Terradyne's Ontario built armoured trucks are suspected of being used against Saudi citizens.

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister has expressed her concern this week over the alleged use of Canadian-built armoured vehicles on citizens in Saudi Arabia. A report by The Globe and Mail at the end of July this year says video allegedly shows Terradyne vehicles, which are built in Newmarket, Ontario, being deployed at protests between Saudi forces and Shia militants in the capital city of Riyadh.

Terradyne builds the Gurkha, which is one of the vehicles in question being used in Saudi Arabia, in several configurations, including the RPV Civilian Edition. Built on a Ford F550 chassis and using that company's 6.7-litre V8 diesel engine, they can feature gun turrets and armour plating, though in some scenarios, the company says the vehicles are more "defensive in nature."

In a teleconference on Monday this week, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said "We've expressed our concerns ... to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia," over the alleged use of the vehicles on citizens.

 

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According to The Globe, the Trudeau government quickly launched an investigation following The Globe's report in July. "We're deeply concerned about it and we're looking into it to determine the facts carefully, very actively and energetically," Freeland said Monday.

The Globe notes that companies such as Terradyne have been making their own deals with the Saudi Arabian government to provide vehicles. NDP foreign affairs critic Hélène Laverdière has expressed her concern over those sales.

"Expecting the end user to behave is not sufficient, especially in this case where we are talking about a country that is firing on its own citizens and where we have strong evidence of [its] war crimes in a neighbouring country," Laverdière told The Globe.

Canada has specific weapon export-control rules, including restrictions on arms exports to countries with a "persistent record of serious violations of the human rights of their citizens." The Globe says that "if there is a real risk the buyer could turn arms against its own population," Canadian shipments are supposed to be blocked.

Investigations continue into whether the vehicles in the videos are in fact made by Terradyne. If it's found that the vehicles are made by Terradyne, there's no word yet on what kind of response Canada will have, though according to Global News, Freeland says the Canadian government will "respond accordingly."

 

Photo: Terradyne on Instagram

Source: The Globe and Mail, Global News

 

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