Canadian Ambassador to Saudi Aarabia Expelled: Canada continues its ‘Propaganda’ for Human Rights
The interpretation of basic human rights in the Middle East and the West have always differed. The difference between these interpretations has created different ideologies amongst these countries. The ideologies brought a new perspective on how these countries choose their allies in times of world insecurities. Such a difference of ideologies led to a war of words between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Canada. The dispute started out as a tweet when Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland put up her country’s view on human rights and how the capture of social activists had been detained in Saudi Arabia, implying a clear violation of basic human rights. She mentioned that such acts are not only violation of human rights but also how Saudi Arabia still lacks the basic understanding of human rights and its relevance in the contemporary world.
Reverting back to the comments made by the Canadian Foreign Minister, the Foreign Ministry of Saudi Arabia released a twitter statement stating that it had never been interrupted in its domestic affairs or had taken order from any other international country. The statement also stressed that such interference goes against the standards and protocol of the international system and puts the country’s sovereignty at risk. The country which has detained some ‘social activist’ is said to have been given their rights and all due processes at the time of investigation and trial. At the end of the whole statement declaration, the Foreign Ministry asked the Ambassador of the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques to return to the country and the Canadian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been expelled with 24 hours given to leave the country. Such events have never been recorded in history or in a time when diplomacy is considered to be at its peak.
The statement and the expulsion of the Canadian Ambassador came as a shock, however, the Foreign Minister of Canada, Freeland later in the day said that she was very much ‘comfortable’ with the country’s current position and that Canada can and never will defend human rights or women’s rights, in particular. The chaos extended as the Saudi Government had urged all its country’s students studying in Canada, some 16,000 of them to fly back to the country or go elsewhere. These students receive scholarships from the King himself. Even doctors in the making have been asked to stop their medical practices. The trade between these countries have also practically stopped but prior to the havoc, the annual two-way trade amounted to $3million-$4million. The year 2015 was important for both the countries Canada elected its new Prime Minister and a King for Saudi. The regime type under King Salman has been assertive as seen in the recent events of Yemen and Qatar and the question of human rights have always been thrown at it. The Amnesty International has also expressed its concerns with the recent development between the two countries and requested the international community at large to support Canada’s cause.
The Trump Administration has indirectly implied not supporting Canada and its cause, but the foreign policies of the United States completely drive the country towards supporting it, if speaking from the NATO ally perspective.
*Arijita Sinha Roy is a Research Intern at The Kootneeti