An Emirati general accused of torture was elected president of Interpol on Thursday, despite concerns from human rights organizations and members of the European Parliament, the global police agency said.
“Mr Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi of the United Arab Emirates has been elected to the office of President (four-year term),” Interpol said on Twitter.
The head of the United Arab Emirates’ security forces, General Al-Raisi, will play a largely ceremonial and voluntary role.
It is Interpol’s Secretary General Juergen Stock who handles the day-to-day management of the organization. The stock was given a second five-year term in 2019.
In recent months, complaints of “torture” have been filed in France and Turkey against the Emirati general, who is hosting an Interpol general assembly in Istanbul this week.
The appointment follows generous funding by the United Arab Emirates to France-based body Lyon and allegations Abu Dhabi abused Interpol’s system of so-called “red notices” for suspects wanted to persecute political dissidents.
Three European Parliament members wrote a letter on 11 November to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, warning about the impact of the general’s appointment on Interpol.
“The election of General Al Raisi will undermine the mission and reputation of Interpol and seriously affect the organization’s ability to effectively fulfill its mission,” he wrote.
And in October 2020, 19 NGOs, including Human Rights Watch, expressed concern about Raisey’s possible choice, which they described as “part of a security apparatus that continues to systematically target peaceful critics”.
(This story has not been edited by NB staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)