Interpol elected as its head the Emirati General Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi, although accused of torture and targeted by complaints in France and Turkey.
The Emirati General Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi, targeted by several complaints for « torture » in France and Turkey, was elected, Thursday, November 25, in Istanbul president of Interpol, announced the agency of police cooperation.
The function of president is essentially honorary – the real boss of the organization being its secretary general -, but human rights organizations and European elected officials were opposed to the election of Ahmed Nasser Al- Raisi, believing that it would undermine Interpol’s mission.
The president of Interpol, appointed for four years, fulfills his functions part-time and on a voluntary basis and retains his functions in his country of origin.
Day-to-day management is handled by Secretary General Jürgen Stock, re-appointed for a second five-year term in 2019.
However, many observers are worried about the arrival of the Emirati general as president of the organization.
An opponent detained in a 4 m cell2
« We are deeply convinced that the election of General Al-Raisi would damage Interpol’s mission and reputation and seriously affect the organization’s ability to carry out its mission effectively, » wrote in mid-November, to the President of the European Commission Ursula Von der Leyen, three MEPs including Marie Arena, President of the European Parliament’s Human Rights Sub-Committee.
In October 2020, nineteen NGOs, including Human Rights Watch (HRW), were already worried about the possible choice of the Emirati general, « a member of a security apparatus which systematically targets the peaceful opposition ».
>> To read: Controversial Emirati candidate, risk of Chinese influence: Interpol in troubled waters
At the same time, several complaints for « torture » against Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi have been filed in recent months in France, where the organization is based, and in Turkey, the host country of the General Assembly which has been held in Istanbul since Tuesday.
The NGO Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR) accuses in one of these complaints the Emirati general of « acts of torture and barbarism » against the opponent Ahmed Mansoor, detained since 2017 in a cell of 4 m2 « without mattress or protection against the cold », nor « access to a doctor, hygiene, water and sanitary facilities ».
These procedures have so far not been successful.