Interpol elects its leaders in Istanbul .. Warnings about an Emirati and a Chinese candidate, and concerns about the credibility of the organization
The activities of the 89th General Assembly of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) are continuing in Istanbul, amid warnings issued by human rights organizations, politicians and officials about the possibility of an Emirati candidate reaching the presidency of the organization in the elections that will take place tomorrow, Thursday.
The candidacy of Major General Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, Inspector General of the UAE Ministry of Interior, sparked widespread controversy, due to accusations of torture, which sparked campaigns to warn of his access to this position.
In the latest warnings, two senior local officials in France called on the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, to be “vigilant” about the possibility of the Emirati officer reaching the presidency of Interpol, as the organization’s headquarters is located in the French city of Lyon.
In a joint letter to the minister, Laurent Wauquet, president of the Auvergne region, Ron-Alpes, and Bruno Bernard, president of the city of Lyon, said that Al-Raisi is targeted by a torture case brought against him by British complainants and a non-governmental organization representing a political opponent who is currently in detention in the UAE.
The two elected officials wrote in their letter that “a candidacy tainted by complaints could present a real danger and could delegitimize the establishment and its establishment in our democracy.” The two officials also asked the Minister of the Interior for clarification on state funding for the expansion of Interpol’s headquarters in Lyon.
On the other hand, she said The Guardian newspaper Two British citizens accuse Major General Al Raisi of personally overseeing their torture, one an academic and the other a football fan arrested in Dubai for wearing the Qatar national team shirt during the Asian Nations Cup in early 2019.
For its part, Human Rights Watch said that Raisi’s nomination for this position raises alarm bells about human rights, and may threaten Interpol’s human rights obligations.
If Interpol again selects an official from a government institution accused of abuse as its president, the agency will jeopardize its credibility as a rights-respecting international law enforcement agency, said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
The 89th session of Interpol began in Istanbul on Tuesday, and the organization – which has 194 member states – will elect at this session a president of the organization, his assistants and members of the Executive Committee.
The nomination of a Chinese security official to the Executive Committee has raised international concern and warnings from human rights organizations.
Yesterday, Tuesday, a demonstration was held in Besiktas Square in Istanbul to protest against the nomination of “Ben Chen”, deputy head of the International Cooperation Department in the Chinese Central Security Agency, to head the Interpol Executive Committee.
The demonstration – called by civil organizations for the Uighur minority – condemned China’s efforts, which they accused of exploiting such international institutions for practices that contradict human rights, freedom and democracy.