The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) reported on November 25 that it elected Emirati General Ahmed Naser al-Raisi as its president for the next four years. However, his choice is controversial as al-Raisi has been accused by human rights groups of involvement in torture and arbitrary detention in the United Arab Emirates.
A designation within Interpol that is controversial. Emirati General Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi was elected in the third round with 68.9% of the votes of representatives of at least 160 of the 195 countries that coordinate the work of the International Criminal Police Organization.
However, his appointment has been rejected by various organizations, as Al-Raisi has been accused by human rights groups of participation in torture and arbitrary detention in his country.
For this reason, he has criminal complaints against him in five countries. Among them France, where Interpol is based, and Turkey, where elections are held.
“There are criminal complaints filed in Turkey, France, Sweden and Norway, in addition to two civil proceedings in the United Kingdom,” Nikita Bernardi, who coordinates the complaint campaign against Matthew Hedges and Ali Ahmad, two British men who claim they were tortured while in detention in the Emirates.
📣 NEWS: The #INTERPOLGA has elected Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi of the United Arab Emirates as the Organization’s new President. Mr Al Raisi was elected following 3 rounds of voting. In the final round I received 68.9% of votes cast by member countries. More👇https://t.co/pRGm2zixPG
– INTERPOL (@INTERPOL_HQ) November 25, 2021
His choice was confirmed during the General Assembly of the organization, in Istanbul, in which about 470 police chiefs, ministers and other representatives participated.
“It is a disgrace. It is a sad day for international justice and the global police. I don’t know how the Interpol members who have voted in favor of Al Raisi are not ashamed,” said Hedges, one of his whistleblowers.
For his part, the Emirati presidential adviser, Anwar Gargash, assured that the election of Al-Raisi “is a testament to the achievements and efficiency” of the United Arab Emirates “and a recognition of the honorable personal record” of the candidate.
UAE funds would be behind Al-Raisi’s election
Al-Raisi has academic degrees from the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as years of experience in the Police Force.
But he also undertook a skillful campaign for office. With this goal in mind, he traveled the world to meet with legislators and government officials, a tour that ultimately earned him the choice of Interpol’s president for the next four years.
In addition, according to a report published last April by former British magistrate David Calvert-Smith, the election of Al Raisi has to do with the money that the Emirates has injected into the Interpol Foundation for a Safer World, a non-profit organization. whose stated objective is to get governments and companies to help the police agency.
The same report also denounces the growing tendency of various authoritarian regimes to use the “red notification (or alert)” system, created to detain internationally wanted criminals, to make life difficult for exiled dissidents.
For now and as specified in an opinion article for a newspaper administered by the Abu Dhabi authorities, the man, who has also served as inspector general of the Ministry of the Interior of his country, said he wants to “modernize and transform” the organism. He assured that it will do so based on “the UAE’s role as a leader in technology-driven policing and as a bridge builder in the international community.”
Al-Raisi replaces South Korea’s Kim Jong Yan, the vice president who was quickly chosen as a replacement to serve the remainder of Meng Hongwei’s term, believed to have disappeared mid-term during a trip to China in 2018. But then, it became known that he had been arrested, accused of bribery and other crimes. Interpol then announced that Meng had resigned from the post.
With Reuters, AP and EFE