Saudi Arabia’s state airline has suspended its direct flights to Toronto after Canada called for the release of detained activists for civil society and women’s rights.
The Middle Eastern country has also frozen all trade and expelled Canada’s ambassador over the “interference”.
Canada has responded by saying it “will continue to advocate for human rights”.
Those held include the Saudi-American human rights campaigner Samar Badawi, sister of jailed blogger Raif Badawi.
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said she was “deeply concerned” by the diplomat’s expulsion, but added: “Canada will always stand up for the protection of human rights, including women’s rights and freedom of expression around the world.
“We will never hesitate to promote these values and we believe that this dialogue is critical to international diplomacy.”
Saudi Arabia widens crackdown on women’s rights activists
Her Saudi counterpart, Adel al-Jubeir, had earlier tweeted that Canada’s position was based on “misleading information”, adding that anyone arrested was “subject to Saudi laws that guarantee their rights”.
The leading Saudi women’s rights campaigner Manal al-Sharif thanked Canada for “speaking up” and asked when other Western powers would do the same.
In what appeared to be a further sign of deteriorating relations between the two countries, a verified Twitter account, which is reportedly linked to Saudi authorities, shared an image of a plane flying towards Toronto’s famed CN Tower.
The image was overlaid with text, including a quote which read “he who with what doesn’t concern him finds what doesn’t please him”.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from LEADERSHIP Nigeria Newspapers. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- COVER STORIES20 hours ago
INEC Rolls Out Voting Pattern For 2019 Polls
- CRIME19 hours ago
Gunmen Kidnap 45, Kill One In Zamfara
- NEWS20 hours ago
Alleged Fraud: Court Orders Service On Oshiomhole, EFCC
- POLITICS18 hours ago
David Mark’s Daughter Defects With 15, 000 PDP Supporters To APGA
- NEWS18 hours ago
Minimum Wage: NLC Threatens To Ditch Non-compliant Governors In 2019
- NEWS12 hours ago
Ebonyi: Soldiers Rescue Malnourished Child Abandoned In A Shrine
- NEWS19 hours ago
Kwara PDP Rejects Rep By-election Results
- NEWS19 hours ago
Julius Berger Tasked On Speedy Completion Of Calabar-Itu Highway