News from ICLMG

VIDEO: Islamophobia in Canada: How national security impacts Muslim communities

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If you are not in Ottawa, you can watch the talk LIVE or watch the video later on our Facebook page. Like the page to get notifications to that effect.

Join us for our second panel:
“Islamophobia in Canada: How national security impacts Muslim communities”

When: Tuesday October 24, 2017 from 7:30 to 9:30PM

Where: 25One Community, 251 Bank Street, 2nd floor, Ottawa (Google Maps)

What: Dr. Monia Mazigh and lawyer Yavar Hameed will be discussing the double standard and the polical use of the word terrorism; the impact of islamophobia, anti-terrorism laws and national security agencies’ actions on Canadian Muslims; and how Islamophobia is both a cause and a consequence of Canada’s national security apparatus.

Our National Coordinator, Tim McSorley, will be moderating, and we will have a Q&A after each presentation. Le panel sera en anglais mais vous pourrez poser vos questions en français.

RSVP, share and invite your friends on Facebook

The event is FREE and open to everyone. We will be collecting donations in support of ICLMG’s work. If you want to know why you should give to ICLMG, check out our long list of achievements and gains since our creation in 2002.

If you cannot attend, please consider supporting our work at patreon.com/iclmg or iclmg.ca/donate.

This panel is the second of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group’s National Security & Human Rights Speaker Series, sponsored by CUPE, the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

ICLMG will be hosting one panel per month for 5 months on an important and timely issue related to national security and human rights in Canada. Stay tuned for the next dates and topics.

Invite your friends and we hope to see you there. Thanks!


Who are our panelists?

Dr. Monia Mazigh was born and raised in Tunisia and immigrated to Canada in 1991. She speaks Arabic, French, and English fluently and holds a Ph.D. in finance from McGill University. Dr. Mazigh has worked at the University of Ottawa and taught at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia. In 2004, she ran in the federal election as a candidate for the NDP, gaining the most votes for her riding in the history of the NDP. Dr. Mazigh was catapulted onto the public stage in 2002 when her husband Maher Arar, was deported to Syria where he was tortured and held without charge for over a year. During that time, Dr. Mazigh campaigned vigorously for her husband’s release and later fought to re-establish his reputation and sought reparations. In January 2007, after a lengthy inquiry, her husband finally received an apology from the Canadian government and was offered compensation for the “terrible ordeal” his family had suffered. Dr. Mazigh has since authored a book called Hope and Despair, which documents her ordeal after her husband was arrested and how she campaigned to clear his name. She has also published two novels, Mirrors and Mirages in 2014, and Hope Has Two Daughters in 2017. Dr. Mazigh presently lives in Ottawa with her husband and two children. More at https://moniamazigh.wordpress.com/

Yavar Hameed is a Barrister & Solicitor. He completed his Common Law degree at the University of Ottawa and an M.A. at the Normal Paterson School of International Affairs and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2001. Yavar worked for three years at a labour law firm focusing on trade union law, employment law and human rights. For the past twelve years, he has worked on important cases to help individuals and communities to resist injustice such as discrimination on the basis of poverty, police brutality, persecution of people on the basis of dissident political views, whistle blowing, racial profiling, deportation of migrants, Islamophobia, homophobia and abuse of prisoner rights. Since 2009, he has also taught a seminar course at Carleton University’s Department of Law and Legal Studies entitled, State, Security and Dissent, in which he continues to explore contemporary and historical human rights problems in Canada with a focus upon the importance of material and ideological persecution of dissent by the state. More at http://hameedlaw.ca/

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. Here at ICLMG, we are working very hard to protect and promote human rights and civil liberties in the context of the so-called “war on terror” in Canada. We do not receive any financial support from any federal, provincial or municipal governments or political parties.

You can become our patron on Patreon and get rewards in exchange for your support. You can give as little as $1/month (that’s only $12/year!) and you can unsubscribe at any time. Any donations will go a long way to support our work.panel-54141172-image-6fa93d06d6081076-320-320You can also make a one-time donation or donate monthly via Paypal by clicking on the button below. On the fence about giving? Check out our Achievements and Gains since we were created in 2002. Thank you for your generosity!
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ICLMG’s submission for Canada’s UN Universal Periodic Review

What is the UPR?

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN Member States. The UPR is a State-driven process, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfil their human rights obligations.

A review of a State is based on: (a) a national report prepared by the State under review; (b) a compilation of United Nations information on the State under review prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); and (c) a summary of information submitted by other stakeholders (including civil society actors, national human rights institutions and regional organizations), also prepared by OHCHR.

Our concerns

ICLMG has sent its second UPR submission for Canada. We are happy to report that there have been positive changes since the last UPR, which occurred in 2013, notably a few security certificates have been quashed, several torture survivors have received apologies and compensation from the federal government, and Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters, has removed some egregious problems introduced by Bill C-51, the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2015 – although not all of them.

