CAIRO (AP) — Human Rights Watch has accused the Egyptian military of beating and torturing protesters arrested during demonstrations early this month.

The New York-based group says in a statement Saturday that by permitting such behavior from its soldiers, the military “enables further abuse.”

Joe Stork, the group’s deputy director for the Middle East, says that “the brutal beating of both men and women protesters shows that military officers have no sense of limits on what they can do.”

HRW also criticized soldiers who did nothing as apparent supporters of Egypt’s military rulers opened fire May 2 on protesters holding a sit-in outside the Defense Ministry, killing nine people.

Days later, the military detained some 350 protesters. HRW says at least 256 of them remain in detention.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.