by David J. Bercuson
November 15, 2018
Back in early August, Global Affairs Canada tweeted a statement urging Saudi Arabia to release Samar Badawi, a human-rights activist imprisoned in Saudi Arabia (also sister to Raif Badawi, whose wife and three children are Canadian citizens) and the Saudis threw a diplomatic fit.
They declared the Canadian position “a grave and unacceptable violation of the Kingdom’s laws and procedures,” threw out the Canadian ambassador and suspended all new trade between Canada and Saudi Arabia. They cut direct air service between the two countries and ordered all Saudi students in Canada to come home (they have partially rescinded this last action).
The arrest of Badawi was just the latest of a long line of human-rights abuses from a country that seems to specialize in such abuses. As of this writing there are 12 Shiite dissidents in Saudi Arabia who are in grave danger of execution because they participated in Shiite protests in the Kingdom in 2016.