Security Certificates

Victory: Jaballah secret trial security certificate found unreasonable

posted on May 25, 2016 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Matthew Behrens Source: Rabble.ca URL: [link] Date: May 24, 2016

In a major setback to a Liberal government still refusing to repeal the repressive Bill C-51, the Federal Court has found unreasonable the secret trial security certificate against the long-suffering Mahmoud Jaballah, almost 20 years to the day that the Egyptian refugee and his family arrived in Canada seeking asylum from the Mubarak dictatorship. While the written decision for this finding has yet to be released, this hopefully brings to a close an 18-year legal fight that helped spur an international campaign of condemnation against Canada's use of secret trials, indefinite detention, deportation to torture, and the patently illegal practices conducted by Canada's spy agency, CSIS. Jaballah, who was jailed without charge and tortured on many occasions in Egypt (as was his wife, Husnah, who was twice detained and tortured in front of him), was originally arrested in 1999 under the much-criticized security certificate, alleging he was a threat to national security. The problem he faced? He was not allowed to see the secret case against him in a process that allowed as evidence anything not normally admissible in a court of law. CSIS had originally approached him to spy on his community, and he refused. The response of CSIS was clear: co-operate or you will be jailed and deported to torture.

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[video] ICLMG calls for strong Oversight & Review of our national security agencies

posted on January 27, 2016 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by ICLMG Source: YouTube.com URL: [link] Date: January 25, 2016 Here is a video the ICLMG has made to call for stronger and more integrated review of Canada's national security agencies and specifically for the implementation of Justice O'Connor's recommendations. Please share widely via email, on social media and link to your website:


‘Troubling’ Conservative torture policy up for review, Goodale says

posted on January 23, 2016 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Jim Bronskill (CP) Source: National Newswatch URL: [link] Date: January 19. 2016 OTTAWA — The Trudeau Liberals will review controversial directives enacted by the Harper government that allow for the sharing of information even when it might lead to torture, says the public safety minister. The "troubling set of issues" raised by the foreign information-sharing policy "will be raised in the course of our consultations" on the overall national security direction of the new government, Ralph Goodale said in a recent interview with The Canadian Press. The news follows pressure from human-rights and privacy advocates to conduct a wide-ranging examination of security policies introduced by the Conservatives, whisked from office in the October election. The federal policy on foreign information-sharing has been roundly criticized for effectively condoning the torture of people in overseas prisons, contrary to international law and Canada's United Nations commitments. A four-page 2010 framework document, released under the Access to Information Act, says when there is a "substantial risk" that sending information to, or soliciting information from, a foreign agency would result in torture — and it is unclear whether the risk can be managed through assurances or other means — the matter should be referred to the responsible deputy minister or agency head. In deciding what to do, the agency head will consider factors including the threat to Canada's national security and the nature and imminence of the threat; the status of Canada's relationship with — and the human rights record of — the foreign agency; and the rationale for believing that sharing the information would lead to torture. Critics say when there is a serious risk of torture, there should be no sharing — period. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the RCMP, the Canada Border Services Agency, National Defence and the Communications Security Establishment, Canada's electronic spy agency, are bound by the federal policy on sharing information with foreign agencies. "That's a very troubling set of issues," Goodale said, adding the government intends to develop a response "that reflects what Canadians want." "We'll be listening very carefully for the messages from Canadians on that subject." Goodale said the Liberal government is open to a general rethinking of national security legislation, not just a few changes the party has promised to the omnibus bill known as C-51. The government plans to give Canadians their say before deciding what changes to make. Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press © 2016 National Newswatch Inc.


The Liberals and the Charter: don’t deport Harkat to torture

posted on October 27, 2015 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Chantal Sundaram Source: International Socialists URL: [link] Date: October 27, 2015 It is not a coincidence that Mohamed Harkat received his deportation papers in the middle of the federal election campaign. Though it may have been eclipsed by the niqab debate, the affidavit for Harkat`s deportation to Algeria, and most certainly to torture, was yet another indication of Harper`s deliberate stoking of Islamophobia. The deportation is the consequence of a “Security Certificate,” under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which allows for the imprisonment in Canada of refugees and permanent residents without charge. Security Certificates allow for secret trials in which evidence is not disclosed to the detainees or their lawyers, and the full right to appeal is denied in a process that uses the lowest standard of proof of any court in Canada. And, they allow the ultimate injustice: deportation without charge to unfair imprisonment, torture or death. But on October 19, voters sent a strong signal that they reject the overt Islamophobia and warmongering of the Tories. The Liberal withdrawal of Canada`s fighter jets from the Iraq-Syria mission was the first follow-through on that election mandate. The public sentiment demonstrated in the election is also a new opportunity to relaunch a movement to defend and regain civil liberties in this country. But it will take public support and pressure to push the Liberals on this front. They voted for Bill C-51, and did not condemn last year’s second Supreme Court of Canada decision that deemed Security Certificates "imperfect," and secret hearings "uncomfortable," but still constitutional.



