Canada blasts Saudi death sentences

Canada blasts Saudi death sentences

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has expressed concern over reports of death sentences for human rights activists in Saudi Arabia, saying his country will continue to stand up against human rights violations in the kingdom.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has expressed concern over reports of death sentences for human rights activists in Saudi Arabia, saying his country will continue to stand up against human rights violations in the kingdom.

“We have expressed our concern with the sentence handed down by Saudi Arabia, our concern for defending human rights and our shared values all around the world,” Trudeau said Thursday.

Trudeau, whose government has been engaged in a diplomatic dispute with Riyadh, said however that his government would continue to "engage diplomatically" with Riyadh.

Human rights groups say Riyadh is seeking the death penalty for five Saudi human rights activists, including Israa al-Ghomgham, a Saudi woman, for the first time.

They are accused of inciting protests in the kingdom's oil-rich Eastern Province. Rights groups say the execution threat is aimed at stifling dissent.

Canada and Saudi Arabia are locked in a diplomatic dispute triggered by Canadian criticism of the Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.

Two weeks ago, the Canadian embassy in Riyadh sparked a fury in the kingdom by a tweet that expressed grave concern over a spike in the arrests of human rights campaigners in the kingdom.

Angered by the tweet, Riyadh expelled Canada’s ambassador and ordered home many students studying in Canada.

It also suspended all flights to and from Canada, halted their trade with the country, and ordered its patients receiving treatment there to go elsewhere by the next month.

Saudi authorities have urged Canada to apologize before relations could be normalized but the demand has been rejected by Canadian leaders.


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