The Nobel Peace laureate and human rights activist Tawakkol Karman has wondered why Saudi Arabia has not taken any action against the United States, similar to its recent angry response to Canadian criticism of Riyadh’s strict restrictions on freedoms.
In a statement on Facebook, Karman pointed out to the US criticism of Riyadh's arrest of Saudi activist Samar Badawi who is one of the winners of the International Women of Courage Award, given by the U.S. State Department.
“Logic dictates that Saudi Arabia would have the same response against whoever criticizes it for human rights record, so should we wait a restrict measure against Washington similar to that of against Ottawa,” asked Mrs. Karman.
Following a tweet by Canada’s foreign ministry calling for the immediate release of detained human rights activists, Saudi Arabia instigated a full-blown diplomatic crisis.
In a statement on August 5, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced it would expel the Canadian Ambassador and freeze all new trade and investments because of Canada’s “interference in the Kingdom’s domestic affairs.”
A few days later, Saudi Arabia announced the suspension of state airline flights to Canada and the withdrawal from Canadian universities of all Saudi students.