Chancellor Hossam El-Gheriany submitted his resignation on Thursday from his post as head of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR).
El-Gheriany told council deputy-head Mohamed Al-Damaty in his resignation letter that the “hole has become too wide to be mended and the talk of human rights in Egypt is now a futile matter I would rather distance myself from,” reported state-run Al-Ahram.
Al-Damaty refused to give press statements regarding El-Gheriany’s resignation.
Mohamed Al-Azab, NCHR member and member of the Salafi Al-Nour Party, said Al-Gheriany had repeatedly shared with council members his intention to resign from the council a long time ago. Al-Azab added that it was always the council members who talked him out of the resignation.
“He wanted to make his presiding over the constituent assembly which drafted the 2012 constitution his last legal act,” Al-Azab said.
Al-Azab stated that the status of human rights after the January 25th revolution is by no means sufficient. He specifically criticised the actions of the police apparatus, especially regarding the 30 June protests.
“The police held a grudge against the former regime of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Al-Azab said. “They did not truly side with the people … they were gloating. Their position is very different from that of the army.”
Workers at the NCHR’s general secretariat disclaimed the current council members in a statement they released on Thursday, Al-Ahram reported. The workers stated that the members have violated human rights, calling for the formation of a care-taker committee to take over the council until the appointment of a “national council which adheres to the Paris Principles on human rights”.
Abdel Moneim Abdul Maqsoud, council member and Muslim Brotherhood lawyer, expressed little concern regarding the statement released.
“A coup is bound to take place in all state-institutions as it has already taken place in regards to the state’s leadership,” Abdul Maqsoud said, in reference to the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi. He expressed his personal intention to submit his resignation, adding that such a decision will be finalised after all council members meet and agree on a joint stance.
Al-Azab said his resignation from the council is likely.
“The roadmap announced by the armed forces on Wednesday failed to mention the Shura Council or its fate,” Al-Azab said. He added that according to the law, the NCHR functions in close connection to the Shura Council.
Al-Azab stated he agreed with the workers’ statement, adding that a reshuffle among some members of the council is in order. He said he had intended to issue a memorandum calling for the removal of some council members from their posts, seeing them as “ill-fitting” before the 30 June protests.
“I was planning to call for removing Safwat Abdel Ghany due to statements he made inciting violence,” Al-Azab said. In a demonstration held at Rabaa Al-Adaweya two weeks ago in support of Morsi, Abdel Ghany had vowed to “spray with blood those who spray Morsi with water”.
Seven NCHR members resigned starting late November 2012 following a constitutional declaration Morsi issued which granted him sweeping powers and illegally replaced the prosecutor general. Resigning members criticised the NCHR’s lax stance towards the constitutional declaration, reflected in a statement released on behalf of the council.