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Calls for Turkey to arrest UAE candidate for Interpol chief

November 9, 2021 at 3:25 pm

Major General Dr Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi, UAE’s then General Inspector of the Ministry of Interior, seen in 2018 [IPixelPro / Wikipedia]

A lawyer has submitted a criminal complaint in Turkey against the UAE’s security chief Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi ahead of Interpol’s General Assembly which is being held at the end of the month.

The UAE has nominated Al-Raisi as president of the global policing body, in what lawyer Gulden Sonmez says is an effort “to launder the UAE’s reputation and cover up its human rights violations due to its systematic accusation of crimes against humanity.”

Sonmez says Al-Raisi “is accused of enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention, torture and sexual assault, committed under his responsibility and sometimes with his own participation,” adding that his arrest has been sought upon his arrival to Turkey to attend Interpol’s 89th General Assembly between 20-25 November.

“There are concerns,” the lawyer explained, that the Emirati official “will turn Interpol, the International Police Organization, of which 194 states are members, into an organization of criminals.”

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Al-Raisi has been seen as one of the front-runners for the Interpol job. However in early October, he faced opposition with claims submitted to French prosecutors about his responsibility for the alleged torture of two men in UAE custody in 2018 and 2019.

It was not the first complaint that could block Al-Raisi from heading Interpol, as a group of 35 members of French Parliament wrote to President Emmanuel Macron asking him to oppose Al-Raisi’s nomination.

In April, as reported by Forbes, a former director of public prosecutions in the UK also called on INTERPOL members to reject Al-Raisi’s candidacy, in a report that drew attention to alleged human rights violations by the UAE.

In June, a lawyer representing human rights activist Ahmed Mansoor, who is spending ten years in prison over social media posts, also made a universal jurisdiction complaint against Al-Raisi in France, based on allegations of the torture of his client.

The presidency of Interpol is an unpaid, part-time post, with the day-to-day running of the organisation handled by a secretary-general. The president, nonetheless, has significant influence, presiding over meetings of Interpol’s general assembly and executive committee.