Press release: ICLMG and la LDL call for robust oversight and revision of powers granted to CSEC
February 10, 2014 - Ten years after the creation of the Arar Commission by the Paul Martin government in February 2004, very little has changed. In the midst of the present debate about the spying activities of the Canadian Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) and la Ligue des droits et libertés are calling on parliamentarians to re-visit Justice O’Connor’s recommendations aimed at overseeing and increasing the transparency of the surveillance and information sharing practices of Canadian intelligence gathering agencies.
Thank you to all who attended The Human Cost of Killer Drones event
November 28, 2013 - The Human Cost of Killer Drones was a success with over 100 people attending in person and many more watching the panel via livestream. We would also like to thank our panelists Farea Al-Muslimi, Alex Neve, and John Packer for speaking, and the University of Ottawa Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC), the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies (Human Rights) at Carleton University, and NOWAR-PAIX for sponsoring the event.
Stay tuned for the video of the event.
ICLMG and Farea Al-Muslimi: Press conference on Parliament Hill
November 25, 2013 - Farea Al-Muslimi, Roch Tassé and Christine Jones were at the Press Gallery on Parliament Hill on Monday November 25, 2013 to urge the Canadian government to take a different path than the US and not purchase killer drones. Farea Al-Muslimi is the Yemeni activist who made Obama admit to the use of drones, Roch Tassé is the National Coordinator of ICLMG, and Christine Jones is the Co-Chair of the Canadian Peace Alliance.
The Human Cost of Killer Drones
The Ottawa Peace Assembly (OPA) and the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) invite you to an event co-sponsored by the University of Ottawa Human Rights Research and Education Centre (HRREC) and the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies (Human Rights) at Carleton University, and endorsed by NOWAR-PAIX:
November 25, 2013
Desmarais building, room 12102
55, Laurier Avenue E., University of Ottawa
The Yemeni activist who delivered a powerful testimony in a congressional hearing on American drone strikes in Yemen and basically made Obama admit to the use of drones.
Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada. Amnesty recently released a report on the use of drones in Pakistan and the status of U.S. drone strikes under international law.
Constitutions and Process Design Expert, Policy and Mediation Division, Department of Political Affairs, United Nations. He is currently advising the political transition in Yemen.
There will be a Q & A session at the end. It will be possible to ask questions in French.
Free event. Donations are encouraged to support local peace and human rights organizing.
We hope to see you there!
RSVP on Facebook, share widely and invite your friends
Watch Farea Al-Muslimi’s testimony on American drone strikes at the Congressional Hearing
Read “Will I be next?”, Amnesty International’s 2013 report on US drone strikes in Pakistan
Letter to the ministers opposing the deportation of Jose Figueroa
Letter to The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and the Honourable Chris Alexander, Minister of Immigration
October 15, 2013 - The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) is urging you to reverse the deportation order against José Figueroa, a Salvadoran refugee claimant living in B.C., who was forced to claim sanctuary in a Langley Lutheran church to avoid deportation to El Salvador at the end of the month. Mr. Figueroa, a married father of three Canadian-born children, has been ordered deported by the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) due to his past affiliation with the Farabundo Marti Front for National Liberation (FMLN), currently the governing political party in El Salvador. If deported Mr. Figueroa will be forced to uproot his family, including his Canadian-born children, despite by all accounts having contributed positively to his Canadian community for over 15 years.
The ICLMG is especially troubled by the fact that the IRB based its ruling on the Canadian Border Security Agency’s (CBSA) assessment that the FMLN “is or was engaged in terrorism and/or subversion” and on coinciding legal arguments from the Ministry of Public Safety. This is ludicrous!
ICLMG and CCR intervened at the Supreme Court to oppose secret trials and security certificates
On October 10, the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) and ICLMG asked the Supreme Court of Canada to rule that it is fundamentally unfair to rely on secret evidence in deciding whether to deport a non-citizen, potentially to a risk of persecution. The CCR and ICLMG were jointly intervening in the Harkat case, which addresses the use of undisclosed evidence in the security certificate process. The organizations, represented by Sharry Aiken, Barbara Jackman and Andrew Brouwer, presented oral arguments yesterday.
The CCR/ICLMG factum is available from the Supreme Court website.
Press release: Fundamental fairness for non-citizens at stake in Supreme Court Harkat case
October 7, 2013 - Treating people fairly means giving everyone equal protection of their basic rights. The use of secret evidence in immigration processes is unfair because it undermines non-citizens’ right to life, liberty and security of the person. When these rights are at stake for citizens, such as in criminal proceedings, we do not tolerate the use of secret evidence. Non-citizens deserve an equal opportunity to know and respond to the evidence used against them.
