Human Rights Watch has urged the Egyptian government to reverse its decision closing down one of the country's leading human rights groups.

The New York-based organization said Tuesday the government's decree dissolving the Association for Human Rights Legal Aid is an "affront to freedom of association."

The Egyptian group reports on human rights violations and provides aid to victims.

The government ordered its closure for the alleged violation of a law that bans non-governmental organizations from receiving foreign funding without government approval.

The Egyptian group said it requested permission to use the money it received from foreign donors in 2003 and 2004.  But activists said the government intentionally delayed answering.

The group has appealed the decree before the Administrative Court.  A hearing is scheduled for October 21.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.