Newsletter - September 2020

September 28, 2020
Source: MIGS


  • MIGS is proud to announce it has been selected as an institutional research partner of DisinfoWatch, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute’s new foreign disinformation monitoring and debunking platform. You can learn more about DisinfoWatch here.
  • On September 30, MIGS Executive Director Kyle Matthews will participate in an online discussion hosted by the Budapest Centre for Mass Atrocities Prevention titled “Towards a Multipolar Task Force  to Prevent Mass Atrocities  in the Era of Geopolitical Change, Climate Threats to Security and Digital Transformation.”  Register here.
  • MIGS would like to welcome its four new Student Fellows : Sergio Snabian, Janick Houde, Maria-Ruxandra Lefter and George Tsagaroulis. 
  • Congratulations to MIGS Fellow Michael Petrou for being named Editor-in-Chief of Open Canada, the Canadian International Council’s digital publication on international affairs.
  • MIGS is honoured to be acknowledged in Shaparak Shajarizadeh and Rima Elkouri’s book “La liberté n’est pas un crime

Upcoming Events

  • 7 October: MIGS’ Executive Director will be speaking at a conference organized by the Digital Citizen Initiative at the Canadian Department of Heritage. Titled “Building Citizen Resilience”, five recent grant recipients panelists will discuss what’s being done to build citizen resilience against disinformation, the effectiveness of these tools, and lessons learned.
  • 8 October: MIGS, in partnership with Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes, is hosting a virtual series titled “Decoding Hate Speech”. The second panel of the series “Speech - Technology and hate speech: friend or foe?”  will feature Savita Pawnday (Deputy Executive Director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect), Meetali Jain (Legal Director at Avaaz), and Christopher Tuckwood (Executive Director of The Sentinel Project). 
  • 19-21 October: MIGS is a collaborating partner of the International Political Science Association ‘s conference The UN at 75: Challenges and Prospects for the Future of Multilateralism. Register here.
  • 12 November : MIGS will host an online conference titled “Uyghurs Under Threat: Xinjiang from Past to Present”, which will feature two panel discussions with academics, journalists and survivors, followed by a roundtable on policy responses. 

Recent Events

  • On 10 September, MIGS’ Executive Director participated in the “Next Steps for the UN High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation: Exploring a Global Advisory Body on AI Cooperation’ supported by the Government of Canada and the Government of Finland.
  • On September 17, MIGS, in collaboration with the Centre consultatif des relations juives et israéliennes and the Centre de prévention de la radicalisation menant à la violence hosted an online discussion titled “De l’antisémitisme à la théorie du Deep-State.” The event moderated by MIGS’s Project Coordinator Marie Lamensch, is available on our YouTube Channel and in audio format on itunes and GooglePlay.
  • On September 17, MIGS Fellow Diego Osorio moderated a panel discussion on climate security in Colombia.
  • On September 24, MIGS Fellow Mark Kersten spoke before the Fact Finding Mission on Libya that was established by the UN Human Rights Council in 2020. His remarks are available here
  • In case you missed MIGS’ Fellow Dr. Joana Cook’s conference at Monash University titled “A Woman’s Place in the World”, you can now watch a recording of the talk online.


  • In an open letter titled “Concern to Governments on Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide Against Uyghurs in China”, MIGS joined 38 organizations and individuals in calling on UN member states to independently investigate the treatment of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim-majority peoples in China. The letter was covered in the media, including Reuters.
  • Ahead of the International Day of Peace, MIGS joined a statement signed by 170 global peace-building organizations urging governments to re-commit to peace.
  • MIGS joined a global call for an international mechanism to address the Chinese government’s human rights violations. The letter and the list of signatories is available here

Spotlight on past Student Fellows

In the media

August 28

MIGS Fellow Naomi Kikoler co-wrote an article for Just Security titled Anniversary of Genocidal Attacks on Rohingya Reminds Us They Are Still at Risk.  

September 1

MIGS Fellow Mark Kersten published a new post on his blog titled “Inching Closer: Could Omar al-Bashir finally be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court?”

In a new article in Forbes titled “The Situation Of Uighur Muslims Will Be Assessed By An Independent Inquiry”, MIGS Fellow Ewelina Ochab writes about what a Uighur Tribunal can do is shed light on atrocities.

Septembre 7

MIGS Fellow Fannie Lafontaine is quoted in an article titled “Canada’s failure to prosecute individuals accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity” published in Voice Newspaper.

September 9

MIGS Digital Fellow Anne Speckhard and her colleagues Mona Thakker and Molly Ellenberg published a new study titled “Social Media Tracking of ISIS Women and Real-Life Actions of ISIS Men on Their Behalf.”

September 11

MIGS Fellow Ewelina Ochab published a new piece in Forbes titled “NGOs And Faith Leaders Speak Up About The Situation Of The Uighurs.”

September 12

MIGS fellow Andrei Serbin Pont wrote an article in the Buenos Aires Times titled Behind the conflict with the police.

MIGS Executive Director was interviewed by Todd van der Heyden on the radio show Viewpoints to discuss Russia’s foreign policy, human rights and digital disinformation campaigns. His interview begins at the 54 minute mark. 

September 13

MIGS Fellow Ewelina Ochab has a new article in Forbes titled “As The International Criminal Court Faces More Challenges, We Need It More Than Ever”

September 15

Executive Director Kyle Matthews spoke to CTV News about the rise of online hate.

September 17

Kyle Matthews is quoted in a Voice of America article titled “Activists, Experts Call on UN to Recognize China's Uighur 'Genocide'”

September 18

MIGS Digital Fellow Marc-Andre Argentino is quoted in a New York Times article titled “Facebook Tried to Limit QAnon. It Failed” 

September 19

MIGS Digital Fellow Phil Gurski spoke to RealPolitik Podcast about the need for the Canadian intelligence community to continue to focus on Islamic extremist terrorism.

September 21

MIGS Distinguished Fellow Lt-Gen. Romeo Dallaire and his colleague Shelly Whitman wrote an article in The Star titled “A radical change in how we view humanity.”

September 22

MIGS Digital Fellow Marc-Andre Argentino talks about QAnon in a Wired article titled “QAnon Is Like a Game—a Most Dangerous Game” and in Rolling Stones Magazine.

September 23

Mark Kersten wrote an article on his blog titled “This Mass Atrocity was Brought to You by the Ivory Trade: Linking Transnational and International Crimes.” 

MIGS Digital Fellow Anne Speckhard published a new research article with her colleague Mona Thakker titled “ISIS-Linked Digital Activism and Sympathy-Raising on Behalf of ISIS Women Held in SDF Camps”

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