Saudi Arabia orders all of its foreign university students to leave Canada

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"Canada does not understand its place and it tried to impose itself on the Kingdom's policies in its ministry of foreign affairs statement as if to place itself above other countries in the world", he said. Responding to the Saudi move to freeze trade and expel the Canadian ambassador, Ottawa said, "Canada will always stand up for human rights in Canada and around the world, and women's rights are human rights".

Saudi Arabia has frozen all trade, expelled Canada's ambassador and ordered its citizens studying in Canada to leave.

Infographic KSA, a Saudi verified Twitter account that has more than 35,000 followers and another 88,000 on Instagram, tweeted on Monday an image that showed an Air Canada airplane heading toward Toronto's CN Tower.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights estimates that at least 15 human rights defenders and women's rights activists critical of the Saudi government had been arrested or detained arbitrarily since 15 May.

The fallout is a result of a tweet from Global Affairs Canada calling for the kingdom to immediately release jailed human rights activists.

He said that the authorities in Saudi Arabia made it clear that those arrested committed legal violations that necessitated law enforcement. Samar's brother, Raif Badawi, is a blogger who was arrested in 2012 and sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for criticizing the Saudi clerics, for which he was convicted of "insulting Islam".

The moves came after Canada on Friday expressed concern over the arrests of activists in Saudi Arabia, including prominent women's rights campaigner Samar Badawi, and called for their release.

"When it comes to the broader relationship with Saudi Arabia, our diplomats have asked procedural questions today and we're waiting for answers on how Saudi Arabia intends to go forward with the relationship", she said in Vancouver.

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But the 32-year-old has simultaneously pursued a combative foreign policy - including leading a blockade of neighbouring Qatar and a bombing campaign against Iran-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen - while cracking down on dissent at home.

Badawi's wife Ensaf Haidar has been granted asylum by Canada, where she is raising their three children.

Riyadh's singling out of Canada appears to be aimed at strongly discouraging other Western governments from criticising its human rights violations.

"Any other attempt to interfere with our internal affairs from Canada, means that we are allowed to interfere in Canada's internal affairs", the Saudi ministry's said.

'Canada is easier to cut ties with than the rest, ' Bessma Momani, a professor at Canada's University of Waterloo, told AFP.

According to the Toronto Star, there are about 16,000 Saudi students studying in Canada.

Thousands of jobs in Canada could be at risk if the arms agreement is scrapped.

Garry Keller, who was chief of staff to ex-Conservative Foreign Minister John Baird, said the government needed to look at how it could help businesses that might be affected.

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