The official Saudi Press Agency announced on Sunday that the Canadian ambassador has 24 hours to leave the country, and Saudi Arabia has recalled its ambassador to Canada, after Canada's foreign ministry called on Saudi authorities to release jailed civil rights activists.
Saudi Arabia is also suspending new trade and investment with Canada, Reuters reports, and retains "its rights to take further action." Since May, more than a dozen women's rights activists have been arrested, including Samar Badawi on Wednesday. She is the sister of Raif Badawi, a blogger and dissident who was arrested in 2012. His wife, Ensaf Haidar, now lives in Canada, and on Friday, Canada said it was "gravely concerned" over the arrests and urged "Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful human rights activists."
Many of the women's rights activists have demanded an end to the male guardianship system. In its statement, Saudi Arabia said it does not get involved in the internal matters of other countries, Reuters reports, and "any further step from the Canadian side in that direction will be considered as acknowledgment of our right to interfere in the Canadian domestic affairs." Catherine Garcia