36 Western states air concerns over rights in Saudi Arabia

GENEVA (AP) — Three dozen Western countries have delivered unusually strong criticism of Saudi Arabia at the U.N.’s top human rights body, urging the Gulf nation to disclose “all information available” on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Ambassador Harald Aspelund of Iceland told the Human Rights Council on Thursday the countries were concerned about “continuing arrests and arbitrary detentions of human rights defenders” in Saudi Arabia, including women’s rights activists.

He was delivering a statement on behalf of the signatory countries, including all European Union member states.

Regarding the Khashoggi killing, the countries urged a “prompt, effective and thorough, independent and impartial, and transparent” investigation.

Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October. He had written articles critical of the kingdom.

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