British football fan and academic accuse Al Raisi, UAE candidate for Interpol presidency, of supervising their torture
The Guardian newspaper reported:The Guardian) that a British academic and a football fan accuse Major General Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, the UAE candidate for the presidency of the international police “Interpol”, of having oversaw their detention and physical assault on them while they were in his country.
The newspaper said that the British citizens accused Al-Raisi of personally supervising their torture, academic Matthew Hedges, who was arrested by the UAE for 7 months, and football fan Ali Issa Ahmed, who was arrested while on vacation in Dubai for wearing the Qatar national team shirt during the Asian Nations Cup.
Major General Al Raisi oversaw the torture
“I personally suffered from torture and ill-treatment under his (Al Raisi) command,” Ahmed said, stressing that he still had visible scars on his body due to the torture he was subjected to in the UAE.
Al-Raisi is one of the candidates who announced their desire to lead Interpol. He is the inspector general of the UAE Ministry of Interior for a long time, and he has a supervisory role over prisons in his country, including committing acts of torture, by guards and investigators, and Interpol cannot accept this. Says Rodney Dixon, an attorney representing Hedges and Ahmed.
“He (Al Raisi) is certainly responsible for the torture,” said Hedges, who was eventually pardoned after accusations of espionage. “The message his candidacy sends is that you can not only do it with impunity, but you will be rewarded.”
The International Criminal Police Organization, better known as INTERPOL, is an international law enforcement organization that provides investigative support to member states, including sharing information on suspects.
The danger of Al-Raisi’s assumption of the presidency of Interpol
The Guardian said that the new Interpol chief will be elected during the annual meeting of the international organization in Istanbul, and although it is an unpaid position, whoever holds it has great influence.
This has prompted many international critics to express their concern that the election of Al Raisi may jeopardize Interpol’s impartiality, as it amounts to an international endorsement of violations committed within the UAE justice system.
Al-Raisi took a very public approach to his candidacy for the presidency of Interpol despite the secrecy of the elections, and made a large-scale global tour to lobby for the position, in conjunction with the establishment of a website to review his achievements, including boasting that he had modernized the Emirates police, and established the “General Directorate of Happiness” in the Ministry of Interior.
“He is an unsuitable candidate,” Hedges said. “(His election) would give the green light and legitimize the behavior of actors and states that disgrace not only Interpol and its standing, but international justice and the police.”
The newspaper pointed out that Al-Raisi faces several lawsuits in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway and France, where the headquarters of Interpol is located.
Hedges and Ahmed are expected to file a lawsuit against Al-Raisi in Turkey before the General Assembly of INTERPOL, accompanying the lawsuit filed in France by the Gulf Center for Human Rights, which accuses Al-Raisi of committing “inhuman acts and torture” against human rights activist Ahmed Mansour, who is being held in custody. Solitary in the Emirates 4 years ago.
The lawsuits could hamper Raissi’s ability to move freely if he is elected, because Interpol is based in Lyon, France.
“If he sets foot on French soil, he can be arrested and investigated for torture under the principle of universal jurisdiction,” Dixon said.
The Guardian also indicated that the UAE donated 50 million euros to Interpol for a safer world, which is the largest single donation to the international organization in recent years, expressing concern that a donation of this size might harm the organization in favor of the UAE, while an Interpol spokesman rejected the report’s findings.
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