DION MUST DEMAND BADAWI RELEASE AND RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
May 24th, 2016 - 2:38pm
OTTAWA – Ahead of his meeting with his Saudi counterpart, the NDP is urging Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion to challenge the Saudi Arabia regime on human rights and to demand the immediate release of imprisoned blogger Raïf Badawi.
"The Liberal government has an another opportunity to show that respect for human rights is a fundamental Canadian value. Promoting human rights is not a crime – Canada must say so loudly and clearly while calling for Badawi's release,” said NDP Foreign Affairs critic, Hélène Laverdière (Laurier-Ste-Marie).
Since coming to power, the Liberal government has made multiple attempts to strengthen ties with Saudi Arabia. In December 2015, it commended the relationship between the two countries when the Saudi Minister for Foreign Affairs visited Canada. Last April, the Liberals authorized export permits for light-armoured vehicles despite multiple reports of human rights violations by the regime.
"Canadians are asking themselves why the federal government is bending over backwards for Saudi Arabia while they continue to have a despicable human rights record,” added NDP MP Cheryl Hardcastle (Windsor-Tecumseh), who sits on the subcommittee on international human rights.