Samar Badawi was arrested in Saudi Arabia last week, who was running a campaign of women rights in the kingdom. Her brother is already in jail for 10 years for protesting against women rights violations in the kingdom. When Canada raised its voice against Badawi’s arrest, Saudi Arabia suspended its trade relationship with Canada and Saudi government also discontinued the flight operation to Toronto yesterday. Saudi Arabia considers that Canada is interfering in its state affairs and they do not allow anyone to meddle into their state affairs.
Canadian Foreign Affair Minister reported that they are highly concerned with the rights of the women all over the world and they will continue to raise their voice against any human rights violation. On the other hand, Saudi Minister Adel al Jubeir said that Canada is arguing on the basis of wrong information and they know better about basic rights of people. On the other hand, the renowned women’s rights supporter Manal al- Sharif thanked Canada for speaking openly about this issue and she urged that other western countries should also do the same thing.
This reflects that the relationship between the two countries is going to be more affected in the near future as Saudi government has asked its students to come back or relocate to another country by deferring their scholarships in future. All the trades with Canada by Saudi Arabia worth $3 billion dollars since 2016 have been put on hold.
Canadian government is persistent that it would not deter from raising its voice again human rights violation and gagging of freedom of expression anywhere in the world. The expulsion of diplomats is also alarming and is a grave step taken by the Saudi government.