Amnesty International calls for united front against Saudi Arabia

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Finance Minister Bill Morneau doubled down Tuesday on Ottawa's message that the federal government will continue to stand up for Canadian values even as it finds itself at the centre of an ongoing diplomatic tumult with Saudi Arabia.

Saudia said it would be temporarily stopping inbound and outbound flights to Toronto Pearson International Airport - the only Canadian destination it serves - from August 13.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a loose association of the six Gulf Arab countries, the Arab League and Palestine also supported Saudi policy.

Canada is planning to seek help from the UAE and Britain to help defuse a row with Saudi Arabia as Riyadh ramps up its freeze in business with Ottawa.

The Saudi government also is canceling its funded scholarships for nearly 12,000 students in Canada.

Some analysts perceive the move as both a power play for the kingdom's young leader and a demonstration put on for the benefit of countries with stronger ties to Saudi Arabia than Canada.


"Any further step from the Canadian side in that direction will be considered as acknowledgment of our right to interfere in Canadian domestic affairs", the Foreign Ministry said.

Paul pointed to the case of Raif Badawi as an example of how putting worldwide pressure on the Saudis can have an impact.

A pro-government Saudi Twitter account then provoked outrage when it posted - and then deleted - a 9/11-style digitally altered image showing a plane flying towards the Toronto skyline.

Among those reportedly still being held are Hatoon al-Fassi, a leading voice for women's participation in civil life; human rights defender Khaled al-Omair; women's rights activists Loujain al-Hathloul, Eman al-Nafjan, Aziza al-Yousef, Nouf Abdulaziz and Mayaa al-Zahrani; Ms Hathloul's 80-year-old lawyer, Ibrahim al-Modaimeegh; and the activist Abdulaziz Meshaal.

'Canada will always stand up for human rights, in Canada and around the world, and women's rights are human rights, ' Freeland told an audience in Vancouver.

Harbash added that they are capable of transferring all Saudi students from Canada to countries with cultural missions in the US, UK, New Zealand and Australia, all of which are considered countries with top education institutions, and have good relations with Saudi Arabia.


Next, came as a blow to Saudi exchange students studying in Canada on state-sponsored scholarship programmes, which have been suspended.

Her brother Mr Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for "insulting Islam" online back in 2014.

"Very alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi's sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia", she wrote.

We consider the Canadian ambassador to the kingdom persona non grata and order him to leave within the next 24 hours, ' the Saudi foreign ministry tweeted early Monday.

One well placed source said the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - which stresses the importance of human rights - planned to reach out to the United Arab Emirates.

Yes. In 2015, Riyadh recalled its ambassador to Sweden and stopped issuing work visas for Swedes after the European Union member country's foreign minister described a court decision related to Raif Badawi as "medieval" and the kingdom's ruling Al Saud family as presiding over a "dictatorship".


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