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U.N.’s Bachelet urges Saudi to release women activists, uphold rights

GENEVA — U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet urged Saudi Arabia on Thursday to uphold freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly and review convictions of activists, religious leaders and journalists as it prepares to host a G20 summit this year.

Bachelet, in a speech to the U.N. Human Rights Council, called on Riyadh to release several Saudi women activists jailed for demanding “reforms of discriminatory policies.”

“I also call for full transparency in the ongoing judicial proceedings, and comprehensive accountability, regarding the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” she added, referring to the U.S.-based journalist killed by Saudi agents at its Istanbul consulate in October 2018. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, Editing by Michael Shields)