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Montevideo, December 3rd 2021 - 19:10 UTC



Interpol picks new chief with a résumé filled with torture charges

Thursday, November 25th 2021 - 18:42 UTC
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General Ahmed Naser al Raisi faces torture charges in five countries General Ahmed Naser al Raisi faces torture charges in five countries

A controversial general from the United Arab Emirates with a shady background has been appointed chief of Interpol Thursday during the body's General Assembly in Istanbul.

General Ahmed Naser al Raisi faces torture charges in five countries, including Turkey and France. Nevertheless, he has been chosen to head the prestigious international police cooperation body for the next four years over the other contender for the job, Sárka Havránková, from the Czech Republic.

Istanbul prosecutors have requested the Ministry of Justice for authorization to proceed with an investigation into Al Raisi, who is accused of having supervised the arbitrary detention and torture of Matthew Hedges and Ali Ahmad Issa, two British nationals who were arrested in the Emirates between 2018 and 2019 when Al Raisi was inspector general at the Ministry of the Interior.

“He cannot hide from the very serious accusations against him; we appeal to Interpol to fulfil its fundamental duty to investigate these shocking crimes,” said international lawyer Rodney Dixon, who has recently filed a torture complaint against Raisi.

”I am very concerned about what (Raisi's election) may mean for people like me, who suffered abuse in the Emirates and were tortured into bringing out a confession,“ said Hedges who was held for seven months in solitary confinement in 2018 on espionage charges while he was pursuing a PhD.

”I honestly believe the outcome of this election was decided in advance,“ said Ali Ahmad Issa, the other British citizen tortured in the UAE in 2019 after being arrested for wearing a Qatar football jersey at a sporting event.

Human Rights Watch and other international organizations have risen their voice against Raisi's appointment. Former England chief prosecutor David Calvert-Smith has released a report back in April noting that Raisi ”has overseen the increasing crackdown on dissidents, continued torture and abuses of the Emirates criminal justice system.”

Hedges had been sentenced to life imprisonment. He was pardoned and released from jail three years ago.

Raisi also faces charges in France, filed by the Gulf Center for Human Rights for alleged torture against jailed Emirati blogger Ahmed Mansur. France is home to Interpol's headquarters in the city of Lyon.

A Turkish law firm has also filed charges against Raisi before Turkey's Judiciary for his alleged actions against Mansur.

Categories: Politics, International.

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