London-based Amnesty International has condemned Egypt's crackdown on human rights advocates, saying authorities should halt their "persecution" of them and drop attempts to prosecute them and seize their assets.

Said Boumedouha, deputy director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Program, said Wednesday that "Egypt's civil society is being treated like an enemy of the state, rather than a partner for reform and progress."

Egyptian authorities have summoned several activists for questioning, banned them from travel and attempted to freeze their personal and family assets.

Amnesty and other groups say the moves are part of a five-year-old investigation into the funding and registration of independent human rights groups, and could soon result in criminal charges.