The “Together for Justice” team expressed its deep concern over the election of Emirati General Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi as the head of the international police organisation “Interpol” in the elections that took place in Istanbul, Turkey on Thursday 25 November, despite accusations of torture and ill-treatment of prisoners.
Major General Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi’s election can only be considered a disgrace in the record of Interpol, and an alarm bell for all political opponents and critics of authoritarian governments and regimes around the world, as they will undoubtedly become targets of the “red notice” system, which Al-Raisi is sure to use to trap political opponents around the world
Previous reports and investigations have long revealed that the UAE misuses the “red notices” system to pursue opponents and activists, and after one of its officials won the position of Interpol president, the danger became increasing not only for UAE’s opponents only but for opponents of its allied countries such as Saudi Arabia, UAE’s closest ally.
Over the past period campaigns against Al-Raisi’s candidacy in the Interpol were increasing, as international human rights organisations and members of the European Parliament called on member states to intervene to remove Al-Raisi’s name from the elections, while urging them to elect a president from a country that respects the rule of law and does not have a disgraceful record against human rights. However, Al-Raisi won with 68.9% after three rounds of elections, which means that human rights are of no value to political elites and state leaders.
Al-Raisi faces accusations of involvement in torturing political prisoners inside the UAE, such as political activist Ahmed Mansour, with torturing and supervising the torture of others, including two British citizens who were detained years ago in the UAE. They are researcher Matthew Hedges, who was detained for more than six months in 2018 on charges of espionage, and the other is a football fan, who was arrested and subjected to physical and psychological torture for wearing the Qatar national football team shirt inside the UAE.
Complaints against Al-Raisi in Turkey and France did not yield any positive results, and today, with his election as head of a sensitive organisation such as Interpol, freedom of opinion and expression around the world is in danger. It is supposed to be neutral and transparent, but there is no longer any transparency as long as the “fox” is assigned to guard the farm.
In “Together for Justice”, we affirm our total rejection of the results of the Interpol elections, which should have been annulled as long as the candidates are human rights violators such as Al-Raisi, and we call on the world’s decision-makers to adopt a moral stance and take decisive measures to ensure that Interpol’s powers are not abused, which is difficult guarantee it as long as an official in a repressive regime is in charge.