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Emirati General Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi was elected president of Interpol despite allegations of “torture” against him and concerns from human rights groups that he was involved in targeting “peaceful critics”.

The appointment was announced by Interpol on its Twitter account Thursday morning, with Al-Raisi assuming the largely ceremonial role for a four-year term.

His election to the post came amid criticism, including from human rights groups and MEPs, over his alleged past actions and the impact his appointment could have on Interpol. .

In recent months, complaints have been filed in France and Turkey accusing Al-Raisi of “Acts of inhumanity and torture”. Two British men have filed a complaint accusing him of being involved in their arrests and alleged physical violence.

Given that Interpol’s headquarters are in Lyon, France, their lawyer suggested the lawsuit could prevent him from performing his duties as Interpol chairman because he could be “Arrested and indicted for torture” if he “Sets foot on French territory”.

In October 2020, several non-governmental organizations criticized Al-Raisi’s consideration for the role, alleging that he was “Is part of a security apparatus that continues to systematically target peaceful critics.”

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Echoing concerns expressed by human rights groups, three MEPs wrote to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen earlier in November to oppose Al Raisi’s potential appointment.

“The election of General Al Raisi would undermine Interpol’s mission and reputation and seriously affect the organization’s ability to carry out its mission,” he added. the trio wrote.

The UAE has previously rejected the allegations against Al-Raisi, with the London Embassy issuing a statement defending him as “A distinguished professional with 40 years of experience in community and national policing”.

Rejecting any suggestion that Al-Raisi would seek to change Interpol’s mission, the UAE added that “He will remain committed to protecting people, making communities safer and providing global law enforcement with the latest tools to fight sophisticated criminal networks.”

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