Meeting other practitioners working in the field of human rights monitoring is always a great opportunity. Arms control wasn’t a topic largely explored, except for the panel I presented on. Therefore, the conference provided the opportunity to meet others that are working in generally the same field, but with diverging approaches and interests. This exposure broadened my own perspective. I expect that I will find ways to interact with some of these people on projects of common interest in the future.
The term “open-source intelligence” refers to data that is accessible to everyone. At one time, this would mean sources that could be readily found in public and university libraries, in newspapers, books, journals, government documents, and curated collections.
On April 12, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) announced the cancellation of 29 permits for the export of Canadian-made surveillance and targeting sensors to Turkey. The decision was based on what GAC described as “credible evidence” that the exports in question were being unlawfully diverted by Turkey to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. The same report that announced the cancellation indicated that Turkish drones had also been diverted to support Turkish military operations in Syria.
Just before Canada halted certain weapons exports to Turkey in April 2021, the FAAE committee released nearly 1,000 pages of government documents on Canada’s arms deals with Turkey. Although heavily redacted, the documents provide an unmatched look into the Canadian arms trade, including previously confidential memoranda to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, hundreds of pages of internal correspondence by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and never-before-seen Canadian export permits for weapon systems.
On April 27, 2021, Ploughshares Executive Director Cesar Jaramillo and Researcher Kelsey Gallagher provided testimony to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development of the Government of Canada. The subject was Granting of Arms Export, with a particular focus on permits granted for exports to Turkey.
On October 24, Radio Canada International reported that Canadian-based Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) had suspended the export of aircraft engines to “countries with unclear usage.” This action followed reports that these engines were being used in Turkish-built Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that Turkey had sent to support Azeri forces in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Ploughshares Communications Officer Tasneem Jamal spoke with Kelsey Gallagher about the genesis of Killer Optics, the impact of its publication, and the role of open-source data in tracking arms transfers.
Since 2017, Turkey has been a major customer for WESCAM products, second only to the United States. During this time, the Turkish military has not only been active in trying to put down an insurgency in southeast Turkey, but has become increasingly involved in armed conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Libya.
While the Jamal Khashoggi murder illustrated the Saudi regime’s contempt for human rights and warranted intense media attention, it was only the latest incident in a consistent pattern of repression and human-rights violations at home and abroad.
In a deal reached in March 2016 between the European Union (EU) and Turkey, “all new irregular migrants” who reached Greece after March 20 were to be returned to Turkey. …
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