OSLO, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Norway's largest pension fund KLP said on Thursday it would refrain from investing in Saudi Aramco and 11 other companies in the Gulf region, and had sold assets worth $15 million following a review of its holdings.

Six telecom firms and five real estate groups were blocked from its portfolio over "unacceptably high" risk of human rights abuses, while Aramco was excluded due to a "lack of climate mitigation and energy transition plans", KLP said in a statement.

The fund has total assets of $70 billion under management.

KLP said a combination of authoritarian governments and technology such as artificial intelligence led to an "ongoing risk" of systematic surveillance and censorship in the Gulf region's telecommunications industry.

Emirates Telecom, Saudi Telecom, Etihad Etisalat, Ooredoo, Mobile Telecommunications Co Saudi Arabia and Kuwait's Mobile Telecommunications Co were all excluded, it said.

Additionally, real estate reforms had not gone far enough in the building, construction and property sectors as migrant workers from Africa and Asia still face discrimination and human rights violations, KLP added.

As a result, Emaar Properties, Aldar Properties , Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development, Mabanee Co and Barwa Real Estate were excluded, the pension fund said.

"For the companies in the region that remain included, we will assess their progress and developments on an ongoing basis and influence them through active ownership," KLP said. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Varun H K)