The Emirati General Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi, targeted by several complaints for “torture” in France and Turkey, was elected Thursday in Istanbul president of Interpol, announced the agency of police cooperation. “Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi (…) has been elected as president,” Interpol said
The office of president is essentially honorary – the real boss of the organization being its Secretary General -, but human rights organizations and European elected representatives opposed the election of Ahmed Al-Raisi. , believing that it would undermine Interpol’s mission.
The alert for MEPs
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 Al-Raisi as president of the organization. “We are deeply convinced that the election of General Al-Raisi would damage the mission and the reputation of Interpol and would seriously affect the ability of the organization 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”.
Several complaints filed
At the same time, several complaints for “torture” against 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 neither protection against the cold ”, nor“ access to a doctor, hygiene, water and sanitary facilities ”.