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August 13, 2014

Egypt Blasts Rights Group for Investigating Crackdown on Islamists

Egypt's government said Tuesday that Human Rights Watch broke national laws and violated the country's sovereignty in compiling a report on mass shootings of Islamist demonstrators last summer, writes The New York Times.

The government said the nonprofit advocacy group engaged in a "flagrant intervention in the work of the national investigative and judicial authorities" by collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses in connection with last year's unrest. Its statement intimated Human Rights Watch was acting in concert with the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.

The newly issued report criticizes top Egyptian officials, including President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, for the use of lethal force against demonstrators, more than 1,100 of whom were killed protesting the military takeover that ousted Mohamed Morsi from the presidency. Sarah Leah Whitson, Human Rights Watch's executive director for the region, called Cairo's response to the report "a naked effort to intimidate us.”