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Britain to investigate reports of UAE ‘torture chief’ becoming head of Interpol

October 20, 2020 at 4:16 pm

The British parliament’s foreign affairs committee will be presented with testimonies and evidence that Russia, China and the United Arab Emirates are unsuitable to be members of the international police organisation, Interpol.

There is a possibility that the UAE’s security head, Major General Nasser Ahmed Al-Raisi, may be appointed as the new head of the organisation.

According to the Daily Telegraph on Saturday, British MPs will hear from witnesses who stress that the three “rogue” states are likely to abuse the access that they have to Interpol’s databases and archives in order to advance their own causes.

Among those witnesses are Bill Browder, the British financier and critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin who has been targeted multiple times by the Russian government. He also has a personal stake in the issue of Russia’s Interpol membership, having previously been subjected to eight arrest notices issued by Interpol which were put forward by Russia.

READ: UAE leader Mohammed Bin Zayed accused of complicity in torture

In the meeting with the foreign affairs committee, Browder and the other witnesses will reportedly stress that “Britain should work with its allies — the US, Canada, Australia, the European Union and others — on withholding funds if Interpol refuses to reform.”

Al-Raisi’s appointment would be controversial as it has been claimed that he is responsible for the torture of detainees in the UAE, including British citizens.

One of the victims tortured under his watch was Matthew Hedges, the British student arrested in Dubai in 2018, who condemned Al-Raisi’s possible leadership of Interpol and urged the organisation’s members not to consider him.

Interpol has been under increased scrutiny and pressure to reform in recent years since its president Meng Hongwei was kidnapped and detained by the Chinese authorities on bribery charges in 2018.

READ: Libya arrests notorious people smuggler wanted by Interpol