UPDATE 1-U.N. human rights boss urges Saudi Arabia to allow free speech, assembly

  • In World
  • 2021-02-26 12:25:30Z
  • By Reuters

(Adds quotes, details)

GENEVA, Feb 26 (Reuters) - United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet, in rare public comments on Saudi Arabia, said on Friday that people were unlawfully held in the kingdom and urged it to uphold freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly.

Bachelet, addressing the U.N. Human Rights Council where Saudi Arabia is among the 47 members, welcomed the release earlier this month of women's rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul, adding: "although I regret that others continued to be unjustly detained".

Hathloul campaigned for women's right to drive and to end Saudi Arabia's guardianship system that requires women to obtain permission of a male relative for certain decisions and travel. She spent nearly three years behind bars in a case that drew international condemnation, and remains forbidden to leave Saudi Arabia for five years.

Bachelet did not refer to the expected release by the Biden administration of a sensitive U.S. intelligence report on the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

She welcomed plans announced by Saudi authorities to adopt new legislation to strengthen what she said were human rights guarantees linked to family law and personal status.

"I urge the authorities to also establish legislative frameworks to uphold the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association for everyone in the Kingdom," Bachelet told the Geneva forum. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay Editing by John Revill and Peter Graff)


More Related News

Mideast's largest mall operator to expand amid vaccine hopes
  • World
  • 2021-04-15 14:41:11Z

The Middle East's largest operator of malls expects revenue and earnings to climb back to pre-pandemic levels by the end of next year and is moving full...

Houthis Attack Saudi Aramco Site in Oil Refinery Town of Jazan
Houthis Attack Saudi Aramco Site in Oil Refinery Town of Jazan

(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia's oil facilities were targeted with drones and missiles for the second time in a week, with Yemen's Houthi rebels claiming an...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: World