An Emirati general accused of torture was elected president of Interpol Thursday, the global police agency said, despite the concerns of human rights organisations and members of the European Parliament.
“Mr Ahmed Nasser AL RAISI of the United Arab Emirates has been elected to the post of President (4-yr term),” Interpol said on Twitter.
General Al-Raisi, head of the United Arab Emirates’ security forces, will take on a largely ceremonial and voluntary role. [Continue reading…]
Two men said this week they had filed a criminal case with Turkish prosecutors against Raisi, while he was in Istanbul for the election at the Interpol general assembly.
Matthew Hedges, 34, an academic at the University of Exeter, said he was held in solitary confinement for seven months in 2018 in the UAE over allegations of espionage when he went to the country do to research for his doctorate.
He said he was threatened with physical violence or rendition to an overseas military base and harm to his family. “This was done by the Emirati security services within a building that Naser al-Raisi … has responsibility for,” Hedges told Reuters in Istanbul.
“The possibility of al-Raisi becoming Interpol president sets an extremely dangerous precedent where systematic abuses are legitimised and normalised for other states continue using them around the world,” he added.
The UAE has said Hedges was not subjected to any physical or psychological mistreatment during his detention.
Ali Issa Ahmad, 29, said he was detained during a holiday when he went to UAE to watch the Asian Cup in 2019 because he wore a T-shirt with a Qatar flag, at a time when there was diplomatic row between the two countries.
He said he was electrocuted, beaten and deprived of food, water and sleep during several days of his detention. [Continue reading…]