Thirty-six states at the UN Human Rights Council have criticised Saudi Arabia for detaining women’s rights activists, and demanded their release.

A BBC report said the joint statement was the first collective rebuke of the Gulf kingdom since the council was set up in 2006.

It reflects international concern at the detention of a number of activists in the past year and also at the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

There was no immediate response to the statement from the Saudi government.

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