Saudi Arabia expelling Canadian ambassador

Saudi Arabia expelling Canadian ambassador

Saudi Arabia expelling Canadian ambassador

The Saudi foreign ministry later tweeted: "The kingdom of Saudi Arabia. will not accept interference in its internal affairs or imposed diktats from any country".

In public statements Sunday, Riyadh gave Canadian ambassador Dennis Horak 24 hours to leave the country and recalled its own envoy.

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

Saudi Arabia has expelled Canada's ambassador and announced a freeze on new trade and investment in response to pressure from the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to release detained civil and human rights activists.

Last Wednesday, Human Rights Watch said Saudi Arabia had arrested women's rights activists Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah, the latest two to be swept up in a government crackdown on activists, clerics and journalists.

"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", the Saudis said.

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

Riyadh said Canada's statement about "civil society activists" was negative and unfair to the truth.

Global Affairs Canada told the Canadian Press on Sunday night it was aware of the issue but offered no immediate comment.

Tanks, armored vehicles and parts and motor vehicles accounted for about 45 percent of Canada's 2016 exports to the kingdom, while crude oil and copper ores comprised about 98 percent of imports, according to a government report.

However, supporters of women's rights were arrested just weeks before the ban was lifted, signaling that only King Salman and his powerful son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, will decide the pace of change.

"We are seriously concerned by these media reports and are seeking greater clarity on the recent statement from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", said Marie-Pier Baril.

Earlier, the Canadian foreign ministry and the Canadian embassy in Riyadh expressed concerns over the arrests of human rights activists, including award-winning gender rights activist Samar Badawi, in a new wave of detentions.

Badawi's wife Ensaf Haidar has been granted asylum by Canada, where she is raising their three children now aged 14, 13 and 10 as a single mother. "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".

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