An Emirati general accused of torture has been elected president of Interpol, the world police agency said, despite concerns from human rights organizations and members of the European Parliament.
“Mr. Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi of the United Arab Emirates has been elected to the position of President”, Interpol tweeted.
Raisi, the head of the UAE’s security forces, will take on a primarily ceremonial and voluntary role during his four-year tenure.
Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock is in charge of the day-to-day running of the organization. Stock received a second five-year term in 2019.
Allegations of torture have been filed against Raisi in recent months in France and Turkey, which is hosting the Interpol general assembly in Istanbul this week.
The appointment follows generous funding from the United Arab Emirates for Interpol, which is based in Lyon, France, and allegations that Abu Dhabi has abused its “red notice” system to get wanted suspects to hunt down dissidents. politicians.
Three members of the European Parliament wrote a letter dated November 11 to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to warn of the impact the general’s appointment would have on Interpol.
“The election of General al-Raisi would undermine Interpol’s mission and reputation and seriously affect the organization’s ability to carry out its mission effectively,” they wrote.
And in October 2020, 19 NGOs, including Human Rights Watch, expressed concern over the possible election of Raisi, whom they described as “part of a security apparatus that continues to systematically target peaceful critics.”