A dispute between Canada and Saudi Arabia that started with a tweet has escalated to an all-out slanging match that has all but severed relations between the two countries entirely.
Saudi Arabia has cancelled flights to Canada, recalled students studying there, cut investment and issued lurid threats.
Meanwhile Canada has pledged to hold its ground, leaving the temperature nowhere to go but up.
Scroll down for a full timeline explaining how the dispute has snowballed into a full-blown crisis.
August 1: Human rights organization Amnesty International announced that the Saudi government had arrested several female activists. Lynn Maalouf, its Middle East research director, said it was a “draconian crackdown.”
Maalouf said in the statement that both women had been “repeatedly targeted, harassed, and placed under travel bans for their human rights activism.”
One of these women was Saudi activist Samar Badawi, the sister of Raif Badawi, who has been detained since 2012 for “insulting Islam.” Raif Bawadi’s wife and children were made Canadian citizens this year.
Badawi received an International Women of Courage Award in 2012 from Michelle Obama and Hilary Clinton.
August 2: Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s foreign minister, tweeted that she was “very alarmed” to learn of the arrest and that Canada “stands together with the Badawi family.”
Very alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi’s sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia. Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this difficult time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi.
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Source:: Business Insider – Politics