who had rallied to the civil fleet when it seemed no European authority cared people were drowning at sea, were branded as criminals. The ensuing media and political campaign against us has gradually succeeded in removing almost all NGOs from the central Mediterranean, leaving migrants braving the sea crossing with little chance of survival.

We sea-rescuers have been criminalized not only for what we do but for what we have witnessed. We have seen people jump overboard their frail dinghies on sighting the so-called Libyan Coast Guard, preferring death at sea over return to the slavery, torture, rape and starvation that awaits them in EU-funded Libyan detention centers. We have also seen what becomes of those who are found too late. For days, I steered our ship through international waters with a dead two-year-old boy in the freezer. No European country had wanted to save him when they had the chance. His mother lived, and after days of drifting in wait of an open port, our ship brought her to Europe—when it no longer mattered to her. We rescuers know that those who drown at Europe's doorstep are not unlucky casualties of the elements. The transformation of the Mediterranean into a mass grave for migrants is a European political project.

Over the past year, Italy's interior minister Matteo Salvini has provided a useful alibi for centrist European political forces–those avowedly committed to "European values" of human rights. His persistent targeting of rescue NGOs and his decision to seal Italian ports to ships carrying rescued migrants has seen him cast as the "rotten egg" of an otherwise largely liberal European Union. But Matteo Salvini is neither the architect of Fortress Europe, nor its sole gatekeeper.

Alongside Italy's ostentatious prosecution of sea rescuers, other European nations have adopted shrewder, subtler tactics, revoking their flags or miring ships' crews in unnecessary and lengthy bureaucratic procedures. When Salvini sealed Italian ports, other member states expressed righteous indignation—but not one of them offered its own ports as havens for later rescues. One of two remaining rescue ships, Sea-Watch 3, has since spent weeks motoring along the European coast line with hundreds of refugees on board, pleading for an open port, only to find that their "cargo" was not wanted anywhere in Europe. In the coming months, as the conflict in Libya intensifies, thousands more will be forced to brave the sea crossing. I know from experience that without rescue, the majority of them will die. Read more - Lire plus

Air strike kills at least 44 at migrant detention centre in Libya
Globe and Mail 02/07/2019 - An air strike hit a detention centre for migrants near the Libyan capital early Wednesday, killing at least 44 people and wounding more than 130, the U.N. mission to the war-torn country said. The air strike raises further concerns about the European Union’s policy of partnering with Libyan militias to prevent migrants from crossing the Mediterranean, which often leaves them at the mercy of brutal traffickers or stranded insqualid detention centres near the front lines.

It could also lead to greater Western pressure on Khalifa Hifter, a Libyan general whose forces launched an offensive on Tripoli in April. The Tripoli-based government blamed his self-styled Libyan National Army for the air strike and called for the U.N. to investigate. A spokesman for Hifter’s forces did not immediately answer phone calls and messages seeking comment. Local media reported the LNA had launched air strikes against a militia camp near the detention centre in Tripoli’s Tajoura neighbourhood. [...]

Doctors Without Borders said the detention cell that was destroyed held 126 migrants. The aid group’s Libya medical co-ordinator, Prince Alfani, said teams visited the centre just hours before the air strike. He said survivors fear for their lives, and he called for the immediate evacuation of the detention centres. The U.N. refugee agency also condemned the air strike and called for an immediate end to efforts to return migrants to Libya. Read more - Lire plus

Trump officials weigh encryption crackdown
Politico 27/06/2019 - Senior Trump administration officials met on Wednesday to discuss whether to seek legislation prohibiting tech companies from using forms of encryption that law enforcement can’t break — a provocative step that would reopen a long-running feud between federal authorities and Silicon Valley. The encryption challenge, which the government calls “going dark,” was the focus of a National Security Council meeting Wednesday morning that included the No. 2 officials from several key agencies, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Senior officials debated whether to ask Congress to effectively outlaw end-to-end encryption, which scrambles data so that only its sender and recipient can read it, these people told POLITICO. Tech companies like Apple, Google and Facebook have increasingly built end-to-end encryption into their products and software in recent years — billing it as a privacy and security feature but frustrating authorities investigating terrorism, drug trafficking and child pornography. “The two paths were to either put out a statement or a general position on encryption, and [say] that they would continue to work on a solution, or to ask Congress for legislation,” said one of the people. But the previously unreported meeting of the NSC’s so-called Deputies Committee did not produce a decision, the people said.

