Saudi Arabia rebuked at UN rights forum over jailings and Khashoggi probe
Action by EU, Canada and Australia follows growing international concern about country’s violations of basic freedoms
Geneva — Three dozen countries, including all 28 EU members, called on Saudi Arabia on Thursday to release 10 activists and co-operate with a UN-led investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its Istanbul consulate. It was the first rebuke of the kingdom at the UN Human Rights Council since it was set up in 2006 and came amid growing international concern about Saudi violations of basic freedoms such as freedom of expression. “It is a success for Europe to be united on this,” an envoy of an EU country said. The joint statement, also backed by Canada and Australia but not the US, was read out by Harald Aspelund, Iceland’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva. There was no immediate Saudi reaction. “We are particularly concerned about the use of the counterterrorism law and other national security provisions against individuals peacefully exercising their rights and freedoms,” Aspelund said, reading the text. Activists can and should play “a vital role in the process of ...
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