(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Saudi Arabia has recalled its ambassador to Cairo and closed its diplomatic missions in Egypt following demonstrations outside its embassy over the detention of an Egyptian lawyer in Jeddah.
According to a report by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the Saudi Embassy in Cairo and the consulates in the Egyptian cities of Alexandria and Suez were closed on Saturday.
The measures were taken in response to demonstrations outside the Saudi diplomatic missions in Egypt following the announcement of the arrest of Egyptian lawyer Ahmed Mohammed al-Gizawi at Jeddah International Airport on April 17.
Saudi authorities claimed Gizawi was carrying illegal drugs.
However, the Egyptian organization of Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said Gizawi was arrested after a Saudi court sentenced him in absentia to one year in prison and 20 lashes for criticizing the Saudi regime and for his activism in favor of Egyptian detainees in Saudi prisons.
The demonstrations in Egypt were “unjustified” and Saudi and Egyptian employees of the diplomatic missions have been threatened, a Saudi official said.
“Hostile slogans were shouted out and the immunity of the diplomatic representations was violated, contrary to all international regulations,” said the Saudi official, whose name was not mentioned in the news report.
On April 24, hundreds of Egyptians held a demonstration outside the Saudi Embassy in Cairo to demand the immediate release of Gizawi. Protesters also chanted slogans against the Saudi regime.
Gizawi’s supporters say he had travelled to Saudi Arabia on pilgrimage.