Saudi Arabia expels Canadian envoy for urging activist's release

Raif Badawi

The Kingdom is also recalling its ambassador to Ottawa and that it is freezing all new business and investment transactions with Canada "while retaining its right to take further action", the ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Saudi Arabia has ordered the Canadian ambassador to leave the ultraconservative kingdom after criticism of its arrests of activists.

The Canadian embassy in Riyadh had said it was "gravely concerned" about a new wave of detentions of human-rights campaigners in the kingdom, including Samar Badawi, an award-winning gender rights activist.

"The kingdom announces that it is recalling its ambassador.to Canada for consultation".

The Saudi foreign ministry cited remarks last week by Freeland and the Canadian embassy in Riyadh, criticizing Saudi Arabia's arrests of women's rights activists including Samar Badawi.

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.

"It's pathetic that rather than respect the basic rights of its citizens and end its wide scale persecution of independent voices, it's punishing even friendly states who give it helpful advice", Whitson told DW.

Jurgen Klopp confirms Liverpool quartet will miss Napoli game
"For all the new players it will be the first time in the stadium and it's very important that you get used to all these things". Whereas Firmino is fain to drop deep and leave space for Mane and Salah, Sturridge spends far longer facing the opposition goal.

Badawi and another high-profile Saudi women's rights activist, Nassima al-Sadah, were arrested in the kingdom last week, sparking an worldwide outcry.

"Very alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi's sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia", Freeland wrote on Twitter.

"The Canadian position is an attack on Saudi Arabia that requires a firm stance towards it". More than a dozen women's rights activists have been targeted since May.

Bilateral trade between Canada and Saudi Arabia surpassed $4 billion last year, in part due to a controversial 2014 arms deal worth $15 billion over several years.

"Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this hard time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi", she wrote on Twitter.

"Any other attempt to interfere with our internal affairs from Canada, means that we are allowed to interfere in Canada's internal affairs". "The legitimate rights (of those arrested) have not been denied and they were provided with all guarantees during the investigation and trial stages", the statement said.

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