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Wanted: participants to tell their travel stories about being caught on no-fly lists and border watch lists

October 20, 2008

Individuals who believe they have been targeted by the no-fly lists or government watch lists are invited to share their stories as part of a national research project on the surveillance of travellers.

The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) is collecting the stories of people who have been detained or prohibited from travelling. The information will be used for public education purposes, and to engage with officials about abusive practices such as racial and religious profiling.

“Since we launched this project, we have heard many stories from individuals who have been mistakenly targeted, either because their name was similar to a name on a terrorist watch list or because they were members of racialized communities which made them a target for interrogation and searches,” Roch Tasse, coordinator of the ICLMG said.

“The information collected, which will be kept confidential, will be used to document government practices, and to demonstrate the devastating impacts these measures are having on so many people on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border,” he said.

“We have already heard from some individuals snagged on the ‘no-fly’ that they were told: “Change your name”, to avoid future problems while others were told to join airline loyalty programs when they complained. Moreover, a significant percentage of participants indicated they no longer travel abroad or even fly domestically for fear of being singled out,” Mr. Tasse said.

“It’s clear that the myriad of watch lists used by airlines, customs, and transport officials to screen travellers are having a serious impact on our freedom of movement and privacy rights.”

The website allows individuals to find out more about the research, read accounts from other travellers, and tell their own stories. There is also a toll-free number – 1-866-613-0778 or 514-484-2020 in the Montreal area.

For more information contact:
Roch Tasse
International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
Phone: 613-241-5298

Patricia Poirier
International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
Phone: 514-295-9364

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