All 28 EU countries have signed a joint statement on Saudi Arabia to be read out at the UN Human Rights council. This is the first rebuke of the kingdom since a UN Forum was set up in 2006

In this December 9, 2018 file photo, released by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, left, speaks to his father, King Salman, at a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
In this December 9, 2018 file photo, released by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, left, speaks to his father, King Salman, at a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP)

At least 36 countries including all 28 EU members have signed a statement criticising Saudi Arabia's human rights record at the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday, diplomats said.

The statement will be the first rebuke of the kingdom since the UN forum was set up in 2006. 

The text, to be read out by Harald Aspelund, Iceland's ambassador to the Geneva talks, calls on Saudi authorities to release detained activists and cooperate with a UN-led probe into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"It is a success for Europe to be united on this," an envoy of an EU country told Reuters.

This is a developing story and will be updated.