U.N. rights office seeks 'early release' of convicted Saudi women's activist

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FILE PHOTO: A general view of the United Nations complex, the Vienna International Centre, in Vienna

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations human rights office called on Monday for the "early release" of Saudi women's activist Loujain al-Hathloul, hours after she was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison in a trial that has drawn international condemnation.

"Conviction and 5 yrs 8 month sentence handed down to prominent women’s rights campaigner #LoujainAl-Hathloul, already arbitrarily detained for 2 ½ years, is also deeply troubling. We understand early release is possible, & strongly encourage it as matter of urgency," the office wrote on Twitter.

Hathloul, 31, has been held since 2018 following her arrest along with at least a dozen other women's rights activists. [L1N2J80DZ]

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Hugh Lawson)