The US and other countries have told Egypt to respect its citizens’ freedom of expression after the arrests of journalists, reports Reuters news agency.
A group of countries expressed their concern at the UN Human Rights Council’s review of the country in Geneva, Switzerland, Reuters adds.
They also urged Egypt to investigate alleged killings and torture by its security forces.
Egypt said it was trying to balance fighting terrorism with respecting rights, according to Reuters news agency.
It said it respects the rights of it’s citizens and torture is prohibited but admitted there might be “isolated cases”, the news agency reports.
“During the past five years, many criminal and disciplinary actions were taken for incidents related to torture, many trials were organised against perpetrators of torture and ill-treatment,” the head of Egypt’s delegation said, according to Reuters.
At least 60,000 people – most of them members of now-outlawed Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood – are reported to have been detained in the past six years; hundreds have been handed preliminary death sentences by courts, and activist say hundreds more have gone missing in apparent forced disappearances.
The council is reviewing Egypt’s record as part of a regular examination of all U.N. member states.