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The New Arab

Egypt blocks Human Rights Watch website after torture report

Egypt has jailed thousands of people and curbed basic freedoms since 2013's military overthrow [AFP]

Date of publication: 8 September, 2017

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Egypt blocks the website of Human Rights Watch just one day after the rights watchdog released a report on systematic torture in the country’s jails.
Egypt has blocked the website of Human Rights Watch just one day after the rights watchdog released a report on alleged torture in the country's prisons, HRW confirmed on Friday.

Users of at least two of Egypt's internet service providers (ISPs) reported that they were unable to access the HRW website, although it could still be viewed through another ISP.

HRW said its website was blocked on Thursday, a day after it released its report on torture.

"Egyptian authorities keep insisting that any incidents of torture are isolated crimes by bad officers acting alone, but the Human Rights Watch report proves otherwise," deputy Middle East director Joe Stork said in a statement.

"Rather than address the routine abuses in Egypt, the authorities have blocked access to a report that documents what many Egyptians and others living there already know."

Egypt's foreign ministry had said the HRW report was based on "flimsy allegations" and accused the New York-based rights watchdog of defamation.

The move comes amid a growing crackdown on dissent that has seen the government shut down online access to hundreds of sites.

Authorities have blocked at least 429 websites including some belonging to leading media organisations and civil society groups since May, the Egyptian group Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression reported.

Egypt has jailed thousands of people and curbed basic freedoms since the military overthrow of an elected Islamist president in 2013.

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