CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian rights group that treats victims of torture said Wednesday that extrajudicial killings by security forces have surged, with 754 people killed so far this year.
The Nadeem Center said it had documented the cases based on print, online and social media reports. It said there were 326 such killings in all of 2015.
In a statement attached to its report, it called for "justice" for what it described as "crimes" of the state.
Aida Seif el-Dawla, a psychiatrist and one of the center's co-founders, said by telephone that "most of the killings were from shootings or airstrikes" that took place in the troubled Sinai Peninsula, where security forces have been battling a powerful local affiliate of the Islamic State group.
Egyptian officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
Authorities have ordered the Nadeem Center closed over its human rights advocacy but it is still operating as it contests the order in court, with a hearing scheduled for july 10.
Egypt denies accusations by local and human rights groups that torture is widespread in its detention facilities, saying there are only isolated incidents and that perpetrators are disciplined.
President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has overseen a broad crackdown on dissent since 2013, when he led the military overthrow of his Islamist predecessor. Security forces have arrested thousands of Islamists and killed hundreds while dispersing protests. The campaign has also increasingly targeted secular activists who criticize the former general's rule.
Authorities argue that they are acting to bring stability after five years of turmoil following the 2011 pro-democracy uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.