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Riyadh also suspended new trade and investment with Canada.

The Canadian embassy in Riyadh had said it was "gravely concerned" about a new wave of detentions of human-rights campaigners in the kingdom, including Samar Badawi, an award-winning gender rights activist.

The Saudi ambassador to Canada has been recalled to the peninsula for "consultation".

The ministry considers the Canadian statements as a blatant interference in the Kingdom's internal affairs that violates simple worldwide norms that governs relations between countries.

"We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful human rights activists", the Canadian tweet said.

"It's pathetic that rather than respect the basic rights of its citizens and end its wide scale persecution of independent voices, it's punishing even friendly states who give it helpful advice", Whitson told DW.

Amnesty International said the arrest of Samar Badawi and another prominent female activist, Nassima al-Sada, was part of a larger crackdown on human rights in Saudi Arabia.

Samar is a vocal campaigner for blogger Raif Badawi, her brother who 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.

"The Kingdom views the Canadian position as an affront to the Kingdom that requires a sharp response to prevent any party from attempting to meddle with Saudi sovereignty", the statement said.

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Saudi Arabia took this firm stance following Canada's statement about "civil society activists" that was negative and baseless.

Badawi's wife Ensaf Haidar has been granted asylum by Canada, where she is raising their three children now aged 14, 13 and 10 as a single mother.

In 2014, the Canadian unit of US weapons maker General Dynamics Corp won a contract worth up to $13 billion to build light-armored vehicles for Saudi Arabia, in what Ottawa said at the time was the largest advanced manufacturing export win in Canadian history.

"Any further step from the Canadian side in that direction will be considered as acknowledgment of our right to interfere in the Canadian domestic affairs", said the statement.

The move follows vigorous calls by Canada for the immediate release of activists that have been detained.

The Trudeau government has taken a lot of criticism for issuing export permits for a deal to sell billions of dollars of weaponized armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia, a country that ranks among the "worst of the worst" on human rights by USA watchdog Freedom House.

It isn't immediately clear what new business could be affected between the two countries.

The arrests were in line with Saudi laws, and those detained have been provided with due process during investigation and trial, according to the foreign ministry statement.


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