On August 1 Human Rights Watch reported " Saudi authorities have arrested the internationally recognized women’s rights activist Samar Badawi and an Eastern Province activist, Nassima al-Sadah, in the past two days, Human Rights Watch said today. Badawi and al-Sadah are the latest victims of an unprecedented government crackdown on the women’s rights movement that began on May 15, 2018 and has resulted in the arrest of more than a dozen activists."
Badawi is best known for challenging Saudi Arabia’s discriminatory male guardianship system. She sued her father for mistreatment and abuse. Her brother, Raif Badawi, was a blogger who was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for his writings. (The lashes were "suspended" after 50 strokes after international outrage.)
The Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs @CanadaFP tweeted "Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in #SaudiArabia, including Samar Badawi. We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists." This "grave offense" to kingly sovereignty enraged the Saudi princes who retaliated by expelling the Canadian ambassador, freezing all new business with Canada and withdrawing 12,000 Saudi students from Canada (They are there on kingdom-funded scholarships.) They've also started to create some pitiful propaganda.
Time magazine's article on this conflict has a great photo of a Paris protest after Samar Badawi's arrest several years ago. Time reports "Bilateral trade between Canada and Saudi Arabia surpassed $4 billion last year, in part due to a controversial 2014 arms deal worth $15 billion over several years."
So far Justin Trudeau's Canadian government has refused to back down.
This (brave) group of Saudi students in Canada urges universities call on the Saudi authorities to reverse their decision.
Rather than just standing by their tweet, why doesn't Trudeau take some real action, like stop supplying and servicing Canadian-made military combat vehicles sent to KSA?
Saudis Try to Muscle Canada Because of Tweet
photos of Samar Badawi on site /www.gc4hr.org