Author Archives: ICLMG CSILC

What we’ve been up to so far in 2022: Help us protect civil liberties for the rest of the year!

PARLIAMENTARY WORK

Bill S-7, An Act to amend the Customs Act and the Preclearance Act
  • We convened partner groups to analyse and devise a strategy to counter the proposed changes
  • We did research and worked on an open letter to Senators about the problems with the bill
  • We met with Senator Ratna Omidvar, and reached out to other senators explaining our concerns
  • We appeared at the Senate committee studying the bill and sent a brief
  • VICTORY: Our efforts, alongside others groups’, led the committee to propose several significant amendments in line with our positions
“Online harms” proposal
  • With the Centre for Free Expression, we established a network of groups and did research on alternatives
  • We met with NDP Public Safety Critic Alistair MacGregor
  • We wrote an article for la Ligue des droits et liberté’s magazine
Facial Recognition Technology
  • We raised the issue in meetings with Public Safety Canada and published an op-ed in the CCPA Monitor
  • We created the first ICLMG working group on FRT and organized a meeting with NDP MP Matthew Green, critic for Ethics. The working group drafted a briefing note for MP Green and for use with other MPs
  • We appeared at the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics (ETHI) for their study on FRT use by law enforcement & submitted a brief
  • We filed access to information requests about the government’s activities
Countering terrorist financing & prejudiced audits of Muslim charities
  • We had a 2nd meeting with the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson & we met with the office of the NDP National Revenue Critic Niki Ashton
  • We analyzed and reacted to the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson’s update and plan for review, and got media coverage
  • We reacted in the media to the ongoing audits of Muslim charities and the Muslim Association of Canada’s lawsuit
  • We participated in a Global Non-Profit Organization coalition meeting on the Financial Action Task Force
Justice for Dr Hassan Diab & reform of the Extradition Act
  • We helped to organize and participated in a press conference for Dr Diab
  • We organized a webinar on the Halifax Proposals and to launch our short video on extradition reform
  • We met with the Minister of Justice, David Lametti
RCMP review
  • We submitted a brief to the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians’ review of the RCMP’s federal policing activities
We met with several other MPs & government officials on multiple issues.

PUBLIC-FACING WORK

Actions against Islamophobia
  • We participated in and shared online commemoration activities of the 2017 attack on the Quebec City Mosque and the National Day of Action on Islamophobia
  • We appeared on the Islam & Life web show produced by MAC to discuss Islamophobia, national security & the government’s emergency measures
Listing of Iranian Canadians
  • We met with a group of Iranian Canadians negatively and unjustly impacted by the US terror listing of the IRGC
  • We did media interviews on the issue, including for The Intercept, advocating for Canadian government action
Ongoing No Fly List problems
  • We met with the No Fly List Kids
  • We are planning follow-up strategy sessions regarding the use of the US No Fly List in Canada and the new Canada Travel Number
Justice for Moe Harkat, security certificates & inadmissibility
  • We updated & shared the letter-writing campaign for justice for Moe Harkat & to put an end to security certificates
  • We supported & signed on to the campaign in support of Egyptian democracy activists who are deemed “inadmissible”
Canadians detained in Northeastern Syria
  • We met with Sally Lane, John Letts & their advocacy team to discuss the situation of their son Jack Letts
  • We wrote an op-ed on the breach of information-sharing rules by the RCMP regarding the private information of detainees in NE Syria
  • NEW We hosted an international press conference/public event titled: “Close Canada’s Guantanamo: International Voices Join MPs in Call for Repatriation of Canadians from Northeast Syria.” Watch here.
Events
  • We co-organized a panel titled “The Supreme Court’s Bissonnette Decision: Anti-Racist and Abolitionist Perspectives”. Watch it here.
  • We supported the planning of the final conference for the Big Data Surveillance Project & presented on the opening panel

Support us on:

ICLMG in the media

• “Inadmissible: How a U.S. policy is wreaking havoc on the lives of Iranian-Canadians,” Elizabeth McSheffrey, Global News, 20 April 2022
• “Designated Terrorists,” Murtaza Hussain, The Intercept, 6 April 2022
• “Muslim charity seeks court shutdown of federal audit, alleging systemic Islamophobia,” Jim Bronskill, Canadian Press, 13 April 2022
• “Experts fear Canada will extradite Hassan Diab to France again,” Paul Weinberg, rabble.ca, 8 December 2021
• “Canada’s secretive policy on ISIS detainees closes door to repatriation,” Stewart Bell, Global News, 16 February 2022
• Episode 7: Implications of New Legislations on Muslims, Islam & Life, 24 March 2022
Check out all coverage of ICLMG in the media here.

Op-eds, statements & News Digest

• “ICLMG Statement on Use of Emergencies Act,” 24 February 2022
• Signed on to joint letter organized by CCLA calling for a robust inquiry into the use of the Emergencies Act
Our social media accounts continue to increase in size and reach tens of thousands.
We continue to publish our News Digest every other week, which is distributed to thousands of people
+ Check out the News Digest archive if you’ve missed some of our issues.
+ If you know anyone interested in receiving it, send them an invite to sign up!

What we have planned for the rest of 2022!

