Skip to main content

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




The Saudi Arabian foreign ministry has recalled its ambassador from Canada and given the Canadian ambassador 24 hours to leave the country. Riyadh is also freezing all new trade and investment deals with Canada.

The decision has been reported by Saudi Arabia's official Saudi Press Agency. It is understood to come in response to Canada's statement of concern over the arrests of human rights activists in Saudi Arabia.

In a statement issued by the Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry, Riyadh slams as “totally false” allegations by the Canadian authorities that recent arrests of several civil society activists were unwarranted.

It says the arrests were made by “the competent authorities” and the detainees were provided with all the rights guaranteed during investigative and trail stages. 

The ministry denounces Canada’s stance as “explicit interference in the internal affairs” of the kingdom that runs “contrary to the most basic international norms and charters that govern relations between countries.”

Besides putting on hold “all new trade and investment transactions with Canada,” the ministry said that the ultra-conservative kingdom, that has drawn stark criticism from human righst group for its crackdown on dissent, “retains the right to take further action.”

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. 

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

In 2012, Badawi received an international Women of Courage award in a ceremony in Washington from former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then First Lady Michelle Obama.

The UN has also voiced concern over the widening clampdown on opposition in Saudi Arabia, its human rights office (OHCHR) calling the spate of arrests that has been ongoing since spring “apparently arbitrary detentions.” 

Since May 15, at least 15 critics of the Saudi government have been detained, the office noted on Tuesday.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Armenian protesters block traffic, railways & airport as protest leader loses PM bid

Anti-government protesters disrupted traffic in Armenia’s capital, blocking railways and roads leading to Yerevan International Airport, after the parliament voted against opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan’s bid for interim PM.
Protesters managed to block streets connecting downtown Yerevan to residential districts, disrupting transportation in Armenia’s capital, footage from the scene shows. 
Yerevan’s metro system has also been paralyzed as demonstrators sit on the tracks, preventing trains from passing.
Meanwhile, protesters disrupted traffic on a road leading to Yerevan’s Zvartnots International Airport, located just 12km from the center of the city. 
Consequently, some passengers had to go the rest of the way on foot in order to catch their flights, according to Sputnik news agency.
Railway services have also been disrupted all across the country amid the demonstrations, a spokesman for South Caucasus Railways confirmed to Interfax. 
Some other highways, including the one connecting th…

Syria threatens to ‘strike Tel Aviv airport’ unless UNSC acts against Israel’s impunity

Damascus has threatened to exercise its legitimate right for self-defense against Israeli aggression and target Tel Aviv airport in a mirror response, unless the Security Council puts an end to IDF intrusions into Syrian airspace.
Apparently fed up with years of Israeli impunity in the Syrian skies and regular strikes carried out in the vicinity of Damascus International Airport, Syria has threatened to retaliate in explicit terms.
“Isn’t time now for the UN Security Council to stop the Israeli repeated aggressions on the Syrian Arab Republic territories?” Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari wondered Tuesday.

Or is it required to draw the attention of the war-makers in this Council by exercising our legitimate right to defend ourself and respond to the Israeli aggression on Damascus International Civil Airport in the same way on Tel Aviv Airport?
Air strikes against alleged ‘Iranian targets’ in close proximity to Syria’s busiest airport have become a norm for…

Iran showcases massive UNDERGROUND missile factory, with new rockets & warheads galore

As Tehran unveiled its newest weapon, it also shared rare footage of a secretive underground complex where Iranian missiles are being built. 
It has vowed to carry on with its missile program, despite objections from the West.
Iran’s new missile was showcased on Thursday, with top military officials unveiling the weapon and, in an unprecedented move, showing the subterranean factory. 
The location of the facility was not disclosed, for obvious reasons.
The facility was described by the Iranian media as an “underground city” – and its scale appears to be quite impressive. Footage from the scene shows vast corridors, full of various missile parts, including warheads, all at different stages of assembly.
The videos also showed workers at the plant fulfilling tasks, from merely spinning nuts to fine-tuning some tiny electronic devices, thought to be parts of the missiles’ guidance system.
The new missile, called Dezful, is said to be an upgraded version of the Zolfaghar ballistic missile. 
It bo…