Established in 2003
The National Council for Human Rights was established by former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, with the stated purpose of publishing annual reports on the conditions of human rights in Egypt.
Purportedly formed as an independent council, speculation has persisted over the NCHR’s government affiliations, especially as the Shura Councilis responsible for appointing its members. The U.S. State Department considers the NCHR to be a subsidiary of the Shura Council.
Many reports issued by the NCHR have drawn heavy criticism, including reports from their fact-finding commissions on killings during the January 25 Revolution, and most recently itsreport on the forceful dispersal of the Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda Square sit-ins, released in March 2014.
While the report on the events of the revolution largely held Hosni Mubarak responsible for the majority of the deaths that occurred, it did so politically, rather than criminally, along with formerMinister of Interior Habib al-Adly and other National Democratic Party members.
Further, during Mohamed Morsi’s regime the Shura Council appointed 27 new members to the NCHR, including revolutionary figures and figures affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, but many of them resigned following his ouster.
The NCHR was reformed again during Adly Mansour’s interim presidency, following a decision by former Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawy, appointing Mohamed Fayek as head, with deputy head Abdel GhaffarShokr, along with 25 other members. This decision came after the dispersal of Rabaa and Nahda squares sit-ins.
Criticism on the Rabaa report have hence focused on its credibility, as we as questioning the number of deaths that were reported, and the report’s omission of the role of the Armed Forces in the dispersal.