In a lecture to National Security officers:
Bahey eldin Hassan warns of the dangers of reviving the policies and practices of Mubarak and al-Adli and the application of the emergency law
Bahey eldin Hassan, the director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), said that that the “fullapplication” of the emergency law and an expansion of its scope would affect many spheres that remained untouched by the law even in the Mubarak era. In its essence, it is the application of policies pursued by theformer president and his interior minister, Habib al-Adli, which were based on brutality and oppression. According to Hassan, among those who will pay the price of these policies will be primarily the security establishment, which has thus far still proved unable to earn the people’s trust.
Hassan made these observations in a lecture given yesterday morning at the behest of the National SecurityAgency, at its main headquarters. In attendance were 15 senior officials (generals) with the agency from various governorates and departments. The four-hour lecture involved an engaging, productive discussion, during whichHassan suggested that National Security invite politicians, academics, and writers to lecture or hold discussions with National Security officials.
Hassan said that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) had adopted a flawed roadmap from thebeginning, which now, seven months after the revolution, had led to an exacerbation of the country’s economic, social, and political problems. Instead of using political means, the SCAF chose military trials for civilians, torture by the military police, repressive legislation, smear campaigns against political groups and human rights organizations, incitement against independent media, and the criminalization of strikes and sit-ins. All of this threatens to draw the country into confrontation, especially given the absence of any serious institutional channels for debate with political or civil society.
Hassan noted that a cursory review of the press prior to January 25 would reveal the enormity of the complaints with regards to limiting the criminal security apparatus to political security. The failures of the security apparatus are not new, he said, but were clearly seen in several notorious criminal and terrorist cases before January 25.Hassan said that the continuation of thuggery is due to the too modest reforms that the security apparatus has undergone in addition to the failure of the police to win popular trust as a result of the populace’s doubts aboutthe seriousness of such reform. Instead of embarking on a comprehensive plan for security reform, the SCAF has simply tightened the iron fist under cover of the emergency law.
Hassan urged the Interior Ministry to reconsider its security reform plan and to adopt a comprehensive plan that incorporates proposals from human rights organizations and police officers, both retired and still in service. This includes suggestions made by officers with the now defunct State Security Investigations. Hassan said that anysecurity reform that does not involve a radical restructuring of wages for policemen will not move forward.
He further reiterated points made in a CIHRS brief on security reform, submitted several months ago to theprime minister and interior minister, noting that the Interior Ministry must undertake a comprehensive internal assessment of policies and practices pursued by the security apparatus prior to January 25, determine politicaland personal responsibility for errors, and offer an explicit apology to the people based on this reassessment, which should also honor the policemen who were killed in the line of duty.
This post is also available in: Arabic