A decision to press for legislation would have far-reaching consequences for the privacy and security of tens of millions of consumers and effectively force companies such as Apple and Google to water down the security features on their smartphones and other devices. A ban on end-to-end-encryption would make it easier for law enforcement and intelligence agents to access suspects' data. But such a measure would also make it easier for hackers and spies to steal Americans' private data, by creating loopholes in encryption that are designed for the government but accessible to anyone who reverse-engineers them. Watering down encryption would also endanger people who rely on scrambled communications to hide from stalkers and abusive ex-spouses [and oppressive governments]. Read more - Lire plus
Domestic extremism label is ‘manifestly deficient’ says former reviewer of terrorism laws
NetPol 19/06/2019 - In a report published last week, David Anderson QC, a former independent reviewer of UK terrorism legislation, has called the ‘domestic extremism’ label applied by police to a wide range of campaigning groups ‘manifestly deficient’, and indicated the Home Office is under pressure to abandon it.

Lord Anderson, now a crossbench peer who was responsible between 2011 and 2017 for independent oversight of UK counter-terrorism legislation, published a report on 11 June assessing the progress made by MI5 and counter-terrorism policing (CTP) on a review conducted after the 2017 terrorist attacks in London and Manchester. The report severely criticises the use of the term ‘domestic extremism’ and contains the first public indication that both the government and policing bodies are considering whether to ditch this controversial categorisation.

The label is, according to Anderson, not fit for purpose. It is, he said, “…an amorphous concept, stretching from groups which currently pose no more than occasional public order concerns (animal rights, anti-fracking) to attack-planning by associates of the proscribed XRW (extreme right-wing) terrorist organisation National Action”. 2017 Terrorist Attacks MI5 And CTP Reviews: Implementation Stock-Take, pg 30

Anderson’s inclusion of anti-fracking as an example of “public order concerns” shows just how highly subjective the label has always been. As far back as 2016, the Home Office was forced to issue a statement confirming “support for anti-fracking is not an indicator of vulnerability” to extremism, but it has continued to appear in counter-terrorism profiles and as recently as July 2018 in a notorious case study in a Manchester ‘hateful extremism’ commission report.

Anderson says his “criticisms of the status quo are widely understood and shared in MI5 and CTP, as well as within the Home Office, [but] revised terminology proved more difficult to agree”. Significantly, his report also indicates for the first time that at a workshop in December 2018, all government departments agreed in principle to eventually stop using the term “domestic extremism”, a decision he calls “straightforward and sensible.”

Netpol has contacted Anderson directly and he has confirmed that our interpretation of his report is correct. He added that Home Office has been moving away from the existing terminology since last summer, although this is the first time we are aware of that there is a changing policy specifically on “domestic extremism”. The Home Office has been approached for comment. Meanwhile, counter-terrorism police continue to smear campaigners and to target them for intrusive surveillance. Read more - Lire plus
EU's terrorism filter plans: The problems just keep coming
ZDNet 07/06/2019 - A few weeks ago, German internet users discovered that their country's authorities had been keeping closer tabs on them than they realized. In late April, in reply to a parliamentary question, the federal police – Germany's version of the FBI – revealed that they had quietly established a database for online terrorism referrals last October. Almost immediately the database – with its lack of oversight and definition – was held up as yet another illustration of where the EU is going wrong in ongoing attempts to police the internet.

The German federal police explained that if they found content that could be classified as terrorist, or encouraging terrorism, they would ask the website hosting it to remove it. Broadly, this process is what is known as a 'referral'. But the website is not legally obliged to remove the offensive content and only just under half of them actually complied, the German authority noted. The German federal police also kept a record of illicit content and requests to take it down in their new database, to help identify future iterations and to track progress of any removal. And since January this year, they also passed all that on to the EU Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, better known as Europol.

