The largest reshuffle of the Ministry of Interior in years was made on Monday, the state news agency MENA reported.
Major Marwan Mustapha,ex-media relations assistant, was given the position of assistant to the minister for legal affairs. Major General Khalid Ghoraba, ex-assistant minister for security in Alexandria, will now be the assistant secretary for the social security sector.
Major General Osama Ismail was appointed the general director for Management and Administration and assistant to the minister of the Media Sector and Public Relations. General Saleh El-Masary was promoted to the position of assistant secretary to the Sinai region.
Haggag Nael, the Arab Program for Human Rights Activists (APHRA) director said, “the same officers and generals that committed torture before the revolution are still controlling the ministry, with the same policies and behaviour.” Speaking from a recent personal experience, in which he says he was abused by the police trying to defend a client at a police station, Nael did not think President Mohamed Morsy had the best interests of the nation at heart. “There is no change and no real political will for reform. I have warned Morsy and Ahmed Gamal El-Din if they do not change the way the ministry works the people will rise up again.”
Karim Ennarah researcher in the general justice unit at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) dismissed the reshuffling as a cosmetic change. “The reshuffling is irrelevant as far as reforms go,” he said, adding that the ministry reshuffle has not been done with any intention of reform. Ennarah pointed to Ghoraba’s promotion as an example. “The fact that he has been allowed to keep his position and receive a promotion is a reminder that the ministry is run as an independent organisation without the faintest shadows of reform.”
Currently, Ennarah said, “the Ministry of Interior and the security apparatus have stalled security reforms since the beginning of the revolution.” He says the ministry still operates in an environment of impunity and it will be a long struggle to reform the ministry.
“There is a lot of anger regarding the police,” Ennarah explained. “Specifically the deteriorating human rights’ record and increasing cases of police violence, and that has generated a lot of pressure from political groups.”
“For other people they are concerned about security and do not see any improvement in the competency of the police and the ministry,” Ennarah said. He believes there are people within the president’s circles that are genuinely interested in reform “but it is not the priority in their agenda. They are simply afraid of losing control if they shake things up too much within the ministry because the situation is so fluid.”
There were further appointments made, which included the appointment of Major General Abubakar Abdul Karim to the position of assistant minister for Social Networking. Major General Hussein Fikry Osman was appointed secretary for the human rights sector and General Mohammed Attar to assistant secretary for the administrative affairs sector. Major General Mohammed Ibrahim was promoted to assistant minister of the prison sector.