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Egyptian court upholds asset freeze of 3 activists

CAIRO (AP) -- An Egyptian court has upheld an earlier ruling to freeze the assets of three prominent rights activists, the latest chapter in a widening government crackdown against civil society groups.

Wednesday's verdict targeted Mozn Hassan and her group, Nazra for Feminist Studies, as well as Mohammed Zaraa and Atef Hafez, both of the Arab Organization for Criminal Reform.

The freezing of their assets and those of five other rights campaigners in September is part of a wider case against at least 12 rights groups that dates back to 2011, but which was revived in 2015.

The eight face allegations they illegally obtained foreign funds which were subsequently used to destabilize Egypt, where authorities have since 2013 killed hundreds of Islamists and jailed thousands more.