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News > United Arab Emirates

Interpol’s New President Accused of Complicity in Torture

  • The INTERPOLGA has elected Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi of the UAE as the Organization’s new President. Mr Al Raisi was elected following 3 rounds of voting. In the final round he received 68.9% of votes cast by member countries.

    The INTERPOLGA has elected Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi of the UAE as the Organization’s new President. Mr Al Raisi was elected following 3 rounds of voting. In the final round he received 68.9% of votes cast by member countries. | Photo: Twitter @INTERPOL_HQ

Published 25 November 2021
Opinion

Human rights groups lobbied against his candidacy, accusing him of failing to investigate credible complaints of torture against UAE security forces. General Raisi has rejected all the allegations.
 

Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi, a general from the United Arab Emirates, accused of complicity in torture, has been elected as president of the global police agency Interpol. The former inspector general of the UAE's interior ministry, will serve a four-year term in the part-time and unpaid role.

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Gen Raisi was elected Interpol's president after three rounds of voting by member states at the agency's general assembly (INTERPOLGA) in Istanbul, Turkey. His duties will include chairing meetings of the executive committee, which supervises the work of Secretary General Jürgen Stock. Mr Stock is a full-time official who oversees the day-to-day running of Interpol.

Human rights groups had lobbied against his candidacy, accusing him of failing to investigate credible complaints of torture against UAE security forces. Gen Raisi has rejected all the allegations.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch's Gulf researcher, Hiba Zayadin, called it "a sad day for human rights and the rule of law worldwide". She said the general was “a representative of arguably the most authoritarian government in the Gulf, one that equates peaceful dissent with terrorism”.

The election was also condemned by the British academic Matthew Hedges, who has issued a claim for damages at the High Court in London. The claim accuses Gen Raisi and three other senior UAE officials of being involved in the false imprisonment and torture he allegedly suffered in the UAE in 2018.

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