Above Photo: A Canadian-made LAV-25 is seen burning in a still image released by the Houthi rebels in Yemen. The federal government has approved a multibillion dollar contract to supply Saudi Arabia with the latest version of the LAV, as well as upgrade kits for older models such as the LAV-25 pictured here. (Houthi Military Media/Handout/CBC)
Canada’s ongoing arms sales to Saudi Arabia is being slammed as illegal under our UN commitments by Amnesty International and Project Ploughshares. And the international community is taking notice.
A new report on Canada’s arms sales to the brutal Middle East regime earned coverage by the widely viewed Al Jazeera last week.
“Canadian weapons transfers to the Gulf kingdom could be used to commit or facilitate violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, the rights groups found, particularly in the ongoing conflict in Yemen,” Al Jazeera said on its website on August 11, 2021.
The peace and human rights group’s report titled, “No Credible Evidence’: Canada’s Flawed Analysis of Arms Exports to Saudi Arabia,” accuses Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government of violating the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), an international agreement that Canada became a party to in 2019.
“It has been established through investigations and expert reports that Canadian weapons exports to [Saudi Arabia] are contrary to Canada’s legal obligations under the ATT,” the report reads.
Al Jazeera received a reply from the Canadian government. A spokeswoman for Canada’s foreign affairs department, Global Affairs Canada, told Al Jazeera on Wednesday that the government “is committed to a rigorous arms export system.”
The report was also covered in Canada by the Globe and Mail. “Contrary to what the federal government has said, Canada continues to ignore its international obligations to the Arms Trade Treaty,” said Cesar Jaramillo, executive director of Project Ploughshares.