Wednesday, 22 August, 2018


Everything you need to know about the Saudi Arabia-Canada fallout

Saudi Arabia is pulling thousands of students from Canada in an escalating human rights feud Why is Saudi Arabia angry at Canada? | Canada
Bennie Garza | 07 August, 2018, 20:56

Freeland said Canadians "expect" its foreign policy to be driven by Canadian values.

"Canada will always stand up for the protection of human rights, including women's rights and freedom of expression around the world".

"Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia, including Samar Badawi", the tweet read.

The diplomatic spat between Canada and Saudi Arabia that erupted over the weekend has left many wondering exactly what is going on.

The ministry also announced "the freezing of all new trade and investment transactions with Canada while retaining its right to take further action".

Late last week, Canadian officials began publicly pressing the Kingdom to release women's rights activists from around Saudi Arabia, who've been swept up and jailed as Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince, consolidates his power and cracks down on dissenters.

Following this move, a new report from Saudi-owned media outlet Al Arabiya revealed that "training, scholarships and fellowships" for Saudi students in Canada are now being shelved.

Bilateral trade amounts to CAN $3-4 billion (US $2.3-3.1 billion) a year, according to Thomas Juneau, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa.

Freeland would only tell reporters Monday that the Canadian ambassador is "fine" and would not disclose his location.

'It is now time for other governments to join Canada in increasing the pressure on Saudi Arabia to release all prisoners of conscience immediately and unconditionally, ' said Samah Hadid, Amnesty International's Middle East campaigns director.

The European Commission said it's seeking clarification about the arrest of activists in Saudi Arabia.

Some analysts perceive the move as both a power play for the kingdom's emerging young leader and a demonstration put on for the benefit of countries with stronger ties to Saudi Arabia than Canada.

He said that the authorities in Saudi Arabia made it clear that those arrested committed legal violations that necessitated law enforcement. Officials said on state television that there are more than 12,000 Saudi students and family members in Canada, and that many will be transferred to other countries, including the United States.

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