March 19, 2016 / 12:39 AM / a year ago

U.S. concerned by Egypt's investigation of human rights groups

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attends a news conference after meeting over the crisis in the Mideast, at the Quai d'Orsay ministry in Paris, France, March 13, 2016.Gonzalo Fuentes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday he was deeply concerned by the deterioration in the human rights situation in Egypt, including Egypt's decision to reopen an investigation of non-governmental organizations.

In a statement released by the State Department, Kerry said the decision by the Egyptian government this week to investigate the NGOs, which were documenting human rights abuses, comes against a wider backdrop of arrests and intimidation of the political opposition, journalists, activists and others.

"I urge the Government of Egypt to work with civic groups to ease restrictions on association and expression and to take action to allow these and other human rights NGOs to operate freely," Kerry said in the statement.

Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Sandra Maler

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