Open Letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada and Ministers

Open Letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons and Ministers

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Toronto, 7 November 2020

The Honourable Anthony Rota, Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada,
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs,
The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development,

We, the undersigned Canadian citizens and permanent residents are closely monitoring the steps taken by the Canadian Government and Legislature in investigating evidence that Canadian-made arms parts were used in drones deployed by the Turkish-Azerbaijani forces in Nagorno-Karabakh.

We urge Canada to organize an on-site fact-gathering mission to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh to conduct an objective examination into this matter and form a first-hand impression of damages caused to civilian communities through drone and missile shelling.  

We bring to your attention the Twitter page of the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) Ombudsman, Mr. Artak Beglaryan. By October 31, 2020, 13,100 private property and 2,700 public infrastructure units were damaged, caused by shelling and missile attacks by Turkish-Azeri and Jihadi aggressors. As of present, at least half of the civilian population of Nagorno-Karabagh remains displaced.

Please note that recently a group of French parliamentarians visited Nagorno-Karabakh on a similar mission. Canada should follow suit in the spirit of Canada’s peace and humanitarian values.

We believe that you are aware that on October 20, 2020, Armenia’s Defense Ministry made public evidence that the sensors on a shot down Turkish Bayraktar drone were manufactured by WESCAM/ L3 Harris in Canada in June 2020.

Following the parliamentary debates in the House of Commons on October 22, 2020, we were further devastated to learn that seven drone systems under the Canadian ban for export to Turkey were granted export licenses in circumvention of the recommendation of the Global Affairs Canada to ban their export.

While we welcome Canadian Government’s and some companies’ prompt suspension of arms exports to Turkey, we also anticipate full accountability and an objective and transparent investigation to determine whether a breach has taken place.

The Canadian Government needs also to consider another tranche of humanitarian aid to help the embattled citizenry of Nagorno – Karabakh recover from the consequences of aggression in which arms sourced in Canada were used. We believe that a Canadian delegation’s visit will help determine the scope of this contribution and required humanitarian effort. Canada should not allow itself to benefit financially due to lax decisions, resulting in war and devastation for civilian communities in Nagorno-Karabakh.

*****

We invite Canadian citizens and permanent residents to join us and enter their names in the designated electronic box.

Sincerely,

Alexander Kutah, Ani Imastounian, Anna Grigorian,
Anne Abrahamian, Armen Charchoglyan, Arusyak Karapetyan,
Aida Parsadanyan, Bella Gharibian, Destiny Fersch,
Eliza Badalyan, Emma Movsesyan, Fatun Hersi,
Gohar Ghantarchyan, Hasmik Minasyan, Ivan Chapchal,
Jackie MacQueen, Kevork Tanielian, Lazarus Mkrtchyan,
Lusine Abrahamyan, Lusine Ashughyan, Lusine Dadayan,
Marine Adamyan, Mary Hakobyan, Maryam Azimi,
Maryam Mughdusyan, Mkrtich Urumyan, Vazgen Gharibyan,
Yelena Petrosyan, Canada’s Move

cc The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Cabinet Ministers and MPs