Saudi foreign ministry said it was expelling the Canadian ambassador and recalling its own envoy in Canada because Canada is interfering in their internal affairs.
The Saudi ministry described Canada’s position as “an attack” on the kingdom, saying it would now:
Freeze all new trade and investment transactions between the two countries Consider the Canadian ambassador persona non grata and order the envoy to leave within 24 hours Recall the Saudi envoy in Canada Reserve the right to take further action Canada’s government has so far made no public comments on Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic measures.
The move comes after Canada said it was “gravely concerned” about the arrest of several human rights activists.
Popular Saudi-American women’s rights campaigner Samar Badawi was among those arrested who have been calling for an end to Saudi Arabia’s male supervision system.
The arrests are in opposition to the progressive image the government has projected this year under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman when he announced the lifting of the ban on women driving.
Saudi women’s rights activists, including those who have been imprisoned for defying the ban, had celebrated the decision.
But they also vowed to continue campaigning for the end of other laws they consider prejudiced.
Women must adhere to a strict dress code, be separated from unrelated men, and be accompanied by or receive written permission from a male guardian – usually a father, husband or brother – if they want to travel, work or access healthcare. (BBC).