Canadian Light Armoured Vehicles at risk of being used against civilians.

Call on the Minister for Foreign Affairs to suspend arms transfers to Saudi Arabia


A bloody conflict has been raging in Yemen for more than three years – but largely ignored by the rest of the world. It is fuelled by arms sales from a dozen countries including Canada, to Saudi Arabia. Evidence of possible war crimes is mounting.

Nearly 5000 civilians have been killed, including hundreds of children, since a Saudi-led military coalition launched airstrikes against Huthi armed groups in Yemen in March 2015. Some 3 million people have been displaced.

There is overwhelming evidence that the Saudi-led military coalition is failing to protect civilians, and that all parties to the conflict have committed violations of international law. Air strikes have targeted hospitals, schools, markets and mosques. Ground forces of both anti-Huthi and Huthi armed groups have been operating in residential neighbourhoods, putting everyone in the area at risk, including of reprisal attacks.


No country should be directly or indirectly supplying weapons, munitions, military equipment or technology that would be used in the conflict until the violations stop.  

In April 2016, then Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion signed off on 6 export permits authorizing the majority of the deal negotiated under the previous government. This includes Canada’s current $15 billion multi-year deal to sell Light Armoured Vehicles (LAVs) to Saudi Arabia. Canadian-made LAVs transferred in previous years could be used to support ground attacks in Yemen. Images posted on social media by the Saudi Arabian National Guard appear to show Canadian-made LAVs being moved to the volatile border area.

On May 11, 2016, the Globe and Mail reported on video evidence of LAVs being used to suppress protests in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province. Export permits were put on hold pending the outcome of an internal government investigation into the possible misuse of Canadian-made LAVs by Saudi security forces in the Eastern Province. While the report released in May 2018 concluded that there was no misuse of Canadian LAVs, serious questions have been raised about both the adequacy of the investigation and the ongoing risk assessment process for military transfers.

Over the past year many countries, including Belgium, Germany, Norway and Greece have responded to public pressure by partly or totally suspending arms transfers to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other coalition members.  Legal challenges are currently underway in the UK, France and Italy to compel these governemtns to comply with their legal obligations to stop supplying arms for use in Yemen.

Join our call for Canada to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Canada remains complicit in the war on Yemen

Cost of cancelling Saudi arms deal must not outweigh human rights

Deeply flawed arms trade bill must be amended to stop Canadian weapons from falling into hands of human rights abusers

Civil Society Coalition calls for independent, external review into reports of misuse of Canadian military exports by Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia admits use of inherently indiscriminate weapons in Yemen

Learn more about the Saudi arms deal, Amnesty International's full recommendations to the Canadian government -- and more ways you can get involved!

Yemen: the forgotten war - learn about the origins of the conflict and the toll on civilian lives

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Dear Minister Freeland:

Amnesty International has documented repeated violations of international law,including war crimes, in Yemen. The humanitarian crisis is deepening while arms sales continue to fuel the conflict. 

Canadian-made Light Armoured Vehicles previously sold to Saudi Arabia are at risk of being used to support ground attacks in Yemen. Despite this, Canada is going ahead with a $15 billion multi-year deal to sell additional LAVs to Saudi Arabia.

I call on you to suspend all arms transfers to Saudi Arabia and other parties to the conflict in Yemen – including weapons, munitions, military equipment or technology (or logistical and financial support for transfers) – as long as there is a substantial risk that they would be used for serious violations of international humanitarian or human rights law.