Your support will allow us to continue our work on these issues over the coming months:
  • Monitoring the evolution of Bill S-7 – the electronic device border search bill – as it passes through the Senate and House of Commons;
  • Ensuring that the Canadian government’s proposals on “online harms” do not violate fundamental freedoms, or exacerbate the silencing of racialized and marginalized voices online;
  • Protecting our privacy from government surveillance, including facial recognition, and from attempts to weaken encryption, along with advocating for privacy law reform (including monitoring the new Bill C-27, the Digital Charter Implementation Act);
  • Justice for Mohamed Harkat, an end to security certificates, and addressing problems in security inadmissibility;
  • Justice for Hassan Diab and reforming the extradition law;
  • Greater transparency and accountability for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS);
  • The return of the 44 Canadian citizens indefinitely detained in Syrian camps, including 26 children;
  • The end to the CRA’s prejudiced audits of Muslim-led charities;
  • Pushing for Canadian government action on behalf of Iranian Canadians negatively and unjustly impacted by the US terror listing of the IRGC
  • Greater accountability and transparency for the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), including the establishment of a strong, effective and independent review mechanism. This includes evaluating and advocating for improvements to the proposed Public Review and Complaints Commission Act  (Bill C-20);
  • Monitoring the review of the National Security Act, 2017 (Bill C-59);
  • Advocating for the repeal of the Canadian No Fly List, and for putting a stop to the use of the US No Fly List by air carriers in Canada for flights that do not land in or fly over the US;
  • Pressuring lawmakers to protect our civil liberties from the negative impact of national security and the “war on terror”, as well as keeping you and our member organizations informed via the News Digest;
  • And much more!

Help us achieve these goals. Donate to ICLMG!


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 for your support in protecting civil liberties!

— Anne & Tim

PS: For what we were up to in the second half of 2021, click here!

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

WATCH: International Voices Join MPs in Call for Repatriation of Canadians from Northeast Syria

On June 23rd, we hosted an online international media conference/public event to expose and demand an end to one of the gravest human rights violations currently perpetrated by the Canadian government.

Canada’s Guantanamo Bay – where Canadian Muslims are off-shored beyond reach of law & rights, respect & dignity – is located in North Eastern Syria. Forty-four Canadians – 8 men, 13 women and 23 children – are illegally detained there under conditions the United Nations and many human rights groups describe as akin to torture.

The Canadian government is violating their Charter Rights by refusing to repatriate them. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, The International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations, the US State Department, Save the Children and, in a rare show of cross-party unanimity, a Canadian Parliamentary Committee, have all called for repatriation.

A stellar line-up of human rights advocates appeared at this conference, including:

  • Monia Mazigh, human rights activist, author and academic
  • Heather McPherson, NDP MP and Foreign Affairs Critic
  • Elizabeth May, Green Party MP
  • Moazzam Begg, former Guantanamo Bay detainee and outreach director of Cage, UK
  • Clive Stafford Smith, human rights lawyer, who was one of the first lawyers into Guantanamo 20 years ago, and co-founder of Reprieve
  • Natascha Mikkelsen, Repatriate the Children, Denmark
  • Sally Lane, author and mother of Jack Letts, detainee in Syria
  • Taha Ghayyur, Justice for All
  • Matthew Behrens, Stop Canadian Involvement in Torture
  • Nafeesa Mohammed, attorney and former Senator of Trinidad & Tobago, suing her government for repatriation
  • Moderated by Tim McSorley, national coordinator, International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group

To take action, please sign this petition: https://www.change.org/p/canada-s-guantanamo-bay-sign-to-free-jack-letts-43-canadian-kids-women-men-in-syria

To get updates on this campaign and similar issues, subscribe to our news letter at https://iclmg.ca/news-digest/.

MPs Join Former Guantanamo Detainee and International Voices Demanding Canada Repatriate 44 Citizens from Northeast Syrian Detention

For Immediate Release

MPs Join Former Guantanamo Detainee and International Voices Demanding Canada Repatriate 44 Citizens from Northeast Syrian Detention

WHEN: Thursday, June 23, 2022, 10 am EST

WHERE: Online, Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYrc–urTgoE9Mwvl1lk6HOhESjG9Eh5zfw

WHAT: International Media Event calling on Canada to accept and act upon the longstanding offer to hand over 44 Canadian men, women & kids from arbitrary detention in Northeast Syria under conditions akin to torture. The Canadian government has become an international outlier in refusing to repatriate its own citizens, drawing  criticism from the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, and other human rights groups.

WHY: A growing number of international and domestic voices have long documented the appalling conditions under which their nationals are forced to survive in a series of prisons and camps that have been likened to the illegal detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. They are increasingly breaking their silence and demanding that governments like Canada respect their own legal commitments to honour the universal rights of their citizens, regardless of their heritage, religious belief, or political opinion.

WHO:

  • Moazzam Begg, former Guantanamo Bay detainee and outreach director of Cage, UK
  • Nafeesa Mohammed, attorney and former Senator of Trinidad & Tobago, suing her government for repatriation
  • Clive Stafford Smith, human rights lawyer, who was one of the first lawyers into Guantanamo 20 years ago, and co-founder of Reprieve
  • Monia Mazigh, author and academic
  • Elizabeth May, Green Party MP
  • Taha Ghayyur, Justice for All
  • Natascha Mikkelsen, Repatriate the Children, Denmark
  • Sally Lane, author and mother of Jack Letts, detainee in Syria
  • Tim McSorley, International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
  • Matthew Behrens, Stop Canadian Involvement in Torture
  • Heather McPherson, NDP MP and Foreign Affairs Critic

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