Canada Continues with Saudi Arms Deal Despite Executions, Human Rights Abuses in Yemen

Canada condemned the execution of Shia cleric and political activist Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, and the country’s foreign affairs minister, Stéphane Dion, asked Saudi Arabia to observe and respect basic human rights. The Canadian minister questioned the Saudi government’s regard for human rights as well.

However, the Government of Canada announced that it will still allow a $15 billion arms deal to go through to the Government of Saudi Arabia. The two countries finalized the deal as the conflict between the Saudi-led coalition and Houthi militias in Yemen continues to create a humanitarian disaster. Just before the Canadian foreign minister announced the arms deal, Saudi-led coalition leaders bombed a rehabilitation center for the blind. Though no casualties were reported, local sources stated that three individuals were injured in the incident that occurred on 5 January 2016.

William Jay is an advocacy intern at ADHRB