All this activity was part of a pilot project developed in preparation for new European rules , the interior ministry, which oversees the federal police, explained in its reply to the official enquiry from left-wing German MPs. Earlier in April, the European Parliament had taken another step toward finalizing those rules with a new "proposal for preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online". So how did the German federal police decide what to refer during their pilot project, German politicians wanted to know. The almost 6,000 German referrals gathered between October 2018 and March 2019 were "based mainly on the federal police's own legal assessments," the officials answered, in a written reply. "There is certainly content that everyone agrees is abhorrent," Elisabeth Niekrenz, a researcher at German internet rights association, Digitale Gesellschaft, or Digital Society, told an audience at Europe's largest internet conference, re:publica, in Berlin recently. "But we should not forget that terrorism is a very political description, something that states decide on, based on their own self-interest."

Although German security agencies certainly do pursue right-wing extremist groups , there are also suspicions that there are right-wing sympathizers within their ranks. Last September the head of another of the agencies that the interior ministry oversees was forced out of his job after he appeared to sympathize with right-wingers during anti-migrant violence in Chemnitz. This has been something of an ongoing worry , with a major scandal in the 2000s about neo-Nazi murderers who went unpursued until far too late and, more recently, discoveries of right-wing cells inside the police and armed forces. Besides a lack of definition, various civil- and digital-rights groups had plenty of other criticisms of the draft regulation. They said the rules were unworkable because of their rigidity on certain aspects – such as forcing sites to take offending content down within an hour and making the use of upload filters mandatory.

They also said the rules were too vague on other points, such as the lack of clarity about which online services were really responsible for hosting terrorist content. Originally online forums, messenger services and even cloud infrastructure services could be held responsible. Also, any national security agency could demand that whatever they considered terrorist content be blocked across Europe. "Authoritarian EU countries – for example, Hungary – could ask to have unfavorable content deleted from online platforms in countries like Germany," Martin Scheinin, a law professor at the European University Institute in Florence, told Spiegel. Read more - Lire plus
Whistleblower returns to Australian court over Afghan leak
The Associated Press 27/06/2019 - David William McBride, 55, appeared in the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court on charges relating to the leaking of classified documents about Australian Special Air Service involvement in Afghanistan to journalists. The leak was the target of a police raid on ABC headquarters in Sydney early this month. Police raided the Canberra home of a News Corp. Australia reporter a day earlier in search for unrelated classified documents. The raids were condemned as media intimidation and sparked criticism of an increasing culture of secrecy in Australian institutions. ABC, News Corp. Australia and Nine Entertainment — Australia's three largest media organizations — announced on Wednesday that they had joined forces to demand law reforms that would create more press freedom and better protect public sector whistleblowers.

In court on Thursday, government lawyer Andrew Berger told Registrar Annie Glover that the ABC had asked to change draft court orders agreed between the defence and prosecution for dealing with classified evidence that will arise during the trial. The orders could prevent media reporting part or all of McBride's trial. The ABC had an interest because it is challenging the validity of the search warrants executed at its headquarters in a bid to have documents returned, Berger said. Glover adjourned the hearing until July 11 to give lawyers time to try to reach agreement with the ABC. [...]

Australian media want journalists to be exempt from national security laws passed since 2012 that "would put them in jail for doing their jobs." They also want a right to contest warrants such as those executed in Sydney and Canberra. Both the ABC and News Corp. this week lodged court challenges to those warrants. Media organizations have also called for reforms to freedom of information and defamation laws. [...]

McBride represented himself during his brief court appearance and was released on bail.
He admits to leaking documents that formed part of the basis of an ABC investigation broadcast in 2017 about Australian special forces in Afghanistan. The ABC reported growing unease in the Australian Defence Force leadership about the culture of special forces and that Australian troops had killed unarmed men and children in 2013. McBride has pleaded not guilty to all charges. He maintains he had a duty as an army officer to expose wrongdoing by generals and government ministers over Australian operations in Afghanistan. Read more - Lire plus
Moratorium call on surveillance technology to end ‘free-for-all’ abuses: UN expert
UN News 25/06/2019 - Surveillance technology should be banned immediately until “effective” national or international controls are put in place to lessen its harmful impact, a UN-appointed independent rights expert said on Tuesday. David Kaye , who’s the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, made the appeal as he prepared to present his latest report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

He highlighted that while States were largely responsible, companies appeared to be “operating without constraint” too, in a “free for all” private surveillance industry environment. “Surveillance tools can interfere with human rights, from the right to privacy and freedom of expression to rights of association and assembly, religious belief, non-discrimination, and public participation,” the Special Rapporteur said in statement. “And yet they are not subject to any effective global or national control.”

