Rights group, Europe concerned over wave of arrests in Egypt

Human Rights Watch and the European Union have voiced concerns over Egypt's latest arrests of prominent activists and have called for their release.

Thursday's statement by the New York-based watchdog says the arrests show that "the state of oppression in Egypt has sunk so low" under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

Earlier, the EU said the increasing arrests are a "worrying development."

Egypt rejected the EU statement, saying it's "a mistaken reading of the situation in Egypt."

Authorities have arrested several critics, including a well-known blogger and a socialist activist, after el-Sissi's re-election in a March vote in which he faced no serious challengers.

The arrests are part of a wider crackdown on dissent since the 2013 military ouster of an elected Islamist president following mass protests against his one-year divisive rule.