Saudi Arabia expels Canadian ambassador, freezes trade in human rights row

Saudi Arabia expels Canadian ambassador, freezes trade in human rights row

"Very alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi's sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. Here a 2015 demonstration in Helsinki.

On Friday, Canada called on Riyadh to "immediately release" civil and human rights activists recently arrested by the Saudi Arabian authorities, including Samar Badawi, an internationally recognized human rights defender. The ministry denounces Canada's stance as "explicit interference in the internal affairs" of the kingdom that runs "contrary to the most basic global norms and charters that govern relations between countries".

The Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the "so-called civil society activists" had been detained on the lawful terms and the Canada's request to release the detainees was "interference in the Kingdom's domestic affairs, against basic worldwide norms and all global protocols".

The move comes after Canada said it was "gravely concerned" about the arrest of several human rights activists.

Ms Badawi had been calling for an end to Saudi Arabia's male guardianship system.

"The Canadian statement is a blatant interference in the Kingdom's domestic affairs and violated basic global norms and all protocols between states".

"It is a major, unacceptable affront to the Kingdom's laws and judicial process, as well as a violation of the Kingdom's sovereignty", the statement said.

The kingdom also is suspending educational exchange programmes with Canada and moving Saudi scholarship recipients there to other countries, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya reported on Monday.

"Any further step from the Canadian side in that direction will be considered as acknowledgment of our right to interfere in the Canadian Domestic affairs", read the statement. Canada and all other nations should be well aware that they can not be more concerned about Saudi citizens than Saudi Arabia.

Freeze all new trade and investment transactions between the two countries Consider the Canadian ambassador persona non grata and order the envoy to leave within 24 hours Recall the Saudi envoy in Canada Reserve the right to take further action Canada's government has so far made no public comments on Saudi Arabia's diplomatic measures.

Last week, the Canadian embassy in Riyadh criticized the arrests of Raif Badawi, a Canadian citizen whose brother, a blogger who was critical of the Saudi Government, has been languishing in a Saudi jail.

Related Articles