Emirati general accused of torture appointed head of Interpol

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An Emirati general accused of torture was elected president of Interpol on Thursday, the global police agency said, despite concerns from human rights organizations and members of the European Parliament.

“Mr. Ahmed Nasser AL RAISI of the United Arab Emirates has been elected to the post of President (term of 4 years),” Interpol said on Twitter.

General Al-Raisi, head of the security forces of the United Arab Emirates, will assume a primarily ceremonial and voluntary role.

It is the secretary general of Interpol, Juergen Stock, who ensures the day-to-day management of the organization. Stock received a second five-year term in 2019.

Complaints for “torture” have been lodged against the Emirati general in recent months in France and Turkey, which is hosting Interpol’s general assembly in Istanbul this week.

The appointment follows generous funding from the United Arab Emirates for the organization based in Lyon, France, and accusations by Abu Dhabi of abusing Interpol’s system of so-called “red notices” for wanted suspects in order to persecute political dissidents.

Three members of the European Parliament wrote a letter dated November 11 to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warning of the impact the general’s appointment would have on Interpol.

“The election of General Al Raisi would undermine Interpol’s mission and reputation and seriously affect the organization’s ability to carry out its mission,” they wrote.

And in October 2020, 19 NGOs, including Human Rights Watch, expressed concern over Raisi’s possible choice, which they described as “part of a security apparatus that continues to systematically target peaceful critics.”

(AFP)

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