Mar 07, 2019 07:50 Asia/Tehran
  • Human rights organizations ask Canadian govt. to stop arms sale to Saudis
    Human rights organizations ask Canadian govt. to stop arms sale to Saudis

Twelve human rights organizations have sent a letter to the Canadian government, calling for the immediate end to arms sales to Saudi rulers.

Iran Press/America: Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) joined eleven other human rights organizations to send a letter calling the Canadian government to immediately suspend arms sales to  Saudi Arabia. The letter pointed out that three months have passed since the government said it was looking at canceling sales to the Kingdom, but nothing has happened.

In the interim, Saudi Arabia maintains a military campaign in Yemen which commits war crimes and imposes abject suffering, reported Iran Press, citing global research.

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The organizations’ letter stressed the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen – 17 million food insecure; 3 million having fled their homes; 14.5 million without access to safe drinking water and sanitation; 14.8 million lacking access to healthcare – and Saudi Arabia’s role as a belligerent in the crisis.

The letter also highlighted the damning contradiction between Canada giving humanitarian aid to Yemen, while arming Saudi Arabia.

Many of Canada’s allies have already either suspended or terminated arms transfers to Saudi Arabia, including Denmark, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, and Austria. While Trudeau and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland suggested they would try to find a way to end the sales, the government has remained mum since December.

The organizations stressed the danger that Canadian arms could be used to perpetuate serious violations of human rights in Yemen.

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The eleven organizations include Amnesty International, Oxfam, and other organizations focused on arms controls, human rights, international security, and humanitarian aid.

Saudi Arabia, with the support of the United States, the United Arab Emirates and several other countries, has engaged in military aggression against Yemen and ground sieges, naval and air strikes since March 2015.

The war initiated by Saudi Arabia and its allies in Yemen has killed more than 14,000 Yemeni people, injured tens of thousands and displaced millions of Yemenis.104/203

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