Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government is expressing "shock and dismay" at the death sentence passed this week on a young Canadian man in Saudi Arabia. And Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier's officials are working to "gain relief from the death sentence."
Certainly, the Saudis should spare Mohamed Kohail, 23, who was ordered beheaded for his part in a chaotic schoolyard brawl last year in which another man died. The Saudis must understand how repelled Canadians are at this order and at reports that Kohail received less than a fair trial. Ottawa should also help his family press for a retrial. Canada/Saudi relations are being sorely tested by this case.