The immunity that the Ministry of Interior and its personnel possess, which protects them from accountability for some “criminal practices”, will only produce mounting discontent and encourage the rise of terrorism, a group of political parties said on Friday.
Al-Dostour Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP), Misr Al-Hurreya (Free Egypt Party), and the Bread and Liberty Party called for replacing Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim in new Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb’s cabinet. In a statement released on Friday, the parties also urged for restructuring the ministry.
“Calling for the Ministry of Interior’s restructure, a demand raised by the 2011 revolution, was never with the intention of revenge [against] the police,” the statement read. The parties said that revolutionary demands also included ensuring judiciary independence and achieving social justice, adding that achieving such demands is the only “salvation” from terrorism and unrest.
The parties said that the proliferating acts of terrorism are a revelation of the security apparatuses’ inability to counter this challenge. The targeting of security directorates and security personnel, they added, leaves a large sector of citizens feeling that the ministry is unable to “handle this rough situation”.
Security forces and facilities have been increasingly targeted since the July 2013 overthrow of former president Mohamed Morsi. Last week, two policemen were killed and a colonel in the armed forces was injured in Zagazig alone.
The signatories of the statement also mentioned the Taba bombing. The explosion, which occurred two weeks ago in Taba, on the border with Israel, killed three South Korean tourists and the Egyptian driver of the bus.
Political parties also addressed torture accounts reported by detainees arrested in the backdrop of the third anniversary of the 2011 revolution anniversary as well as criminal detainees. Over 1,000 protesters were arrested during demonstrations marking the third anniversary of the revolution. Their detention conditions have been condemned by several human rights organisations, such as Amnesty International, the Nation without Torture Campaign and the Freedom for the Brave Campaign. A group of 16 domestic human rights organisations accused police forces of torturing and sexually assaulting detainees.
“The Ministry of Interior’s ongoing violations against citizens’ rights eats up the sympathy and support people have for it by the day,” the statement read. “The nation is now in need of a new Ministry of Interior, one capable of achieving security, gaining the peoples’ trust, protecting its personnel and meeting its obligations.”
The signatory parties concluded their statement by urging for the restructuring of the Ministry of Interior, describing it as “a definitive step toward combating terrorism and the first step toward stability and development”.
New Prime Minister Mehleb, who was tasked with forming a new cabinet by interim President Adly Mansour, announced on Wednesday that Ibrahim maintained his post despite the cabinet reshuffle. Ibrahim announced following his reappointment that in a short talk, he and Mehleb agreed that there will be a “change in security plans” and full government support in order to “develop performance”.
Mehleb, the former Minister of Housing, was appointed as prime minister on Tuesday after his predecessor Hazem El-Beblawi announced the cabinet’s resignation in an abrupt decision on Monday.