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Human Rights Watch: Climate of free expression in Egypt worsens

By Aya Batrawy

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Feb. 11 2012 11:51 p.m. MST

Egyptians hold a giant flag during a demonstration at Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, April 1, 2011.

Amr Nabil, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

CAIRO — Human Rights Watch says that the climate for free expression in Egypt has worsened since Hosni Mubarak was ousted a year ago.

The statement on Saturday comes on the anniversary of Mubarak's resignation after an 18-day uprising.

The New York-based rights group cited military trials of protesters and bloggers and the use of deadly force to break up demonstrations.

It also noted the interrogations of activists for criticizing the military, the suspension of new satellite television licenses, and the closure of an outlet of Al Jazeera television.

Deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch Joe Stork said Egypt's ruling military council "seems to be unjustly prosecuting journalists to obscure repeated brutality against the media by security forces."

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