Saudi Arabia Suspends Ties With Canada

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

In a series of tweets, the Saudi foreign ministry said it was expelling the U.S. ambassador and recalling its own envoy in Canada. They called on Saudi authorities to "immediately release" the detainees.

Saudi Arabia says it is ordering Canada's ambassador to leave the country and freezing all new trade and investment transactions with Canada in a spat over human rights.

Saudi Arabia halted new trade and investment dealings with Canada and suspended diplomatic ties in a dramatic escalation of a dispute over the kingdom's arrest of a women's rights activist.

The Saudi foreign ministry voiced anger over the Canadian statement.

Amnesty International Canada secretary general Alex Neve said what has happened is a "clear indication that Saudi Arabia remains determined to rebuff and ignore any efforts to improve and address human rights concerns in the country".

Freeland said on social media last Thursday that she was "alarmed" to hear of Samar Badawi's arrest.

"The Canadian position is an attack on Saudi Arabia that requires a firm stance towards it".

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The Saudi foreign ministry slammed the Canadian statement, signalling its growing irritation over Western criticism of the kingdom's poor human rights record.

Al-Saadah was among the first women to run for office in Saudi Arabia in 2015 as part of a campaign for women's political rights.

Saudi Arabia has frozen all trade/investment developments with Canada.

The move follows vigorous calls by Canada for the immediate release of activists that have been detained.

"These fearless women represented the last vestiges of the human rights community in the country, and now they too have been detained", Amnesty International's Middle East research director Lynn Maalouf said in a statement.

The ministry said it has told the Canadian foreign minister and embassy in Riyadh of its objection to their interference in the case of "civil society activists" who were arrested in the Kingdom.

Raif Badawi's wife Ensaf Haidar lives in Canada and recently became a Canadian citizen. "The persons referred to were lawfully detained by the public prosecution for committing crimes punishable by applicable law, which also guaranteed the detainees' rights and provided them with due process during the investigation and trial".

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