Monday, 6 August 2018

Saudi Arabia freezes Canada trade ties for urging activists' release in the kingdom's domestic affairs

Saudi Arabia has said it is freezing all new trade with Canada and expelling its ambassador over its "interference" in the kingdom's domestic affairs.

A Saudi foreign ministry statement said it considered Canada's call last week for the release of detained civil society and women's rights activists a violation of Saudi sovereignty.

Those held include the Saudi-American human rights campaigner Samar Badawi.

Canada said it was seeking clarification on the Saudi statement.

But foreign ministry spokeswoman Marie-Pier Baril stressed that Canada would "always stand up for the protection of human rights, very much including women's rights, and freedom of expression around the world".

"Our government will never hesitate to promote these values and believes that this dialogue is critical to international diplomacy," she added.

BBC      News.

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