Decisions made using secret evidence in immigration proceedings have dramatic consequences for the individual, because a person found inadmissible on security grounds cannot make a refugee claim and is only eligible for a much narrower risk review, with a higher standard of proof. There is therefore a real possibility that affected persons will be sent back to face persecution, in violation of Canada’s international human rights obligations. Because the definition of security inadmissibility in Canadian immigration law is very broad, those affected include people who have never engaged in or promoted violence and who represent no threat to Canada’s security.
The CCR/ICLMG factum is available from the Supreme Court website.
Canadians need answers on domestic spying powers
This is an op-ed written by Warren Allmand on behalf of ICLMG and published in the Toronto Star
September 4, 2013 - Canadians should heed the uproar in the United States, Europe and Latin America over the recent revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) is spying, without warrants, on e-mails, faxes and telephone calls going into and out of or simply transiting through the country. The fear is that data collection and data-mining systems used by the NSA are not just monitoring suspected terrorists, but also filtering through the international, and possibly even domestic, communications of potentially all ordinary law-abiding citizens. What is even more startling is that Canadian security agencies have been authorized to do the same thing here, and may be using the same approach to conduct vast data-mining of our communications.
The states involved in forcing down and searching the Bolivian President’s jet should be held to account while the EU should concentrate on protecting the fundamental rights of Europeans by putting an end to the unwarranted mass surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden.
Many European countries have a proud history of providing refuge to people facing prosecutions of a political nature. If they are to avoid the same international reputation for injustice that increasingly plagues their Transatlantic partner they should cease and desist in their efforts to apprehend Mr. Snowden, recognise his service to European democracy and guarantee him safe haven or passage.
Presented by the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, Amnesty International Canada, and the Center for Constitutional Rights
When: Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 7-9pm
Where: Octopus Books, 251 Bank Street, Ottawa, Ontario
What: The screening of the documentary followed by a discussion with J. Wells Dixon (CCR attorney representing men at Guantánamo), Abdullah Almalki (Canadian citizen who was tortured in Syria because of inaccurate information given by Canada), and Paul Champ (Ottawa human rights and national security litigation lawyer), and moderated by Hilary Homes (Amnesty International Canada).
Roundtable on the criminalization of dissent
March 6, 2013 - The Human Rights Research and Education Center of the University of Ottawa (HRREC) was the host of a roundtable on the issue of the criminalization of dissent and its impacts on human rights and environmental defenders. The panel presentations was followed by an exchange with the audience on the legal dilemmas and challenges faced by human rights and environmental defenders as a result of this increasing trend.
'The Last Walk of Adolfo Ich' & the criminalization of dissent
March 5, 2013 - A Co-Presentation with Toronto’s Aluna Theatre of ‘The Last Walk of Adolfo Ich’ and a panel discussion with a Guatemalan human rights defender and local guests about the criminalization of dissent. With Jen Moore from Mining Watch, Ian Thomson from Kairos, Roch Tassé from ICLMG, Brittany Lambert from APG-CCIC and Lolita Chavez from the K’iche People’s Counsel.
When we use torture, we become who we are fighting against
This essay is a response to Margaret Wente's troubling column "Can you ever argue about torture?" published in The Globe and Mail on February 1, 2013. The Globe and Mail declined to publish ICLMG's response.
ICLMG 04/02/2013 - Remembering history does not mean accepting the horrible acts and the violations of the rule of law and civil liberties perpetrated for a “good cause”. Canada has ruined many lives in its involvement in the war on terror by adopting lax attitudes towards torture, using information obtained through torture, and abandoning individuals in countries where they were tortured because of erroneous information provided by our police and intelligence agencies. To this date, Canada still refuses to apologize and compensate the victims: Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad El Maati, Muayyed Nureddin, Benamar Benatta, and Abousfian Abdelrazik. Our cause, however good we think it might be, becomes morally bankrupt as soon as we use terrorizing and life shattering methods such as torture. We become who we are fighting against.
December 10, 2012 - This day marks the 10th anniversary of Mohamed Harkat's arrest under a security certificate. Ironically, it is also International Human Rights Day. ICLMG was on Parliament Hill with Mohamed Harkat, his family, Hilary Homes from Amnesty International, Ihsaan Gardee from CAIR-CAN, Randall Garrison, the NDP Public Safety critic and Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party to denounce the security certificate regime and demand that this human rights violation stops.
