CAIRO - Two Egyptian journalists at a newspaper critical of President Mohamed Morsi were ordered on Sunday to face an expedited criminal trial for defamation.

Several journalists, talk show hosts and comedians have been charged with defamation over the last few months and activists accuse the government of using the courts to target its liberal and secular opponents.

Public Prosecutor Talaat Ibrahim - appointed by Morsi last November - ordered the trial for Magdy El Gilad, editor in chief of El-Watan newspaper, and Alaa El-Ghatrify, its managing editor, state newspaper Al-Ahram reported.

El-Watan is fiercely critical of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement that dominates the post-Hosni Mubarak Egypt.

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