“We call on the Saudi authorities to release them immediately as well as all other peaceful human rights activists.”

“We call on the Saudi authorities to release them immediately as well as all other peaceful human rights activists.”

Expulsion of the Canadian Ambassador to Riyadh, freeze all new commercial transactions or investments with the country in reminder of the 15,000 Saudi scholarship students at Canadian universities. These measures intended to mean a brutal and comprehensive break were announced Monday by the Saudi government in response to calls by the Ottawa government for the release of human rights activists arrested last week in Saudi Arabia. On Friday, in a statement posted on Twitter, the Canadian embassy in Riyadh said it was “gravely concerned” by a new wave of arrests of activists. “We call on the Saudi authorities to release them immediately as well as all other peaceful human rights activists.”

The last week arrest of Samar Badawi, after that of several women rights activists, is causing the escalation of Canadian protests and the Saudi response. On August 2, the head of Canadian diplomacy, Chrystia Freeland, had already said “very alarmed to learn the imprisonment of Samar Badawi.” The 33-year-old is the recipient of the 2012 US Department of State’s International Women’s Courts Award. The photo of the activist, led by Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton at the award ceremony, has been rebroadcast in recent days on news sites. She campaigned for the release of her brother, Raef al-Badawi, a dissident blogger, and Walid Abu al-Khair, her former husband. The Saudi citizen, Raef al-Badawi has been imprisoned since 2012 because of comments made on his blog. He was sentenced in November 2014 to ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes for “insulting Islam”. His wife, Ensaf Haidar, has been living in Quebec since the fall of 2013 with her three children and is leading an international campaign with several human rights organizations for the release of her husband (…)
Libération.fr