ICLMG testified against Bill S-7 (Combating Terrorism Act) before parliamentary committee
December 3, 2012 - Me Denis Barrette, ICLMG's spokesperson on Bill S-7, has testified before the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security on Monday, December 3, to express our opposition to Bill S-7 (Combating Terrorism Act).
ICLMG opposes the reintroduction into the Criminal Code of Canada of two controversial provisions (“preventative detention” and “investigative hearing”) of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001 that were subject to a sunset clause and expired in February 2007. In a joint statement endorsed by a group of civil liberties and human rights organizations released last week, ICLMG reaffirms the position that the current powers of law enforcement already allow security agencies to pursue, investigate, disrupt, and successfully prosecute terrorism-related crimes.
Editorial: Time to address the root causes of terrorism
November 29, 2012 - Last Friday, International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino outlined his vision for CIDA’s future in an address to the Economic Club of Canada. He spoke of a profound shift towards the private sector, particularly mining companies, and of more explicit work to promote Canada’s interests abroad. The same week, a confidential draft document on Canadian foreign policy was severely criticized by opposition MPs, human rights experts and former diplomats. Thomas Mulcair said in the Commons that “the Conservatives' new foreign policy plan, crafted in secret, includes no vision for human rights, no vision for peace and security, no vision for aid and international development, no vision for Canada as an even-handed leader on the world stage.” Read more
Warren Allmand's presentation on Bill C-42 before the SECU Committee
November 8, 2012 - Warren Allmand has appeared before the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (SECU) on Wednesday October 24, 2012 to present ICLMG's position on Bill C-42, Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act. Read more
Submission of Information by the ICLMG for Canada's UN Universal Periodic Review
October 2012 - The ICLMG has sent its submission of Information to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in relation to the Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review of Canada to take place in April 2013.
Summary of comment on Bill C-43: Reducing fairness for refugees and permanent residents
Less fairness for people inadmissible on grounds of security, human or international rights violations or organized criminality
These inadmissibility sections are extremely broad and catch people who have committed no crime and represent no danger to safety or security. Among those affected are people who are inadmissible simply because they worked against undemocratic or brutal regimes.
For details on these and other concerns, see the CCR submission.
Letter to Minister Toews on the Use of Torture-tainted information
Endorsed by ICLMG and ten civil society organizations
September 6, 2012 - We are writing to you today to express our opposition to the government's directives that would allow for the use of information that was likely extracted through torture. These directives are currently in the public spotlight following disclosure through an Access to Information request.
L'Accord canado-américain sur la sécurité du périmètre : une menace pour la sécurité des Canadiens
Letter written by ICLMG and la Ligue des droits et libertés (in French only)
July 10, 2012 - L’accord canado-américain sur la sécurité du périmètre rendu public lors du passage de Stephen Harper à Washington la semaine dernière représente ni plus ni moins que l'intégration du Canada à l'appareil sécuritaire des États-Unis, sans aucune protection pour les canadiens des abus qui pourraient en découler. C'est l’abandon pur et simple des normes canadiennes en matière de protection de la vie privée.
Omar Khadr: Committee against Torture recommends transfer to Canada and redress for human rights violations
Press release written by ICLMG and Lawyer's Rights Watch Canada
June 1, 2012 - The Committee against Torture issued its Concluding Observations on Canada on May 31. The hearing on Canada was held in Geneva May 21-22. Among the issues the Committee reviewed was Canada's treatment of Canadian Omar Khadr during his ongoing detention at Guantánamo prison. Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen, captured in at age 15 in Afghanistan by the US in 2002 and imprisoned since in Bagram and Guantánamo Bay prisons.
Briefing to the Committee against Torture, 48th Session, May 2012 on the Omar Khadr case
Submitted by ICLMG and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada
May 2012 - Re: Canada's failure to comply with obligations under the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment to prevent, prosecute, and remedy the torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of Canadian citizen Omar Khadr during his ongoing detention at Guantánamo Naval Base, Cuba.
Submission of Information to the Committee Against Torture (CAT) for the Examination of Canada’s 6th Report
Submitted by ICLMG and endorsed by the Canadian Association of University Teachers
May 2012 - The ICLMG submits that certain Canadian policies, practices and cases contravene multiple provisions of the “Convention Against Torture”. In this respect, we request the Committee to take note of the following information which we urge the committee to use in formulating questions, comments, observations and recommendations when Canada’s 6th Report comes up for its S.19 examination during May 2012.