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The row erupted after Canada came out in support of human and women's rights and called on Saudi Arabia to release human rights activists arrested by Riyadh.

Here's how we got there: While we've been digesting the news that Saudi Arabia has been using USA aid in Yemen and making alliances with Osama Bin Laden's weak-but-intact terror franchisees, the Saudis got into a fight with our neighbors to the north over women's rights - specifically, whether to have any.

Saudi Arabia says its responding to a tweet from Ottawa's Global Affairs ministry calling for the "immediate release" of jailed human rights activists in the country, comments Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has defended. Saudi Arabia long has been sensitive to global pressure over the Raif Badawi sentence.

Freeland added that The Embassy of Canada to Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh will continue its regular operations, including consular services.

The arrests last week brought criticism from the Canadian government.

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That's when they fired dozens of flash-bang grenades other crowd-control munitions into people. The two sides have clashed before in Portland , known for its strongly liberal politics.

Samar's brother, blogger Raif Badawi, was arrested in 2012 and sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for "insulting Islam" in a case that sparked an worldwide outcry.

In response, Saudi Arabia - which has received $89 billion in arms from the United States in the past decade - expelled the Canadian ambassador and vowed to shut down all trade with the largest English-speaking country on earth.

Prince Mohammed, heir to the region's most powerful throne, has introduced a string of reforms such as lifting a decades-long ban on women drivers in a bid to overhaul the kingdom's austere image. "Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia, including Samar Badawi", the tweet read.

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

'There isn't a strong bilateral trade relationship and poking the Trudeau government likely resonates with Saudi's hawkish regional allies.


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