Despite allegations of torture: Interpol elects al-Raisi as new boss

As of: 25.11.2021 11:53 a.m.

He is accused of participating in torture – therefore lawsuits are pending against the major general from the Emirates al-Raisi in five countries. Now the police organization Interpol has chosen this man as its new boss.

The international police organization Interpol has elected a major general from the United Arab Emirates, Ahmed al-Raisi, as its new president. Al-Raisi was previously inspector general at the Ministry of the Interior there. At a general assembly of 195 Interpol member states in Istanbul, he got the majority required for a four-year term, as the organization announced on Twitter.

Ex-president disappeared during a trip to China

Around 470 police chiefs, ministers and other representatives from more than 160 countries took part in the three-day meeting in Istanbul. Each participating country was allowed to cast one vote in the election. Interpol announced that al-Raisi had won the office of president after three ballots with 68.9 percent of the vote.

The election was watched with suspense after former Interpol Chinese President Meng Hongwei disappeared while on a trip to China in 2018. He was arrested and charged with corruption. Because of his resignation, the South Korean Interpol Vice President Kim Jong Yan became President. His term of office was supposed to end in 2020, but has been extended by one year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Emirates could arrest political opponents?

Critics expressed concern that if the United Arab Emirates were to elect their candidate, Interpol’s influence could arrest exiled dissidents and political opponents in the country.

Al-Raisi would have met MPs and government officials around the world during his presidential campaign. He highlighted his degrees from institutions in the UK and the US and years of police work experience. Al-Raisi said it was “an honor to be elected to serve as Interpol’s next president. Interpol is an indispensable organization built on the strength of its partnerships”, according to Interpol.

Al-Raisi’s Critics: Evidence for “Torture Policy”

From the point of view of critics, al-Raisi stands for an aggressive security apparatus in which people who are critical of the government are arbitrarily arrested or even tortured. Lawsuits related to allegations of torture have been brought against him in at least five countries. In Turkey, lawyers have filed charges on behalf of the Golf Center for Human Rights. There is clear evidence that he was responsible for “torture policies” against political opponents, the ad said.

Emirates second largest contributor

The Emirates had already started making large-scale donations to Interpol in 2015 and raised the question of whether the country wanted to buy influence with them. The organization, based in Lyon, lives on the contributions of the 195 member states. The Emirates are the second largest contributor after the US.

The Secretary General is responsible for the day-to-day business of Interpol. The incumbent is the German Jürgen Stock. The president supervises the police work and gives the general direction of the police authority.

Interpol announced that Valdecy Urquiza from Brazil had been elected Vice President of the Police Department for America and Garba Baba Umar from Nigeria had been elected Vice President for Africa. Interpol delegates voted to accept Micronesia as the 195th member of the police force.

Al Raisi new Interpol President

Uwe Lueb, ARD Istanbul, November 25, 2021 10:54 am

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