Dion says he’s concerned for security of human rights sources in Saudi Arabia

Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion says he doesn't want to compromise the security of sources who give the government sensitive information on human rights conditions in their countries.

OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion says he doesn’t want to compromise the security of sources who give the government sensitive information on human rights conditions in their countries.

Dion is 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 says he wants to make a redacted version public, and has asked for advice from his officials on how to do that.

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.

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