International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
January - June 2019
Hi everyone!

We hope you are well! 2019 has been very busy so far, and it's not looking to slow down for the second half of the year!

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

  • The immediate public release of the report from Murray Segal's external review of the case of Hassan Diab. We are also supporting the call for a public inquiry that will look at Dr. Diab's case and the Extradition Act overall, and will have powers to compel documents and testimonies to ensure real justice. Take action!

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

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

  • The repeal of the Canadian No Fly List, as it violates mobility rights and due process, as well as putting a stop to the use of the US No Fly List by air carriers in Canada for flights that do not fly over the US, let alone land there, as it violates both our rights and Canada's sovereignty.

  • An information card detailing how the different federal parties have voted on national security legislation since 2001, and calling on federal parties to commit to protecting human rights and civil liberties in the context of national security. We've already met with some parties' policy analysts and researchers to discuss national security and platform positions. Campaign coming soon!
Bill C-59, the National Security Act of 2017

Bill C-59 has continued to be a priority. Our work on it has included:
• A letter writing campaign for the Senate. Nearly 10,000 letters were sent!
• An update d 46-page brief, as well as a 10-page brief for the Senate National Security and Defense Committee (SECD).
• A presentation in front of SECD.
• The publication of multiple press releases , action alerts and blog posts
• Coordinating with members and other organizations, hosting two conference calls and maintaining a C-59 emailing list.
• Two amendments supported by the ICLMG have been adopted. These changes are highly insufficient, though, and won't fix the bill. The bill was adopted yesterday and will receive royal assent soon. We will be monitoring the implementation of the new law and its consequences.
ICLMG in the media

Our Communications and Research Coordinator, Anne Dagenais Guertin, co-wrote a piece with Matthew Behrens: Arriving to the wrong conclusion: ICLMG’s response to ex-CSIS analyst PR piece , that was published in The Hill Times.
Anne and our National Coordinator Tim McSorley co-wrote:  Canada is deporting a man to torture. Will we let that happen? , also published in The Huffington Post .
Stop the deportation to torture of Moe Harkat!

We continue our advocacy for Mohamed Harkat's rights and life:
• We publicized the letter-writing campaign for the public to call on PM Trudeau, Public Safety Minister Goodale and MPs to stop Mr. Harkat’s deportation to torture.
• To mark 16 years since Mr. Harkat’s arrest, we co-organized a "call the PM office" campaign in December.
We publis hed an op-ed, “ Canada is deporting a man to torture. Will we let it happen? ”, also in the HuffPost.
We supported the “Change of Heart: Call Trudeau to Stop Harkat's Deportation” action on February 14.
We wrote, with Sophie Harkat & Matthew Behrens, an in-depth fact sheet submitted to the PM and the Public Safety Minister.
A public inquiry into the case of Hassan Diab

We continue to advocate for justice for Hassan Diab and for a public inquiry into his case and into the Extradition Act:
• We attended a closed workshop on Extradition Act reform and contributed to the report.
• We participated in a roundtable on the vulnerability of Canadians in detention abroad, hosted by Global Affairs Canada.
• We are developing new campaign materials - stay tuned!
• We sent a letter to the Justice Minister calling for the immediate release of the Segal report and the launch of a public inquiry (as the review was too narrow in scope) issued a press release and asked members to send letters as we ll.
The Committee Against Torture on Canada

Canada’s report on its implementation of the Convention Against Torture was examined by the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) at the end of November 2018. We sen t a general submission asserting that several Canadian policies, practices and cases contravene multiple provisions of the Convention Against Torture, and a second report co-authored with Lawyers' Right Watch Canada (LRWC) specifically on Omar Khadr:
• The UN Committee Against Torture’s report on Canada, published in December, reflected many of our concerns.
• We issued a press release with LRWC about the specific findings on Omar Khadr.
Campaign for the release and return of Yasser Ahmed Albaz

