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November 29th, 2018

NDP Calls on Liberals to Follow Saudi Sanctions With Halt in Arms Exports

Hélène Laverdière, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic, issued the following statement:

“New Democrats are pleased to see the government answering our call to apply sanctions under the Magnitsky Act on those held responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

It is important to hold those responsible for the murder to account. Yet, it is unclear how many assets the 17 targeted individuals have in Canada and what impact the sanctions will have on them, nor do we have a full answer regarding all those involved in the murder of Jamal Kashoggi. This is why we need an independent, UN-led inquiry, as called for by Amnesty International.

This belated and timid response from the Government does not address the full scope of challenges in Canada’s relations with Saudi Arabia. New Democrats believe the problem extends far beyond the Khashoggi murder. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has consistently displayed absolute disregard for human rights in general, shown by their role in inflicting the horrific suffering we witness in Yemen, and the detention and imprisonment of human rights activists such as Raif Badawi and Loujain Al-Hathloul.

We will continue to press the Liberal government to have the courage to move beyond sanctions to the immediate cessation of all arms sales to Saudi Arabia, as Germany and other allies have done. It has been over a month since the Prime Minister announced they are reviewing current export permits to the Kingdom.

New Democrats believe the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires is an opportune time for Canada and our allies to express their horror at the atrocious human rights record of Saudi Arabia and pressure them to accept a UN-led investigation on Khashoggi, release women’s rights activists and Raif Badawi, and stop their war crimes in Yemen. It is not the time for smiling photos with the Saudi Crown Prince.”