Dion concerned for security of human rights sources in Saudi Arabia
OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion says he doesn’t want to risk the safety of sources who give the government sensitive information on human rights conditions in their countries. Dion was responding to the growing clamour over the government’s decision to allow an Ontario company to sell $15 billion worth of light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia in spite of its questionable human rights record. Amnesty International has called on the government to release an internal federal human rights assessment on Saudi Arabia in light of the deal. Dion said Monday he wants to make public a redacted version of the report, and has asked for advice from his officials on how to do so. ``The documents are intended for internal use and are classified. I would be pleased to release, upon request, unclassified versions,’’ he said in a statement. ``I want to ensure that we respect the safety and security of identified sources.’’ Global Affairs Canada is in the process of updating its 2011 assessment on Saudi Arabia. Canada conducts regular human rights assessments of foreign countries, but doesn’t do new reports every year, in part because of the slow pace of change in many countries.