According to Mr. Kaye’s report, the surveillance of journalists, activists, opposition figures, critics and UN investigators can lead to arbitrary detention. It has also been linked to torture and possibly to extrajudicial killings, the Special Rapporteur said, citing various ways that States and other actors monitor individuals who exercise their right to freedom of expression. These include hacking computers, networks and mobile phones, using facial recognition surveillance and other sophisticated surveillance tools to shadow journalists, politicians, UN investigators and human rights advocates. Read more - Lire plus
Europe should ban AI for mass surveillance and social credit scoring, says advisory group
TechCrunch 26/06/2019 - An independent expert group tasked with advising the European Commission to inform its regulatory response to artificial intelligence — to underpin EU lawmakers’ stated aim of ensuring AI developments are “human centric” — has published its policy and investment recommendations.

This follows earlier ethics guidelines for “trustworthy AI”, put out by the High Level Expert Group (HLEG) for AI back in April , when the Commission also called for participants to test the draft rules. The AI HLEG’s full policy recommendations comprise a highly detailed 50-page document — which can be downloaded from this web page . The group, which was set up in June 2018, is made up of a mix of industry AI experts, civic society representatives, political advisers and policy wonks, academics and legal experts.

The document includes warnings on the use of AI for mass surveillance and scoring of EU citizens, such as China’s social credit system , with the group calling for an outright ban on “AI-enabled mass scale scoring of individuals”. It also urges governments to commit to not engage in blanket surveillance of populations for national security purposes. (So perhaps it’s just as well the UK has voted to leave the EU, given the swingeing state surveillance powers it passed into law at the end of 2016.) 

“While there may be a strong temptation for governments to ‘secure society’ by building a pervasive surveillance system based on AI systems, this would be extremely dangerous if pushed to extreme levels,” the HLEG writes. “Governments should commit not to engage in mass surveillance of individuals and to deploy and procure only Trustworthy AI systems, designed to be respectful of the law and fundamental rights, aligned with ethical principles and socio-technically robust.” Read more - Lire plus
Japan to Hack 200 Million IoT Devices
EETimes 02/07/2019 - The government's plan to hack Internet of Things (IoT) devices already installed in Japan is likely to expose the uncomfortable truth known to many experts but unknown to most consumers: Many IoT devices in use are vulnerable to cyberattacks. In mid-February, the Japanese government plans to start openly hacking more than 200 million IoT devices already installed at home and elsewhere in Japan. The government’s plan — announced a week ago — is likely to expose the uncomfortable truth known to many experts but unknown to most consumers: Many IoT devices in use are vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Insecurity in IoT is triggered by many factors — including consumer indifference and inaction. Too often, consumers don’t bother to change the initial settings in an IoT device after purchase and installation. Second, peer-to-peer communication among IoT devices, by nature, remain unchecked and unsupervised. Third, service providers aren’t doing automated updates of firmware frequently enough. While security experts hail the Japanese government plan as a necessary step, many Japanese media reports have balked, criticizing the heavy hand of the government.

Critics call the action a violation of citizens’ privacy. Indeed, who is comfortable with the idea of the the government peering into every personal life? Second, most people don’t trust the government to keep the collected data safe. How could anyone be sure the government won’t expose some data — even unwittingly? Finally, the Japanese harbor the undeniable fear that Japan is becoming a surveillance nation in the name of public safety. Is Japan becoming China?

