Candidate to lead Interpol accused of torture

Candidate to lead Interpol accused of torture

Politicians, human rights organisations and former foreign detainees are concerned about a candidate from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who is running for presidency of the International Police Organization (Interpol).

If elected, Major General Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi would succeed Kim Jong-yang of South Korea, who has been in office since 2018.

There is also concern here in Germany. Earlier this week, three German politicians, Kai Gehring (the Greens), Peter Heidt (Free Democrats) and Frank Schwabe (Social Democrats) published a joint statement highlighting their fear for serious consequences for Interpol’s legal culture.

“Given the devastating human rights record of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the appointment of Mr Al-Raisi as president would be in blatant contradiction to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the organization’s mission,” they said, adding: “If nothing else, it would jeopardize Interpol’s international reputation.”

‘Directly involved in multiple cases’

The German MPs accuse the major of being “directly involved in human rights violations in a number of high-profile cases.”

They also see the major, who was appointed Emirati director general for “central operations” in 2005 and inspector general of the Interior Ministry in 2015, as an active representative of an authoritarian system.

“As a UAE state representative, Mr Al-Raisi is part of a security apparatus that systematically targets peaceful dissenters,” the three MPs wrote.

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