While the US has been kissing up to Saudi Arabia despite its ample documented human rights’ abuses as in murdering civilians in Yemen and in its habitual jailing/ executing of female dissidents, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been pushing back even though Saudi Arabia has threatened Canadians with financial repercussions.
Where has the USA been in this firestorm between Canada and Saudi Arabia. It has been MIA.
Here is the rest of the story/ timeline of the current feud between Saudi Arabia and Canada…
On August 24, 2018, Sinead Baker of Business Insider penned the following report, “The full timeline of Canada and Saudi Arabia’s feud over jailed human rights activists”
“A dispute between Canada and Saudi Arabia that started with a tweet escalated to an all-out slanging match that has all but severed relations between the two countries entirely.”
Saudi Arabia has canceled flights to Canada, recalled thousands of students studying there, cut investment, and issued lurid threats.
“Meanwhile, Canada has pledged to hold its ground. As the spat cooled, news Saudi Arabia is to execute a female activist for the first time has brought the county’s conflict into the spotlight once again.”
Scroll down for a full timeline explaining how the dispute has snowballed into a full-blown crisis.
August 1: Human rights organization Amnesty International announced that the Saudi government had arrested several female activists. Lynn Maalouf, its Middle East research director, said it was a “draconian crackdown.”
“Maalouf said in the statement that both women had been “repeatedly targeted, harassed, and placed under travel bans for their human rights activism.”
“One of these women was Saudi activist Samar Badawi, the sister of Raif Badawi, who has been detained since 2012 for “insulting Islam.” Raif Bawadi’s wife and children were made Canadian citizens this year.”
August 2: Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s foreign minister, tweeted that she was “very alarmed” to learn of the arrest and that Canada “stands together with the Badawi family.”
Chrystia Freeland (@cafreeland) August 2, 2018
August 3: Canada’s foreign ministry weighed in, writing on Twitter that Saudi Arabia should “immediately release” Badawi and “all other peaceful #humanrights activists.”
Foreign Policy CAN (@CanadaFP) August 3, 2018
The most dramatic was this one, in which Saudi Arabia demanded that the Canadian ambassador leave within 24 hours.
Foreign Ministry �� (@KSAmofaEN) August 5, 2018
Canada seemed taken aback by the reaction, and said in a statement they were seeking clarification from the Saudis. But Freeland said their position was non-negotiable: “We are always going to speak up for human rights, we are always going to speak up for women’s rights and that is not going to change.”
August 6: Tensions rocketed when a Saudi account, @Infographic_ksa, posted an image which seemed to be threatening Canada with a 9/11-style attack.
“After a backlash online, the account pulled the tweet, which it said had been misunderstood. @ksa_infographic appears to have a close relationship with the Saudi government’s media ministry, though the specifics are not clear.”
August 7: Saudi Arabia’s state airline, Saudia, said on Twitter that it was suspending all flights inbound and outbound flights to Toronto from August 13.
SAUDIA | السعودية (@Saudi_Airlines) August 7, 2018
Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail said Saudi Arabia was planning to withdraw all Saudi students it has been sponsoring at Canadian universities, colleges, and schools — more than 15,000 people.
Also on August 7, the Reuters news agency reported that Canada was about to ask allies including the UAE and UK for help. Neither country has done much to support the Canadians.
The US refused to back Canada in the dispute, saying both sides needed to “diplomatically resolve this together.”
“Both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together. We can’t do it for them, they need to resolve it together,” Nauert said.”
Also on August 8, Saudi Arabia said it was stopping all medical treatment programs in Canada and was transferring all Saudi patients to other hospitals outside of Canada.
August 9: Thursday brought the first sign of a limit to the dispute: according to the Saudi energy minister, the dispute will not affect oil exports to Canada. Khalid Al-Falih cited a long-standing policy that the oil trade isn’t affected by political concerns.