In its public announcement, the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) said it will use default passwords and other tactics to attempt hacks of randomly-selected IoT devices, seeking to compile a list of vulnerable devices. NICT will then share the information with Internet service providers, who will be advised to alert consumers and to secure the devices. The government has not specified the targeted IoT devices, but it will most likely start with routers and webcams. The NICT said the program could last for up to five years. Of course, Japan’s government has a perfect cover. Its excuse for this Big Brother escalation is the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Read more - Lire plus
CIA Has Covered Up Torture for Decades. Will Torturers Ever Be Prosecuted?
TruthOut 26/06/2019 - C IA Director Gina Haspel made a rare public appearance on April 18 when she spoke at Auburn University. Haspel reflected on her 34-year career with the agency, but failed to mention the years she spent involved in its extraordinary rendition program. She was quickly interrupted by a member of the audience: “ Do you remember the thrill of the CIA black sites you tortured people in and the evidence you destroyed? Tell these young children, tell them who you tortured. You know their names: They’re still in Guantánamo Bay.”

Haspel paused until the man was removed and then continued as though nothing had happened. Such has been the approach to her involvement in CIA torture since she became the agency’s deputy director in 2017. Following Haspel’s nomination as director and in the run-up to her confirmation hearing in May 2018, questions were raised about the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program and what she knew about the program; nonetheless, the mainstream media has since been actively engaged in whitewashing Haspel’s record . The situation is, as always, one of business as usual.

In 2005, Haspel helped to destroy 92 videotapes of evidence of CIA torture of two detainees: Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, both currently held at Guantánamo, where al-Nashiri awaits trial in a capital case on the basis of evidence obtained by torture . Still, that did not turn the trail cold. In January, much of the media failed to pick up on the redacted transcript of a November 2018 closed hearing in the 9/11 case at Guantánamo, in which a lawyer for defendant Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told the judge that Haspel had run a black site at Guantánamo Bay . Author and blogger Jeffrey Kaye revealed that the same transcript implicates Haspel as being present at a third CIA black site, a torture facility in Poland .

The European Court of Human Rights found Poland complicit in 2014 in running a CIA torture prison. Elsewhere, Kaye posits that there is a good probability there were in fact two detention torture programs run by the CIA. Such news does not lack newsworthiness or not merit further investigation but simply does not fit the popular “them vs. us” narrative that presents the prisoners as the “bad dudes .” It is not just Haspel’s torture record the CIA and U.S. authorities are keen to hide. Read more - Lire plus 

Don’t strip ISIS terror suspects like ‘Jihadi Jack’ of citizenship, experts say
Global News 28/06/2019 - Stripping terror suspects of citizenship does not increase national security and may even make it worse, legal experts told a conference on ending statelessness. They are particularly concerned over the increasing use of the measure by Britain which this year revoked the nationality of “Jihadi bride” Shamima Begum who left London to join the Islamic State (ISIS) in 2015 at the age of 15.

Britain is also considering the case of British-Canadian Muslim convert Jack Letts who joined ISIS as a teenager and is now being held in a Kurdish-run jail in northern Syria. “Stripping nationality is a completely ineffective measure – and an arbitrary measure,” said Amal de Chickera, co-founder of the Institute on Statelessness, which is hosting the conference in The Hague. He said countries should retain responsibility for nationals accused of supporting ISIS and ensure they are prosecuted. “Stripping nationality when people are abroad merely exports the problem to other countries,” he said, adding such measures were also likely to have a serious impact on families back home.

Countries should recognize that women married to ISIS fighters, and their children, may have been victimized, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on Friday. The conference heard that Britain stripped nationality from more than 100 people in 2017, compared to a total of 12 people between 1950 and 2002, but most cases were done quietly. De Chickera said it was crucial that all countries’ counter-terrorism policies should not result in more people becoming stateless – which means someone is not recognized as a national by any country in the world. To avoid making people stateless, Britain has focused on dual nationals. But Audrey Macklin, a human rights law professor at the University of Toronto, said if all countries had laws to revoke citizenship from dual nationals then you would get a race to see who could do it first “and to the loser goes the citizen.

"Is this a policy that makes sense as a global practice directed at making the world more secure, at reducing the risk of terrorism? To my mind, not so much,” she said. She said citizenship was a right rather than a privilege, and described citizenship deprivation followed by expulsion as the “political equivalent of the death penalty.” The conference comes midway through a UN campaign to end statelessness in a decade. An estimated 10 to 15 million people are stateless worldwide, often deprived of basic rights. Read more - Lire plus
What we've been up to!
What we've been up to so far and what's to come for the second half of 2019!
ICLMG - 2019 has been very busy so far, and it's not looking to slow down for the second half of the year!