The ICLMG, in this UPR submission, thus raises – and repeats its – concerns regarding:

  • The security certificate regime
  • The no-fly list program
  • The new ministerial directives on information tied to torture
  • Afghan detainees
  • Hassan Diab
  • The criminalization of dissent
  • National security creep, discretionary powers and the use of secret evidence
  • Encryption
  • Counter-radicalization
  • The Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act (C-13)
  • The Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act (C-44)
  • Bill C-23, The Preclearance Act, 2016
  • The Anti-terrorism Act 2015 (C-51)
  • Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters

Summary of our submission

“The ICLMG submits that Canada, in adopting certain anti-terrorism laws and policies, has contravened its obligations under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, several international human rights treaties and certain provisions of its own Charter of Rights and Freedoms. These laws have expanded police and intelligence-gathering powers, and restricted human rights. Specific examples of these contraventions are set out in the paragraphs to follow and include failure to respect due process and the rule of law, arbitrary arrest, preventative detention, racial profiling and suspension of the principle of innocence until proven guilty.

The ICLMG supports all legitimate efforts to combat terrorism which is in itself a serious attack on human rights, but argues that these efforts must always respect human rights norms. We do not properly defend democracy, the rule of law and a culture of human rights by abdicating these very principles. Security and freedom are not opposites. Respect for fundamental rights is an essential condition, a vital component of security.”

Read our UPR submission

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. Here at ICLMG, we are working very hard to protect and promote human rights and civil liberties in the context of the so-called “war on terror” in Canada. We do not receive any financial support from any federal, provincial or municipal governments or political parties.

You can become our patron on Patreon and get rewards in exchange for your support. You can give as little as $1/month (that’s only $12/year!) and you can unsubscribe at any time. Any donations will go a long way to support our work.panel-54141172-image-6fa93d06d6081076-320-320You can also make a one-time donation or donate monthly via Paypal by clicking on the button below. On the fence about giving? Check out our Achievements and Gains since we were created in 2002. Thank you for your generosity!
make-a-donation-button

NDP leadership candidates’ positions on national security and human rights

Screen Shot 2017-09-26 at 1.29.03 PM

This summer, we sent a questionnaire to the teams of the four New Democratic Party candidates in the federal leadership race. Our goal is to inform Canadians of the candidates’ positions on national security and human rights so they can make an informed decision if they vote in the NDP leadership race. To vote in the first round you must cast your vote online before 2 PM on October 1st. These answers will also be helpful for holding the new NDP leader accountable.

We have received answers from Niki Ashton and Charlie Angus. Here they are below. If we receive answers from Jagmeet Singh and Guy Caron, we will update the page. If you would like to know their national security positions, feel free to email their teams and request that they send us their answers to our questionnaire: info@jagmeetsingh.cainfo@guycaron.ca

Summary: We based our grading on how close the candidates’ positions were to ICLMG’s own positions. Charlie Angus’ and Niki Ashton’s answers were fairly similar. The main differences between their positions are to be found in their comments on the Terrorist Entities Listing (under the section on Bill C-59), Deradicalization, their overall perception of “war on terror” and their vision guiding the fight against terrorism.

Place your cursor on the X and wait for more comments to appear (if there are any).

NIKI ASHTON: A+

Questions

Yes

No

C-51 (ANTI-TERRORISM ACT, 2015)

Do you think Bill C-51 should be fully repealed? Why? X
BILL C-59 (AN ACT RESPECTING NATIONAL SECURITY MATTERS)
Are you in favor of the creation of the new National Security Review Agency? X  
Are you in favor of the creation of the new Intelligence Commissioner? X  
Are you in favor of the extension of CSE’s powers?   X
Are you in favour of the legalization of CSIS’s retention of Canadians’ metadata, even if it is unrelated to any criminal investigation?   X
Do the changes to SCISA and the definition of threats to national security go far enough?   X
Do you support the Terrorist Entities Listing?    X
What is your opinion on the use of peace bonds and preventative arrest for national security purposes?  See  comments
NO FLY LIST
 Are you in favour of abolishing the no-fly list?   
TORTURE
Do you think there should be a public inquiry into Canada’s transfer of Afghan detainees to Afghan authorities?  X  
SECURITY CERTIFICATES
Do you think the security certificate regime should be abolished?  X  
DERADICALIZATION
Do you agree with the government’s current plans on deradicatlization, including the creation of the Office of the Community Outreach and Counter-Radicalization Coordinator?    X
There are experts who have stated that deradicalization programs stigmatize Muslims further, and that it can create a chill on speech and activism considered “radical”. Do you agree? If you do, what would be your solution?  X  
NORTH AMERICAN SECURITY PERIMETER    
Do you support the Beyond the Border agreement and the integration of Canadian and US border security?   X
PRECLEARANCE AND PRIVACY AT THE BORDER
Do you support Bill C-23? Why?     X
Should border agents be allowed to search electronic devices and access social media accounts of people traveling to Canada?      X
MASS SURVEILLANCE AND METADATA
Do you support the mass collection of metadata?    X
Do you think mass government surveillance should be forbidden?  X  
CRIMINALIZATION OF DISSENT
Do you think more should be done to effectively protect freedom of expression and dissent in Canada from the impact of national security and anti-terrorism laws?   X  
ENCRYPTION
Do you believe individuals should have access to strong encryption?  X  
Should government agencies be granted special access through backdoors?     X
LAWFUL ACCESS
Do you support changes to lawful access rules that would compel companies to give a subscriber’s information or metadata to the government without a warrant?      X
Do you think that companies should be compelled to make their systems compatible with law enforcement’s interception tools?    X

What is your overall perception of the “war on terror”? 

