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Saudi Arabia HALTS medical treatment of Saudi citizens in Canada as diplomatic row deepens

August 8, 2018 5:27 AM
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Saudi Arabia HALTS medical treatment of Saudi citizens in Canada as diplomatic row deepens

SAUDI Arabia has halted all medical treatment programs in Canada, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The Saudi government is coordinating the transfer of Saudi citizens in Canadian hospitals to medical facilities outside the country.

The news agency cited Saudi Health Attaché in the US and Canada, Dr Fahd bin Ibrahim Al Tamimi.

This comes after Saudi Arabia recalled its Ambassador to Canada, and expelled the Canadian Ambassador in Riyadh following a row over human rights.

Canada's Foreign Office issued a statement of concern over the detainment of civil society and women’s rights activists.

The statement, published by Canada's Foreign Office, stated: “Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia, including Samar Badawi.

“We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful human rights activists.”

Canada's Foreign Office was responding to reports from Amnesty International that leading women’s rights activist Samar Badawi, sister of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi, was detained by Saudi police last week.

Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland commented on Ms Badawi’s arrest, stating: “Very alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi’s sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.

“Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this difficult time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi.”

The Canadian Ambassador Dennis Horak was subsequently declared persona non grata, and issued 24 hours to leave the country.


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