Cairo: Egypt has blasted the UN chief for calling for a fair trial for two prominent rights activists accused of illegally receiving foreign funds for their NGOs.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid says in a statement Wednesday that comments by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon are an attempt to intimidate Egypt's judiciary and meddle in its affairs.
File image of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. AP
A spokesman for Ban said in a statement Tuesday that he was "following closely" the government's legal case against NGOs over the foreign funds issue and that the two activists — Gamal Eid and Hossam Bahgat — should "benefit from all due process and fair trial standards."
President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's government has placed restrictions on civil rights groups at a time when criticism is growing of the country's human rights record, particularly police abuse.