The “war on terror” has been a moral, political, and humanitarian disaster. By supporting and participating in aggressive military endeavors, led by the US and NATO, we have contributed only to more death and devastation in the Middle East and elsewhere, without making any progress towards peace and security. It is time to radically reorient our foreign policy to be a force for peace in the world, in solidarity with the oppressed, and not an accessory of empire.

What is your general vision that would guide the fight against terrorism?

We have to recognize that military interventions have made the problem of terrorism worse, not better. For too long we have relied on the use of imperial power and violence to intervene in the affairs of countries overseas, causing significant harm to civilians and destroying the infrastructure of civil society. This has only increased the resentment and anger that fuels ideologies and organizations engaged in terroristic violence. We must move away from intervention and militarism, and focus our foreign policy on actions that can increase quality of life and goodwill: humanitarian assistance, support for refugees, and solidarity with oppressed groups.

CHARLIE ANGUS: A-

Questions

Yes

No

C-51 (ANTI-TERRORISM ACT, 2015)

Do you think Bill C-51 should be fully repealed? Why? X
BILL C-59 (AN ACT RESPECTING NATIONAL SECURITY MATTERS)
Are you in favor of the creation of the new National Security Review Agency? X  
Are you in favor of the creation of the new Intelligence Commissioner? X  
Are you in favor of the extension of CSE’s powers?   X
Are you in favour of the legalization of CSIS’s retention of Canadians’ metadata, even if it is unrelated to any criminal investigation?   X
Do the changes to SCISA and the definition of threats to national security go far enough?   X
Do you support the Terrorist Entities Listing?    X
What is your opinion on the use of peace bonds and preventative arrest for national security purposes?  See  comments
NO FLY LIST
 Are you in favour of abolishing the no-fly list?   
TORTURE
Do you think there should be a public inquiry into Canada’s transfer of Afghan detainees to Afghan authorities?  X  
SECURITY CERTIFICATES
Do you think the security certificate regime should be abolished?  X  
DERADICALIZATION
Do you agree with the government’s current plans on deradicatlization, including the creation of the Office of the Community Outreach and Counter-Radicalization Coordinator? See comments
There are experts who have stated that deradicalization programs stigmatize Muslims further, and that it can create a chill on speech and activism considered “radical”. Do you agree? If you do, what would be your solution? See above 
NORTH AMERICAN SECURITY PERIMETER
Do you support the Beyond the Border agreement and the integration of Canadian and US border security? X
PRECLEARANCE AND PRIVACY AT THE BORDER
Do you support Bill C-23? Why? X
Should border agents be allowed to search electronic devices and access social media accounts of people traveling to Canada?    X
MASS SURVEILLANCE AND METADATA
Do you support the mass collection of metadata?    X
Do you think mass government surveillance should be forbidden?  X  
CRIMINALIZATION OF DISSENT
Do you think more should be done to effectively protect freedom of expression and dissent in Canada from the impact of national security and anti-terrorism laws?   X  
ENCRYPTION
Do you believe individuals should have access to strong encryption? X  
Should government agencies be granted special access through backdoors?     X
LAWFUL ACCESS
Do you support changes to lawful access rules that would compel companies to give a subscriber’s information or metadata to the government without a warrant?      X
Do you think that companies should be compelled to make their systems compatible with law enforcement’s interception tools?    X

What is your overall perception of the “war on terror”? 

There are fundamental problems with Canada’s role in this open-ended conflict. Keeping citizens safe is the first job of any government, but we need an approach based on judicial oversight rather than executive discretion. Instead of cracking down on individual civil liberties and taking a broad-based, evidence-light approach to widening the scope of the intelligence and security agencies’ mandates, we needs to take a more holistic approach.

What is your general vision that would guide the fight against terrorism?

Canada should build bridges to different communities, take a proactive, independent policy in regions of conflict, limit radicalization by giving young people opportunities and hope for the future, and take a more proactive approach in defusing the rising phenomenon of right-wing paramilitary/militia organizations. We also face major challenges overall with cyber espionage, and are behind in protecting the data of Canadians and the government.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. Here at ICLMG, we are working very hard to protect and promote human rights and civil liberties in the context of the so-called “war on terror” in Canada. We do not receive any financial support from any federal, provincial or municipal governments or political parties.

You can become our patron on Patreon and get rewards in exchange for your support. You can give as little as $1/month (that’s only $12/year!) and you can unsubscribe at any time. Any donations will go a long way to support our work.panel-54141172-image-6fa93d06d6081076-320-320You can also make a one-time donation or donate monthly via Paypal by clicking on the button below. On the fence about giving? Check out our Achievements and Gains since we were created in 2002. Thank you for your generosity!
make-a-donation-button

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