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VIDEO: Filmmaker Amar Wala on CBC's Q

posted on February 18, 2015 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Source: Youtube.com / CBC.ca URL: [link] Date: November 3, 2014
This interview is from November 2014.


Secret Trials, Torture, and Deporting People Under the Radar

posted on December 05, 2014 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Prof. Graham Hudson Source: The Agenda - TVO.org Website URL: [link] Date: November 27, 2014 On May 14, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the constitutionality of the Canadian security certificate regime in Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) v. Harkat. In existence since 1978, security certificates have been a focal point for human rights advocates concerned with the growing size and reach of Canada’s national security apparatus. The decision is a turning point in the use of secret evidence in Canada. Certificates enable the government to arrest and detain individuals on the grounds that such persons pose a threat to national security, have violated international (human rights) law, or have engaged in serious or organized criminal activity. Evidence supporting these allegations is collected, in large part, by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), and includes sensitive information that cannot be disclosed to anyone lacking high-level security clearance – including the person named in the certificate and his/her counsel. Among those permitted to view the evidence in secret hearings are a small group of “designated” Federal Court judges. If a judge finds that there is a reasonable basis for the allegations, the named person is subject to deportation from Canada.



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New anti-terror tracking measures will address 'black hole': CSIS

posted on October 16, 2014 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Source: CBC News and The Canadian Press URL: [link] Date: October 16, 2014 Csis Security lawyers warn that blanket intelligence source protection could endanger court proceedings

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney has unveiled new federal plans to boost protection for intelligence sources, by giving them the same protections bestowed upon police informants in criminal cases. The new bill, which will likely be tabled next week, is meant to clarify the current laws, the minister told reporters. "CSIS is relying on those sources, since it is an intelligence agency, so that is why it is so critical and important that we enable CSIS with the same authority that other law enforcement agencies have … so CSIS can fully operate and protect Canadians within the scope of the law." In response to a question on how such evidence could be tested in court without giving defence attorneys the ability to cross-examine sources, CSIS assistant director of operations Andy Ellis pointed out that the agency "has a very robust system in place" for gathering information. "We make every attempt to ensure that the information we're getting is corroborated and accurate, and we do not act on single-source information."



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[video] The Secret Trial 5 World Premiere at Hot Docs Documentary Festival

posted on May 20, 2014 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink




Photos from May 14th, outside the Supreme Court

posted on May 18, 2014 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Here is a photo submitted by one of our amazing supporters. It was taken on the morning of the release of the Supreme Court's decision in Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration v. Harkat.

Click on the photo above to see more pics from the rally that morning.


Thank you to those dedicated supporters who came out on Wednesday morning to hold up our banners and let the world know that regardless of what 8 Supreme Court judges may think security certificates are not acceptable to Canadians. They are a blight on our reputation as a country that purports to stand for human rights. And they must be abolished.


L'arrêt Harkat de la Cour suprême maintient un processus injuste pour les non-citoyens

posted on May 15, 2014 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Source: ICLMG News Digest URL: [link] Date: 14 mai, 2014 Communiqué de presse: L'arrêt Harkat de la Cour suprême maintient un processus injuste pour les non-citoyens

14/05/2014 - La Coalition pour la surveillance internationale des libertés civiles (CSILC) et le Conseil canadien pour les réfugiés (CCR) sont déçus de la décision de la Cour suprême du Canada dans l'affaire Harkat qui maintient un processus fondamentalement injuste s'appuyant sur des preuves secrètes pour décider d'expulser un non-citoyen, potentiellement vers un risque de torture. Dans sa décision, la Cour suprême confirme la constitutionnalité du régime des certificats de sécurité, affirmant que les avocats spéciaux peuvent adéquatement compenser la non-divulgation aux personnes concernées de certaines preuves utilisées contre elles. La CSILC et le CCR regrettent que cette décision affirme l'inégalité de la protection des droits fondamentaux offerte aux non-citoyens. Lorsque ces droits sont en jeu pour les citoyens, comme dans les procédures pénales, nous ne tolérons pas l'utilisation de preuves secrètes. Les non-citoyens méritent une chance égale de connaître les preuves utilisées contre eux, et d'y répondre. La Cour ne s'est pas prononcée sur les aspects discriminatoires de ces dispositions. La Cour a également omis de se référer au droit international relatif aux droits humains, qui devrait servir de cadre essentiel pour le droit canadien.

Lire plus

Press release: Supreme Court Harkat decision maintains fundamentally unfair process for non-citizens

La Cour suprême maintient le certificat de sécurité contre Harkat

Mohamed Harkat says he'll be tortured, killed if sent back to Algeria

Harkat «anéanti» par le jugement de la Cour suprême

Mohamed Harkat could remain in 'immigration limbo' for years

Globe editorial: Supreme Court comes close to squaring circle on security certificates

(c) International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group.


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