Rights group urges panel writing Egypt's constitution to amend articles it says curb freedoms

An international rights group has urged the panel writing Egypt's new constitution to amend articles in the draft charter that it says repress the rights of women and children and limit freedom of religion and expression.

Human Rights Watch delivered a letter with its appeal to the constitutional assembly Monday.

It says the draft upholds some political rights, but doesn't prohibit torture or trafficking in women and children. It says it also threatens equality between women and men. The group says some Islamists are also pushing for a legislative role for a religious body.

HRW's appeal follows an outcry from progressive groups who fear Islamists are dominating the charter's writing process. The draft constitution may be ready next month and put to a public referendum within 30 days.