Interpol elects United Arab Emirates officials as president

INTERPOL elected a controversial official from the United Arab Emirates as its new chairman at the annual meeting of international law enforcement agencies in Istanbul

ISTANBUL-On Thursday, Interpol elected a controversial official from the United Arab Emirates as its new chairman at the annual meeting of international law enforcement agencies in Istanbul.

The global police agency announced on Twitter that Major General Ahmed Nasser Lacey, Inspector General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, was elected for a four-year term. Human rights organizations accused him of participating in torture and arbitrary detention in the UAE.

The presidential election has been closely watched since Meng Hongwei, the first Chinese president in history, disappeared halfway through his four-year term when he returned to China in 2018. Then there was news that he was detained and charged with bribery and other suspected crimes.

International law enforcement agencies also stated that Valdesi Urquiza of Brazil was elected Vice President of the Americas, while Garba Baba Omar of Nigeria was elected Vice President of Africa.

Al-Raisi was accused of torture and criminal charges were brought against him in five countries, including France, where the Interpol headquarters are located, and Turkey, where the elections were held.

Al-Raisi conducted a clever campaign for the presidency, traveled the world to meet with legislators and government officials, and has degrees from the United Kingdom and the United States and many years of police experience.

In an opinion piece in a newspaper run by the Abu Dhabi government, al-Raisi stated that he hopes to “modern and transform” Interpol, using “the UAE’s role as a technology-driven policing leader and a bridge builder for the international community.”

Al-Raisi succeeded Vice President Kim Jong Un from South Korea, who was quickly elected as his successor to complete the remaining term of Meng. Kim Jong Un’s presidency was originally scheduled to end in 2020, but after the coronavirus pandemic prompted Interpol to cancel its annual conference last year, his term was extended by one year.

Although the Secretary-General of Interpol manages Interpol on a daily basis, the chairman plays a role in overseeing the work of the police agency and guiding its overall direction. The Chairman presides over the General Assembly of Interpol and the meetings of its Executive Committee.

The post of Secretary-General is currently held by Juergen Stock of Germany.

About 470 police chiefs, ministers and other representatives from more than 160 countries participated in the three-day meeting. Each participating country has one vote.

On Tuesday, delegates voted to accept the Federated States of Micronesia, and the number of INTERPOL members increased to 195.

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