As I write these lines, we are continuing to work on, among other things:

  • The immediate public release of the report from Murray Segal's external review of the case of Hassan Diab, and the launch of public inquiry into Dr. Diab's case and the Extradition Act overall.

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

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

  • The repeal of the Canadian No Fly List, as well as putting a stop to the use of the US No Fly List by air carriers in Canada for flights that do not fly over the US, let alone land there.

  • An information card detailing how the different federal parties have voted on national security legislation since 2001, and calling on federal parties to commit to protecting human rights and civil liberties in the context of national security. Campaign coming soon!

Release Yasser Albaz from arbitrary detention in Egypt
On February 18, 2019, my dad, Yasser Albaz, was stopped at Cairo airport, his Canadian passport was confiscated, and he was kidnapped by Egyptian State Security. My dad remains in the notorious Torah prison where he is forced to sleep on cold, concrete floor. He has not been charged and continues to receive 15-day extensions to his arbitrary detention.

Sign to tell PM Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to do everything in their power to bring this Canadian citizen home to his family.
Canada must act to end Islamophobia in Xinjiang, China
There is credible evidence that up to one million Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other mainly Muslim groups in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region are being detained in secret internment camps. Detainees are brainwashed, tortured and are forced to renounce their religion and culture.

And send a message to Chrystia Freeland demanding that Canada actively support an independent and unrestricted international fact-finding initiative to Xinjiang.
Letter to Justice Minister: Release Report and Launch Public Inquiry into Hassan Diab Case Now
The external review report into the case of Hassan Diab, written by Mr. Murray Segal, has been submitted to the office of the Justice Minister.
Send a message to the Justice Minister calling for the public release of the report, and the launch of a public inquiry into the case of Hassan Diab that will actually examine the Extradition Act and have powers to compel documents and testimonies.
All-in-one action page: Stop Mohamed Harkat's Deportation to Torture
Call PM Trudeau, write a letter to Public Safety Minister Goodale & your MP, and sign Sophie Harkat's petition to stop the deportation of Moe Harkat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 W e, citizens and residents of Canada, call on the government of Canada to henceforth designate January 29th as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia and other forms of religious discrimination or a National Day of Action against Hate and Intolerance .
Free Ahmed Mansoor
Ahmed is an award winning human rights defender and blogger. The UAE has said Ahmed had been arrested for using his social media accounts to “publish false information that damages the country’s reputation” and to “spread hatred and sectarianism”.

Right now, Ahmed is being held in solitary confinement and has not had access to a lawyer, an d he is on hunger strike.

Act now and demand that the UAE release Ahmed immediately and unconditionally.
Iran: Free Saeed Malekpour!
Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian national with permanent residency in Canada, has been imprisoned in Iran since his arrest on 4 October 2008. In late 2010, he was initially sentenced to death for “spreading corruption on earth” in relation to a web programme he created for uploading photos which the Iranian authorities said was used on pornographic websites. This was an open source programme and Saeed Malekpour has maintained that the use of this web programme on other websites was without his knowledge. His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in 2012.
Discrimination and hate
Discriminaiton et haine

Privacy and surveillance
Vie privée et surveillance

Les opinions exprimées ne reflètent pas nécessairement les positions de la CSILC - The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the positions of ICLMG.
to our amazing supporters!
We would like to thank all our member organizations, and our patrons who are supporting ICLMG on Patreon ! As a reward, we are listing our patrons who give $10 or more per month (and wanted to be listed) directly in the News Digest. Without you, our work wouldn't be possible!

Kathryn Dingle
Mary Ann Higgs
Kevin Malseed
Brian Murphy
Karen Seabrooke
Bob Stevenson
Chantal Vallerand

Nous tenons à remercier nos organisations membres et toutes les personnes qui soutiennent la CSILC sur Patreon ! En récompense, nous nommons ci-dessus nos mécènes qui donnent 10$ ou plus par mois directement dans le News Digest. Sans vous, notre travail ne serait pas possible!