SANA'A-- Head of the Supreme Committee of Yemen Revolution Mohammad Ali al-Houthi called on Ottawa to open its embassy in the capital of Sana'a, after Saudi Arabia expelled the Canadian ambassador and recalled its envoy after severing business ties with Canada over claims of interference in its internal affairs.
"I call on the Canadian state to open its embassy in the Republic of Yemen in the capital, Sana'a," Houthi wrote on his Twitter account.
The Ansarullah official stated that the Saudi considered the call of the Canadians to release civil society activists as an opportunity to retaliate after being fed up with Canada's oil competition, describing the decision to expel the ambassador of Canada "foolishly".
Saudi Arabia has recently stepped up politically-motivated arrests, prosecution, and conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners.
Al-Houthi stressed that "we have the real legitimacy in the expulsion of Saudi Arabia and its allies under the same justification expelled by the Canadian ambassador", ridiculing the justification by Riyadh that "Saudi Arabia does not interfere in the affairs of others".
If all the principles were not there and still one justification remains, it would enough for the Yemeni people to reject the foreign intervention in its internal affairs of any regime, he added.
Al-Houthi called on Saudi authorities to release all civil society activists, including the 96 detainees held in Saudi prisons.
The Saudi Arabian foreign ministry has recalled its ambassador from Canada and given the Canadian ambassador 24 hours to leave the country, in response to Canada's statement of concern over the arrests of human rights activists in Saudi Arabia. Riyadh is also freezing all new trade and investment deals with Ottawa.
In a statement issued by the Saudi Arabian foreign ministry, Riyadh slams as totally false allegations by the Canadian authorities that recent arrests of several civil society activists were unwarranted, saying the arrests were made by the competent authorities and the detainees were provided with all the rights guaranteed during investigative and trail stages.
The Canadian embassy in Riyadh has stated that it was "gravely concerned" over a spike of arrests of human rights campaigners in the Saudi kingdom including gender rights activist Samar Badawi.
"We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists," the Canadian embassy tweeted.
In response, the Saudi foreign ministry tweeted that "it is very unfortunate that the words 'immediate release' appeared in the Canadian statement... it is unacceptable in relations between countries".
Canada called on Friday on Riyadh to immediately release civil and human rights activists recently arrested by the Saudi Arabian authorities, including Samar Badawi, an internationally recognized human rights defender. Badawi and another high-profile Saudi women's rights activist, Nassima al-Sadah, were arrested in the kingdom last week, sparking an international outcry.
The United Nations human rights office has also called on Saudi Arabia to release all peaceful activists as Riyadh continues its heavy-handed crackdown on dissent.
Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman of the UN rights office, during a press briefing in the Swiss city of Geneva on Tuesday demanded the immediate release of all rights advocates, including women held for campaigning to lift a long-time ban on driving.
After Samar Badawi, sister of jailed blogger Raif Badawi, and Nassima al-Sada detained days ago, Amnesty International stated that the recent arrests in Saudi Arabia is further proof that a crackdown against activists in the country is ongoing and shows no sign of relenting.
Since May, a number of prominent women's rights activists were arrested and still remained in detention centers without charge and incommunicado with no access to their families or lawyers. Most of the detainees are prominent figures, who enjoy considerable respect among the Saudi grassroots, including university professors and a psychotherapist.
Riyadh so far labeled the detainees traitors, infuriating the country's rights activists who fear additional arrests amid much-hyped reports of reforms led by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
Also, hundreds of princes, ministers and former ministers were detained in early November 2017 on the orders of Saudi Arabia's so-called Anti-Corruption Committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. The detained individuals faced allegations of money laundering, bribery, extorting officials, and misappropriation of public funds for personal benefit. A total of $100 billion was exacted from many of the detainees before they could be released.
Reforms have been accompanied by a heavy-handed crackdown on dissent, which has targeted clerics as well as some of the very female activists who campaigned for years to end the driving ban.
Also, Saudi Arabia is one of the top executioners in the world, with more than 2,000 people executed between 1985 and 2016.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK