EU backs text rebuking Saudi Arabia at UN rights forum

The text calls on Saudi authorities to release detained activists and cooperate with a UN-led probe into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

By REUTERS
March 7, 2019 13:53
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks during the meeting of Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition defence ministers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia November 26, 2017.. (photo credit: BANDAR ALGALOUD/COURTESY OF SAUDI ROYAL COURT/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

 
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GENEVA - At least 36 countries including all 28 EU members have signed a statement criticizing Saudi Arabia's human rights record at the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday, diplomats said.

The statement will be the first rebuke of the kingdom since the UN forum was set up in 2006. The text, to be read out by Harald Aspelund, Iceland's Ambassador to the Geneva talks, calls on Saudi authorities to release detained activists and cooperate with a UN-led probe into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"It is a success for Europe to be united on this," an envoy of an EU country told Reuters.

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