The UAE general Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi was elected as President of Interpol. Although he was accused of “torture”, human rights organizations feared his involvement in targeting “peace critics.”
Interpol announced the appointment on its Twitter account on Thursday morning, and Al-Raisi will assume the main ceremonial role during the four-year term.
He was elected to the post on the background that human rights organizations and members of the European Parliament (MEP) criticized his alleged previous actions and the impact that his appointment may have on Interpol.
In recent months, France and Turkey have filed complaints against Al-Raisi “Inhumane and torture.” Two British men filed a lawsuit accusing him of participating in the arrest and suspected of physical abuse.
Given that INTERPOL’s headquarters is in Lyon, France, their lawyers suggested that the lawsuit might prevent him from performing his duties as INTERPOL’s chairman, because he might “Arrested for torture and under investigation” if he “Set foot on French territory.”
In October 2020, multiple NGOs criticized anyone considering the role of Al-Raisi, claiming that he has been “Continue to systematically target peace critics as part of the security organization.”
In response to concerns raised by human rights organizations, three members of the European Parliament wrote to European Commission President Ursula von der Lein in early November to oppose the potential appointment of Al Raisi.
“The election of General Al Raisi will damage the mission and reputation of Interpol, and severely affect the organization’s ability to perform its tasks effectively,” The three wrote.
The UAE has previously rejected the allegations against Al-Raisi, and the London Embassy issued a statement to defend him “An outstanding professional with a 40-year record in the community and national policing.”
The UAE rejected any proposal by Al-Raisi to try to change the mission of Interpol and added “He will continue to work to protect people, make communities safer, and provide law enforcement agencies around the world with the latest tools to combat complex criminal networks.”
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