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ICLMG urges the Ministers of Justice and Foreign Affairs to act now for the return of Hassan Diab to Canada

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The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould
Minister of Justice
House of Commons
Parliament Buildings
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada
K1A 0A6
Email: Jody.Wilson-Raybould@parl.gc.ca
Cc: The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Omar Alghabra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Re: The case of Dr. Hassan Diab

Dear Minister Wilson-Raybould,

We are writing today to follow-up with you regarding the case of Canadian citizen and university professor Dr. Hassan Diab. We originally wrote to your office about Dr. Diab in April 2016, but did not receive a response. Since then, his case has grown even more concerning, and we would urge you to raise the issue with your French counterpart to ensure that Dr. Diab’s rights are protected.

Read the full letter

Sign the new petition

Watch the short documentary “Rubber Stamped: The Hassan Diab Story”

Join the Bring Hassan Home Campaign and visit the Justice for Hassan Diab website

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Tell the Senate: “Strengthen C-22 to ensure real national security oversight!”

Lang & Jaffer

UPDATE: On Tuesday, April 4th, the government voted in favor of Bill C-22 at third reading in the House of Commons. The bill will now go to the Senate for study. We have updated this action so you can send a new message to the members of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence, urging them to strengthen Bill C-22 and give the future national security committee the oversight capabilities it needs to do its work. Please send this new letter even if you already sent the previous one! Thank you!


Background information: On Monday, March 20th, 2017, the federal government passed amendments to Bill C-22, “An Act to establish the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians”, effectively cancelling several amendments proposed by the Public Safety House Committee – despite the fact that Liberal MPs make up the majority of the committee – and reverting the bill to its original, highly inadequate and worrisome text. Read our analysis of Bill C-22.

As it is, the bill will leave the future National Security Committee of Parliamentarians incapable of accomplishing its important oversight work. Please take 2 minutes of your time and send a letter to the members of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence urging them to strengthen C-22.

Click on “Read the petition” to add your comments, if you have any, and click on “Submit” to send your message.

Thank you!

Strenghten Bill C-22 for real parliamentary oversight of national security

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Don’t let the police steal Canada’s National Security Debate

A RCMP cruiser sits parked on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Matthew Usherwood

THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Matthew Usherwood

By Tim McSorley, National Coordinator, International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group

When it comes to national security – rules governing everything from when you can be arrested to when the government can spy on your email – the RCMP feels that its voice and the voices of other law enforcement agencies aren’t being heard in the government’s public consultation on national security, which runs online until the end of this day, December 15.

« So far, [the debate] appears to be driven very much from one side, which is those that would like more privacy and more anonymity, » RCMP Chief Supt. Jeff Adam told the CBC and Toronto Star in November. The interview was part of a joint series on how police feel they are losing the tech race to criminals who they say are “going dark” behind encryption – a claim that has been heavily disputed, even by the Star’s editorial board.

While the RCMP feels its voice isn’t being heard, as soon as the online consultation was published, human rights and privacy organizations cried foul. They pointed to leading questions, hypothetical scenarios provided without evidence, and a questionable background document that all seemed to lay out an argument not only in support of the most problematic powers introduced in Bill C-51, but for bringing in concerning new police powers as well.

Could something so weighted towards police powers have truly excluded the police? As Vice Canada reporter Justin Ling has shown, it would appear law enforcement’s voice has been there all along.

A memo from last February shows that as far back as last winter, the RCMP was strategizing on getting new powers. In the memo, they lay out their plan for creating a “new public narrative” around national security, including four themes that weigh heavily on the framing of the national security consultation. As Ling explains it, they are:

  1. A lack of interception hardware on Canadian telecommunication networks,
  2. The use of encryption to protect communications,
  3. The deletion of user data by companies,
  4. And the inability to obtain users’ data hosted in some foreign countries.

Even a casual read of the consultation and supporting documents reveal how important these four perceived concerns are to the government.

So really, there was no need to have major media grant them a platform: police voices were already at the heart of the process.

So how can we make sure we swing the balance back?

Until the end of this day, December 15th, anyone can share their thoughts by filling out the online consultation, or by sending an email to ps.nsconsultation-consultationsn.sp@canada.ca.

Whether you want to call on the government to once and for all “kill Bill C-51” or want to dig into the nuances of how banks report suspicious financial transactions to the government, now is your chance!

At the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG), we think there are a lot of reasons to share your concerns, including:

  • Undoing new laws that threaten freedom of expression under the guise of limiting the promotion of terrorism
  • Protecting our right to privacy from new rules that give government agencies unprecedented power to share our private information between themselves and with foreign authorities
  • Preventing police and spy agencies from obtaining new powers that would violate our privacy, including obtaining Basic Subscribers Information (BSI) without a warrant, weakening encryption, intercepting a vast array of our communications, and forcing telecom companies into bulk data retention.
  • Bringing in a greater, integrated and independent review mechanism for all of Canada’s national security bodies. Right now only three out of twenty have independent review, and they are forced to work in silos, unable to examine the work of other agencies even when operations overlap.
  • Repealing the no-fly list which has proven ineffective and resulted in an untold number of false positives – including over 50 children.
  • Ensuring the government focuses on reducing all forms of violence and increasing equality for all communities, rather than further marginalizing Muslim, Arab and other racialized communities.

Many of the questions are technical and obscure, and not everyone is a national security expert. That’s why the ICLMG, along with several other groups, have put together guides to help decipher and answer the questions.

You can find our responses here: http://iclmg.ca/issues/our-answers-to-the-national-security-online-consultation/. Feel free to re-use and adapt them for your own answers.

The government has said it wants to hear from us. And the only way to make sure our voices are heard loud and clear is by sending in as many messages by the end of the day. Together, we can make sure to do away with invasive spying and the criminalization of dissent and put our laws to work protecting civil liberties and human rights.

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. Any donations will go a long way to support our work.

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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