So Canada has a contract to supply the Saudi Arabian regime with arms to the value of $14.8 billion even though Canada has an export control mechanism in place to ensure Canadian exports do not fuel human rights violations abroad. The deal was hailed as an economic victory for Canada, not a loss of innocent civilian lives in Yemen. Canada also has an automatic firearms country control list which restricts arms sales to foreign countries but that can also be bypassed by simply adding more countries to the list, which is now risen from 13 to 39 since 1991.
How on earth can this deal still go through with the Saudi Arabian regimes constant human rights violations ongoing not only in their own country, but other countries as well? Canada’s plan is just don’t tell anyone;
‘DFATD (department of foreign affairs, trade, and development) will not divulge details of the export permit application process, citing commercial confidentiality’.
Back in November the UK suggested they could freeze arms sales to Saudi Arabia over alleged violations in Yemen. Saudi’s have been bombing wedding parties, schools, hospitals, and refugee centres to name a few. Amnesty International has called it “damning evidence” of war crimes by the Saudi Arabian regime. The UN has called for an investigation by the UN human rights council but that has been halted by intense pressure from the Saudi regime because they chair the council. This still has not stopped British arms sales to the Saudi regime even though they “are fuelling the civil war in Yemen and breach domestic, European and International law obligations, according to legal opinion obtained by Amnesty and other human rights groups”.
Meanwhile the Saudi Arabian regime in August of 2014 alone beheaded 19 people in 17 days, mainly for drug smuggling and one for sorcery. What exactly does the Saudi regime constitute as sorcery? The most recent human rights violation is the sentencing to 4 years jail of a 62 year old civil activist and writer, Zuhair Katbi. He has also been banned from writing for 15 years, travelling for 5 years, and a $26,000 plus fine. His crime was to write about political change in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Arabian regimes 2015 Human Rights Watch report can be read here.
Why the hell are countries selling arms to a known human rights violating regime? Oh, that’s right because money, profits, and Corporations rule the world.