Egypt says it supports Saudi Arabia in rights row with Canada

Saudi Arabia expelling Canadian ambassador and suspending new trade with Canada

Saudi Arabia expelling Canadian ambassador and suspending new trade with Canada Regina 980 CJME Canadian Press

Among those reportedly still being held, in addition to Badawai, are Hatoon al-Fassi, a leading voice for women's participation in civil life; human rights defender Khaled al-Omair; women's rights activists Loujain al-Hathloul, Eman al-Nafjan, Aziza al-Yousef, Nouf Abdulaziz and Mayaa al-Zahrani; Ms Hathloul's 80-year-old lawyer, Ibrahim al-Modaimeegh; and the activist Abdulaziz Meshaal.

"The students have been asked by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia to continue their studies if they are now registered in the spring and summer session, but to deregister or cancel their registration for the fall of 2018 and to leave Canada within four weeks of the departure of the Canadian ambassador to Riyadh", said Livia Castellanos, the university's associate vice-president (international).

Among the arrested activists is Samar Badawi, whose writer brother Raif Badawi was arrested in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for insulting Islam while blogging.

She noted 26 Saudi nationals attended the university in the last academic year, and some may not have registered yet.

Haidar and her children became Canadian citizens on Canada Day.

The displaced Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who was given 24 hours to leave the country, has a lengthy diplomatic career. In tandem, the Saudi ambassador to Canada would also be recalled as well in light of the spat.

In response, the Saudi government has expelled Canada's ambassador from the country and frozen all new trade with Canada. Furthermore, all flights to and from Toronto would be suspended starting August 13, according to state airline, Saudia Airlines.

However, despite the potential impact of his government's foreign policy on local schools and students studying in Okanagan, Fuhr said he stands behind Canada's foreign affairs minister.

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"It would be a shame for those students if they are deprived of the opportunity to study here", Freeland told reporters.

"There is a moment when politically we must make choices", said Ferry de Kerckhove, a professor at the University of Ottawa.

"Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this hard time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi", Freeland tweeted.

"We are gathering that information right now to determine how many are sponsored under this particular program", said Darling.

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir - infuriated by Canada's demand last week that jailed rights activists be released immediately - said earlier on Wednesday that there was no room for mediation, adding that Ottawa knew what it needed to do to "fix its big mistake".

Canada's insistence on environmental protections in new trade deals has also made negotiations harder with the United States and Mexico, for example, and with China.

Saudi Arabia's media ministry is investigating the incident, which came as tensions between the two countries escalated.

The United States also urged Riyadh to "respect due process" and disclose information about their legal status.

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