Yasser is a Canadian citizen who, while at the Cairo airport on his way back to Canada in February 2019, was arrested and thrown in the notorious Torah prison in Egypt. State prosecutors have continuously extended Yasser's detention, without his even being charged. He is in shock, sleeps on concrete floors in a cramped cell and eats unclean food.
• W e issued a statement ca lling on Canada to ensure his return which was read at a press conference.
• We continue to follow the case and are in touch with Yasser's family.
Canada's No-Fly List

We continue to advocate against the rights-violating & ineffective No-Fly List:
• The Senate Committee on Human Rights is studying the No Fly List. We have been in touch to participate, and are sharing our analysis and call to repeal it with committee members.
• We continue to support the No Fly List Kids campaign for a redress system for “false positives”.
• We have provided some support to people affected by the No Fly List, and discussed potential strategies for a campaign regarding the application of the US No Fly List by air carriers in Canada.
Fight against Racism and Islamophobia

• We supported the call for the official recognition of January 29th, the day six Muslim men were killed and many more were injured at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec, and attended the Ottawa vigil.
• We joined our members, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) and the World Sikh Organization, in calling for changes to the 2018 Terrorism threat assessment report, which targeted and stigmatized Muslim and Sikh communities as being tied to terror threats. This included a press release sent to all major news outlets: “ Canadian Public Deserves Answers and Action Over Troubling New National Security Report.
Surveillance, encryption and privacy issues

• We continue to be an active community partner with the Big Data Surveillance Project, including participating in two team meetings and finalizing the text of our chapter in an upcoming book.
• We commented to various media outlets regarding concerns about border security and privacy issues.
• We signed two joint letters opposing the “UK Ghost Protocol” and Australia’s new encryption laws.
Criminalization and silencing of dissent

• We supported a delegation for justice around the murder of Mariano Abarca, attended a rally and a federal court hearing on whether the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner must investigate the Canadian Embassy’s involvement.
• We co-organized “Political Policing of Social Movements: Upping the Anti launch” with the Upping the Anti journal and OPIRG Carleton, on police infiltration, surveillance and disruption of activist groups.
Bill C-98: CBSA review

Bill C-98 aims to create a review body for the Canadian Border Services Agency:
• We have been calling for such a review body since the beginning, and more recently in our advocacy around bills C-59, C-21, C-23 and on border and migration.
• We are studying and monitoring the bill.
News Digest

We continue to publish our weekly News Digest, which all of you receive and is distributed to thousands of people every week.
If you know anyone interested in national security and/or human rights,  send them an invite to sign up !
Bill 46: Terrorist Activities Sanctions Act, 2018 (ON)

This very concerning bill would modify provincial law to prohibit individuals convicted of a terrorism offense from accessing essential public services after their sentence has finished. The bill would make them ineligible for licenses to drive, hunt and fish, for public health insurance, for housing and income assistance, for student loans, and to parent their own children.
• ICLMG has reached out to provincial MPPs about our concerns with the
bill, and discussed potential strategy to oppose the bill.
• The bill is currently at committee, but the study has not begun. We have expressed our interest to appear and/or submit a written brief.
... and more!

• We welcomed a new member: Islamic Relief Canada !
• We organized a workshop on Access to Information requests
• We spoke at the First Unitarian Congre gation of Ottawa’s Breakfast Speaker Series
• Anne was featured in Inter Pares’ “Stories of Hope ” series & Tim was featured in CAUT national newsletter
• We presented at the January 2019 Ligue des droits et libertés board meeting
• We spoke at and live-streamed a rally against the Saudi Arabia arms deal at Global Affairs Canad a
• We launched our Instagram account : @iclmg.csilc and continue reaching tens of thousands every week on social media.
If you think our work is important, please support the ICLMG!

We do not receive any funding from any federal, provincial or municipal governments or political parties so your support is essential to our work. We are counting on people like you. Thank you!
Thank you for your support in protecting civil liberties!

— Anne & Tim

PS: For what we’ve been up to since ICLMG was created in 2002, check out our  Achievements and Gains  page!