Rights activist declines deputy Interior Ministry post

A prominent human rights activist on Monday declined the post of deputy interior minister for human rights, claiming that creating the post was an attempt to cover up “ugly” realities.

Bahey al-Din Hassan, director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, said in an announcement that he prefers to defend human rights from his position in civil society.

Hassan said that while creating the post sounds like a lofty idea, the political context in which it has been created does not augur well.

He added that whoever assumes the post may end up merely contributing “cosmetic changes to a reality that continues to be ugly and must be changed, one that is not possible for the deputy – and possibly even the interior minister himself – to change.”

Hassan said that the chronic problem of human rights violations by police and security forces requires more than simply creating a new post in the Ministry of Interior.

“The cabinet reshuffle failed to satisfy even the people's most basic demands, revealing a lack of will on behalf of the government for any real change.”

Nevertheless, he pledged to provide guidance to the interior ministry – including his human rights deputy, if one is appointed.

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