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Posted by on Aug 14, 2017 in General News

Join Canadian Voice of Women for Peace’s call for Ottawa to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia

For Immediate Release

August, 2017

Recently, media reports and social media posts showed Saudi government forces using Canadian-made armoured vehicles in a violent crackdown on Awamiya town in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. According to media reports, at least five have been killed since Wednesday, July 26. The federal government commented on the reports. “If it is found that Canadian exports have been used to commit serious violations of human rights, the minister will take action,” Foreign Affairs department announced, according to a number of media sources such as CBC and The Globe and Mail on Friday, July 28.

According to several human rights organizations’ and media reports, social media posts and eyewitnesses, Saudi forces have committed human rights violations in its siege on Awamiya town. However, this is not the first time a Canadian export has been used in a violent crackdown by Saudi forces. Last year, Canadian-made tactical equipment appeared at the scene of a violent house raid that left one man dead in Qatif in Saudi Arabia, according to The Globe and Mail.

In addition to deteriorating circumstances in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, the bloody conflict in Yemen has caused a humanitarian crisis that continues to deepen. According to Amnesty International, “there is overwhelming evidence that the Saudi-led military coalition is failing to protect civilians, and that some of the attacks may amount to war crimes.” One important step in protecting civilians would be to end arms sales to all sides of the conflict. According to UNICEF’s report on February 21, 4,000 civilians have died as a direct result of the conflict, including 1,332 children. Knowing that Saudi Arabia is leading the attacks on Yemen, Canadian-made arms are at risk of being used by Saudi authorities in the conflict.

Canadian Voice of Women for Peace calls on the Canadian government to:
– Suspend arms sales and transfers to Saudi Arabia— including armoured vehicles, weapons, munitions, military equipment or technology (or logistical and financial support for transfers).
– Investigate to determine if Canadian exports have been used to commit serious human right violations
– Suspend $ 15 billion arms deal of armoured vehicles sales to Saudi Arabia
– Support and call on international, independent and credible investigations into human rights violations committed by Saudi forces.

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