CANADA POLITICS: Trudeau Says Taking Reports About Saudi Abuse ‘Very Seriously’

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By Politicoscope July 30, 2017 14:00
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“We are looking at these claims very seriously… and have immediately launched a review,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

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CANADA POLITICS: Trudeau Says Taking Reports About Saudi Abuse ‘Very Seriously’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government is taking “very seriously” reports that Saudi Arabia is using Canadian-made armored vehicles in a crackdown on Shias in the Middle Eastern country.

“We are looking at these claims very seriously… and have immediately launched a review,” Trudeau said during a visit in central Canada on Saturday.

The investigation was prompted after Canadian daily The Globe and Mail on Friday reported the apparent use of Canadian combat vehicles in Saudi Arabia’s mainly Shia-populated Qatif region, which has been the scene of protests since 2011 against the regime’s repressive policies and human rights abuses against the Shia population.

The daily cited military experts as identifying the vehicles appearing in photos and videos of the Saudi operations as Gurkha RPVs, manufactured by Terradyne Armored Vehicles in Newmarket, Ontario.

A statement released by the Canadian government after the report said Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland was “deeply concerned about this situation and has asked officials to review it immediately.”

“If it is found that Canadian exports have been used to commit serious violations of human rights, the minister (Freeland) will take action,” the statement said.

“The end use and end user of exports, as well as regional stability and human rights, are essential considerations in the authorization of permits for the export of military goods from Canada,” it added.

But it was not clear what action would be taken.

This comes as export control rules in Canada bar arms exports to countries that have poor human rights records and a record of serious violations of the human rights of their citizens.

Additionally, human rights groups have called on the federal government to cancel permits for the export of Canadian military and defense equipment to Saudi Arabia.

In recent months, Qatif has seen a hike in tensions. Saudi regime forces, equipped with artillery and heavy weapons, have been launching frequent attacks against the besieged town of Awamiyah in Qatif to quell protests under the pretext of clashing with “militants” there.

The protesters in Awamiyah are angry at a plan by the regime to destroy the al-Mosara neighborhood, the old quarter of the town, and turn it into a commercial zone in defiance of warnings both by locals and the United Nations.

Some seven people have been killed by the Saudi military in the town over the past days.

– Press TV



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By Politicoscope July 30, 2017 14:00
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There are more readers worldwide reading the Politicoscope daily news content than ever before. Unlike many other news media organisations that charge their readers subscription fees for the same daily news content and features we offer you for free, we do not charge all our readers to pay any fee. We depend on online advertising to generate the revenues to fund all these great news content and exclusive features provided to you for free. Currently, advertising revenues are quickly falling which is affecting our ability to offer you free online news content.
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