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Interpol holds meeting in Istanbul to elect new president


Interpol holds general assembly in Istanbul to discuss security threats and hold closely watched election for new leadership of international police body

Police chiefs and other representatives of the organization’s 194 member countries are participating in the three-day General Assembly, which is due to vote on Thursday to elect a new presidency and members of the executive committee.

A vice president, Kim Jong Yan of South Korea, was quickly elected as a replacement to serve the remainder of Meng’s term. Kim’s presidency was due to end in 2020, but his term was extended for a year after the coronavirus pandemic prompted Interpol to suppress its annual meeting last year. His replacement will be elected for a four-year term.

The vote is also the subject of additional controversy as representatives from China and the United Arab Emirates apply for the top positions. Critics argue that if these candidates win, their countries would use Interpol’s global reach to apprehend dissidents in exile and even political opponents at home, instead of hunting down drug traffickers, human traffickers, suspects. war crimes and suspected extremists.

One of the candidates is accused by human rights groups of being involved in acts of torture and arbitrary detention in the United Arab Emirates. Major General Ahmed Naser al-Raisi, Inspector General of the UAE’s Interior Ministry, is already a member of Interpol’s executive committee. He says he wants to modernize Interpol.

Criminal complaints have been filed against him in five countries, including France, where Interpol is headquartered, and Turkey, where the ballot is taking place.

The other controversial candidate is Hu Binchen, an official with the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, who is expected to run for a vacant post on Interpol’s executive committee. Hu, who is backed by the Chinese government, who is believed to have used the Global Police Agency to track down exiled dissidents and make his citizens disappear.

Interpol says it refuses to be used for political ends.

Although it is the Interpol Secretary General who runs Interpol on a day-to-day basis, the President is still a leading figure in the organization in Lyon, France, and plays a role in overseeing the work of the police body and in the orientation of its general orientation. This post of Secretary General is currently held by Juergen Stock from Germany.

Meng is currently serving a 13-and-a-half-year prison sentence for corruption, charges that his wife Grace Meng, who now lives in France with her children under police protection, insisted in an interview with The Associated Press on lies and political motivations.

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Fraser reported from Ankara, Turkey. John Leicester in Paris contributed.

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ABC News

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