Bahey eldin Hassan declines post of Deputy Interior Minister for Human Rights

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After some media outlets reported yesterday evening that Bahey eldin Hassan, the director of the Cairo Institutefor Human Rights, had been nominated for the post of Deputy Interior Minister for Human Rights, Hassanclarified that he declined the offer, preferring to play his role in the defense of human rights from his position within civil society. He promises to continue to offer advice, proposals, and recommendations to the InteriorMinister—and to his deputy, if another individual is appointed to the post—hoping to contribute thereby to the far-reaching reform of the security apparatus and to strengthening the political will to convert this reform into effective plans and policies.

In discussing the reasons for his rejection of the post, Hassan stated that although the creation of the post ofDeputy Interior Minister for Human Rights appears to be an astonishing idea, he is not optimistic that the political context in which the post was created will allow it to have a real impact on the situation inside the Ministry ofInterior. On the contrary, it may only serve to cover up a still ugly reality that must be changed, something adeputy minister, and perhaps even the Interior Minister himself, is incapable of doing. This makes the post even less effective than an advisory position. Moreover, the post may be used as an appealing front to market current policies to the national public and to donor nations in Europe and the United States, particularly since the reformation of the Cabinet did not meet the aspirations of many. This indicates a lack of political will to institute real change and to make a clean break with past policies.

Hassan added that the chronic human rights problem of the police and security establishment is too complex to be solved by the creation of a human rights deputy post in the Interior Ministry. Rather, the problem is closely linked to the realization of the need for radical, far-reaching reform in the Interior Ministry and other institutions. This issue was the subject of a memo previously submitted by CIHRS to the Prime Minister and Interior Minister.

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