Canada ignores Saudi executions in favor of $15 billion military contract
Although Canada has strongly condemned the mass execution of 47 people by Saudi Arabia, the Liberal government has no intention of canceling a $15 billion contract to supply armored fighting vehicles to the kingdom.
|Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion issued a statement condemning the mass execution on January 2nd and urged the Saudis to respect peaceful dissent and human rights. A prominent Shi'ite cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, was one of those executed. His execution sparked protests in many places and the Saudi embassy in Tehran was attacked and burned causing the Saudis to break off relations with Iran.|
"A private company is delivering the goods according to a signed contract with the government of Saudi Arabia. The government of Canada has no intention of cancelling that contract."Given the unwillingness of the Liberal government to cancel the sale of the vehicles to Saudi Arabia, Cesar Jaramillo of Project Ploughshares, an anti-war group that keeps track of arms sales, said:
"Canada's condemnation of the most recent gross human-rights violations by the Saudi regime rings somewhat hollow against the backdrop of the $15-billion worth of Canadian military exports that this very regime is set to receive with Ottawa’s blessing."
“Canada opposes the death penalty and decries the execution of 47 individuals in Saudi Arabia on January 2, 2016...In the wake of these executions, we reiterate our call to the Government of Saudi Arabia to protect human rights, respect peaceful expressions of dissent and ensure fairness in judicial proceedings. Canada is particularly concerned that the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr could further inflame sectarian tensions in the region. We urge Saudi Arabian authorities and local and regional leaders, including those in Iran, to work with all communities to defuse these tensions and promote reconciliation.”