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Egyptian best-selling author says security pressed venue to ban gathering

FILE - In this June 26, 2006 file photo, Alaa al-Aswany, the author of the "The Yacoubian Building," speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Cairo, Egypt. Al-Aswany said Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015, that Egyptian authorities have pressured a cultural center to cancel an event where he was scheduled to talk about how the government manipulates the public with theories that the world is conspiring against Egypt. He told The AP that “freedom of expression is at its lowest point, worse than in the days of Hosni Mubarak.” (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)

FILE - In this June 26, 2006 file photo, Alaa al-Aswany, the author of the "The Yacoubian Building," speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Cairo, Egypt. Al-Aswany said Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015, that Egyptian authorities have pressured a cultural center to cancel an event where he was scheduled to talk about how the government manipulates the public with theories that the world is conspiring against Egypt. He told The AP that “freedom of expression is at its lowest point, worse than in the days of Hosni Mubarak.” (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)  (The Associated Press)

Egypt's best-selling author Alaa al-Aswany says authorities have pressured a cultural center to cancel an event where he was scheduled to talk about government manipulation of the public.

Al-Aswany says Sunday the cancellation of his gathering last Thursday in Alexandria follows other measures in the past year, which have prevented him from appearing on TV channels or getting published in Egyptian newspapers.

He says freedom of expression is "at its lowest point, worse than in the days of Hosni Mubarak," the longtime leader overthrown in a popular uprising in 2011.

The Interior Ministry and the cultural center could not immediately be reached for comment.