News from ICLMG

Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau: White Supremacist violence must be met head-on, but rights-violating terrorist listing not the solution

Jan. 29, 2021

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

The Honourable Bill Blair
Minister of Public Safety
269 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1A 0P8

Via email


RE: Terrorist Entities List and combatting white supremacist and hate-based violence

Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Blair:

We are writing to you regarding your recent comments on adding violent white nationalist organizations to Canada’s Terrorist Entities List.

We applaud your government’s commitment to combatting hate-based violence and fighting against racism and white supremacy. This is an issue that has been ignored for much too long by governments and law enforcement agencies at all levels, and it is clear that there is a need for concrete and immediate action.

However, we are concerned with your government’s stance that this solution should include the use of anti-terrorism laws, including the Terrorist Entities List. This law and others have been decried by legal experts, civil liberties organizations, and racial justice advocates as threatening the fundamental rights of Canadians and people in Canada, and perpetuating the racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia inherent to the “War on Terror.”

The Terrorist Entities List, in particular, has been criticized for being a rights-violating and politicized process that allows for decisions to be made behind closed doors, based on secret information that does not need to meet the legal standard of evidence, and which can be withheld from the listed entity on vague grounds of “injuring national security.” Such secrecy undermines the justice system and prevents the accused of mounting a proper legal defense.

Moreover, the discretionary nature of which organizations are added to the list is highly problematic, and has resulted in the list perpetuating the harmful idea that terrorism and violence are primarily associated with non-white, non-western and non-Christian communities. This is despite the fact that there has been a documented rise in white supremacist violence worldwide.

The answer instead lays in the calls that have gone out from civil liberties, anti-racist and legal experts since 2001: there are tools in Canada’s criminal code that can be used to protect our safety and address organized violence without needing to resort to anti-terrorism laws which undermine due process and violate our rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Many of these were included in submissions regarding the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2001, as well as the review of the Act three years later. These were well-documented in the dissenting opinion to the 2007 report on the review of the ATA, “Rights, Limits, Security: A Comprehensive Review Of The Anti-Terrorism Act And Related Issues.” In their dissenting opinion, then-MPs Joe Comartin and Serge Ménard write: Continue reading

Prime Minister Trudeau must intervene after outrageous French ruling in Hassan Diab case

OTTAWA, Jan. 28, 2021 – The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) is calling for immediate action by the Canadian government after a French court ruled on Jan. 27 to proceed to trial in the case of Canadian professor Hassan Diab on groundless accusations of terrorism in relation to the bombing of a Paris synagogue in 1980.

It is outrageous that a French court of appeal has decided to overturn the dismissal of the case against Hassan Diab and to order a trial. There has been no new evidence introduced, and nothing that changes the decision from three years ago when the investigating judges released him without charge.

“This decision is a travesty of justice that points to a politicized process, hunting for a guilty party at all cost under the guise of ‘justice,’” said Tim McSorley, ICLMG national coordinator.

“The victims and survivors of the Rue Copernic bombing deserve justice. But justice cannot be achieved by dragging an innocent person through a drawn out trial when the main evidence has been discredited time and again, when multiple judges have said that the French case does not support a trial, and when evidence also shows Dr. Diab was not even in France at the time of the bombing,” added McSorley.

For three years, Dr. Diab languished in a French prison, away from his family, in near solitary confinement, while the French prosecution investigated. Three years, and the French prosecution could not make a case for even charging him, let alone going to trial.

We are calling on the Canadian government to take three actions: First, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau must intervene with their French counterparts to put a stop to this endless, Kafkaesque affair. Second, the Prime Minister must put into action his statement of June 20, 2018, that what happened to Dr. Diab should never happen again, and commit to not extraditing him to France a second time. Finally, it is also long past due that Canada reform its extradition laws to ensure that no person is forced to go through what Dr. Diab has.

The thoughts of our coalition are with Dr. Diab, his partner Rania and their children. The ICLMG will remain by their side, and work with the incredible people at the Justice for Hassan Diab Support Committee until this is resolved and Dr. Diab is completely free.

For more information:

Press conference following today’s decision: https://www.facebook.com/iclmg.csilc/videos/187210826479942

Justice for Hassan Diab Webcomic: https://iclmg.ca/diab-webcomic/

Justice for Hassan Diab website: https://www.justiceforhassandiab.org/

Contact:
Tim McSorley
National Coordinator
International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
613-241-5298

Connecting Abolitionist Struggles: Settler Colonialism, Mass Incarceration, and the “War on Terror”

Panel in commemoration of the Quebec mosque shooting

Speakers:

Shady Hafez | Algonquin and Syrian Indigenous rights advocate, and Yellowhead Institute fellow

El Jones | poet, academic, and prisoners’ justice advocate

Dr Arun Kundnani | author and critical scholar of the “war on terror”

Moderated by: Azeezah Kanji, legal academic and journalist

This panel will bring together three scholar-activists working at the intersections of intertwined abolitionist struggles, to discuss: What are the relationships between settler colonialism, mass incarceration, and the “war on terror” as projects of state violence? What connections are being forged between movements, and what are points of tension? How do we build ideas and practices of safety and security, beyond state concepts of “public safety” and “national security” premised on racial violence? What might futures of justice and liberation look like, beyond the settler colonial, mass incarceration, national security state?

Co-sponsored by: International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group; Muslim Societies, Global Perspective program at Queen’s University; Noor Cultural Centre; UNIFOR Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson University; United Jewish People’s Order; World Beyond War; Yellowhead Institute.

Poster PDF

 

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