June 9, 2015 / 9:20 AM / in 3 years

Egypt says Human Rights Watch report politicized, biased

CAIRO (Reuters) - The Egyptian government on Tuesday dismissed a report that accused it of widespread human rights violations as politicized and lacking in objectivity and accuracy.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Monday, which marked one year of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s presidency, that his tenure had seen increased abuses and an escalation in violence by armed groups and the government. It charged Western governments with overlooking abuses.

“The report is politicized and lacks the basic tenants of accuracy and objectivity,” Egypt’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

It quoted the ministry spokesman as saying Human Rights Watch had no credibility with Egyptian public opinion and accusing it of spreading lies.

HRW had targeted Egypt since June 30, 2013 -- when the army overthrew the elected President Mohamed Mursi -- and was carrying out a “systematic campaign” against Egypt, he said.

Sisi was himself elected president last year after leading Mursi’s overthrow following mass protests against his rule.

Egyptian authorities have jailed thousands of suspected members of the Brotherhood and the courts have sentenced hundreds to death since then. Security forces have also killed hundreds of Brotherhood supporters.

Militants have also escalated attacks against soldiers and police, killing hundreds. The most active group, Sinai Province, pledged allegiance to Islamic State and wants to topple the Cairo government.

Egypt says the now-banned Brotherhood is a threat to national security. It makes no distinction between the militants and the Brotherhood, which denies ties to violence.

Secular activists have also been jailed for violating a law curbing demonstrations. Authorities deny allegations of abuse.

Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Yara Bayoumy and Angus MacSwan

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