The fallout continues in the diplomatic battle Canada has found itself in with Saudi Arabia. The kingdom has recalled its ambassador, expelled ours, and has frozen new trade between our two countries, casting uncertainty over the multi-billion-dollar, 2014 contract with our federal government that sends light armoured vehicles to Saudi security forces. Yesterday, Saudi students in Canadian universities were told they have four weeks to leave Canada as their scholarships have been suspended. And Saudi Arabia’s state airline said it would suspend all flights to and from Canada starting Monday. The rift began on the weekend when Ottawa criticized the kingdom for detaining female bloggers and activist.
Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in #SaudiArabia, including Samar Badawi. We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists.
— Foreign Policy CAN (@CanadaFP) August 3, 2018
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.
— Chrystia Freeland (@cafreeland) August 2, 2018
Universities and hospitals across Canada are scrambling for more information to help them figure out how many students will be affected by Saudi Arabia’s suspension of scholarships to Canada. The suspension, along with the Saudi recall of students already in the country, were announced yesterday. Saudi students have been given four weeks to pack their bags and leave Canada.
Photo Credit: Chrystia Freeland via Twitter