Students Scramble For Info After Saudi Arabia Pulls Canadian Scholarships

Saudi Arabia suspends flights to Canada

The diplomatic row erupted after Canada tweeted in support of a women's right activist arrested in Saudi Arabia

'It is now time for other governments to join Canada in increasing the pressure on Saudi Arabia to release all prisoners of conscience immediately and unconditionally, ' said Samah Hadid, Amnesty International's Middle East campaigns director.

The notice comes after Saudi Arabia said Sunday it was ordering Canada's ambassador to leave the country and freezing all new trade and investment transactions with Canada in a spat over human rights.

Alex Wong/Getty ImagesPolitical activist Samar Badawi was presented with an International Women of Courage Award by former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former first lady Michelle Obama in 2012.

The feud between the two countries has escalated quickly since it began Friday, when Canada's Ministry of Foreign Affairs raised concerns about the kingdom's human-rights record.

The Saudi Kingdom was less than thrilled about Canada's "interference", saying it had no business to meddle in its local affairs. In little more than a year, the kingdom has led a four-country coalition that severed ties with neighbouring Qatar, recalled its ambassador to Germany and cut back its trade dealings with some German companies amid a diplomatic row.

Dahl said said he was not aware of any Canadian shipments now en route to Saudi Arabia.

In recent months Saudi Arabia has lifted a ban on women driving, but it has also arrested activists, including more than a dozen high profile campaigners for women's rights.

Canadian authorities said they are "seriously concerned" about Saudi Arabia's freeze of new trade between the countries. Saudi Arabia has invested about $6 billion Canadian businesses since 2006, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

A local Saudi student's association had even less to say, replying via Facebook message that its members are willing to transfer to the United States.

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A number of countries in the region have defended Saudi Arabia.

On Monday, Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir again criticised Canada's calls to free arrested civil society activists as a position built on "misleading" information.

Ensaf Haidar, Raif Badawi's wife, who lives in Quebec with her three children, said Monday she was surprised when she heard about the two new arrests.

Saudi state airline Saudia also announced Monday that it would suspend flights to and from Toronto starting August 13.

Last March, Mr Trudeau was defending the deal in the House of Commons, arguing that "the exports are consistent with our foreign and defence policies, including human rights".

"The Saudi students - and their tuition - will be placed in study programs in other countries with similar education systems, such as the United Kingdom or the United States", according to the official.

Saudi Arabia's main state wheat-buying agency has told grains exporters it will no longer buy Canadian wheat and barley in its global tenders, European traders said on Tuesday. Much of that was tanks, armored personnel carriers and motor vehicles.

"I don't think it will worsen the situation because very often when we make evident unjust imprisonments, like the case of Samar Badawi, that increases their protection and increases pressure on the government", she said in an interview Monday.

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