UAE official accused of torture elected Interpol president

  • Interpol elected General Ahmed Naser al-Raisi as its new president.
  • He oversees UAE security forces, and two British men said he was monitoring their torture when they were detained.
  • 19 rights groups said he should not be president because of the UAE’s “bad human rights record.”

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The international police agency Interpol has chosen General Ahmed Naser al-Raisi – an Emirati general accused of supervising torture – as its new president.

Interpol announced al-Raisi’s victory on his Twitter account on Thursday, adding that he will have a four-year term, as is standard.

Al-Raisi is the leader of the security forces of the United Arab Emirates.

Two British men detained in the UAE said he was ultimately responsible for the torture they endured when they were detained, The Guardian reported. One was detained in 2018 and the other in 2019.

The UAE has denied torturing the two men.

Nine human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch and the European Center for Democracy and Human Rights, wrote to Interpol in 2020, “expressing concern” over a possible al-Raisi presidency, citing the UAE’s poor human rights status.

“Lawyers, journalists, political activists and human rights defenders in the United Arab Emirates have been subjected to harsh retaliation, intimidation tactics, forced disappearances, torture and arbitrary detention as a result of peacefully expressing their views, including on false accusations of ‘terrorism’.” , they wrote.

Three members of the European Parliament also warned earlier this month of having al-Raisi as president, The Guardian reported.

The role of the President is largely ceremonial, with the Secretary-General leading most of its activities.

Former Interpol President Meng Hongwei, a Chinese citizen, disappeared in 2018 during a trip to China. At the time, his wife called the case “political persecution,” while Interpol said organizational rules prohibited an investigation into the disappearance.

China later said Meng had been detained, accused him of bribery and sentenced him to 13 and a half years in prison.

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