Saudi Arabia expels Canadian Ambassador in human rights row


Saudi Arabia has expelled the Canadian Ambassador and recalled its Ambassador after the Canadian government issued a statement of concern over the detainment of civil society and women’s rights activists, Express.Co.Uk reported.

The statement, published by Canada's Foreign Office, stated: "Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia, including Samar Badawi.

"We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful human rights activists.”

The Middle Eastern nation has also frozen all new trade and investment sanctions with Canada, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The Canadian Ambassador was also declared persona non grata, and issued 24 hours to leave the country.

The leading women’s rights activist Samar Badawi, sister of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi, was detained by Saudi police last week, according to Amnesty International.


Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland commented on Ms Badawi’s arrest, stating: "Very alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi’s sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.

"Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this difficult time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi.”

Mr Badawi was arrested in 2012 for criticism of the regime, and was subjected to 50 lashings in 2015.

His wife, Ensaf Haidar, and three children were granted Canadian citizenship earlier this summer, and live in Quebec's Eastern Townships.