International Criticism of UAE’s Nomination of a Security Official Accused of Torture to Head Interpol

On September 15, the European Parliament issued a resolution condemning what it considered “violations” in the UAE, based on the case of the currently imprisoned human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor, calling on international companies not to participate or sponsor the World Expo 2020, which begins in Dubai next month and ends in March 2022.

Thirty-five French parliamentarians denounced the possibility of a senior official in the UAE Ministry of Interior becoming the head of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), as this official was accused by a human rights organization in France of torturing an Emirati human rights activist.

The French MPs -members of Parliament and the Senate from the majority and opposition parties- sent a letter to President Emmanuel Macron calling for rejecting the nomination of Major General Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, Inspector General of the UAE Interior, to head the Interpol.

Al-Raisi is “on his way” to be elected as the head of the international organization based in Lyon, eastern France, while his “loaded record should keep him away from such a responsibility”, according to the letter of the French parliamentarians. Major General Al Raisi is the UAE delegate to the Interpol Executive Committee.

Al-Raisi was accused of being directly involved in the torture of Emirati opponents, including Ahmed Mansour, on a claim filed by the Gulf Center for Human Rights before the French judiciary, for torturing human rights activist Ahmed Mansour, in Abu Dhabi prisons.

In their letter, the French MPs added that Major General Raissi “is directly responsible for the police services in his country, which operate with impunity;” They accused him of playing a “central role in the arbitrary detention and violations suffered by many human rights activists.”

Ahmed Mansoor is being held in Abu Dhabi in poor detention conditions that amount to systematic torture.

In October 2020, the British newspaper, Telegraph, cited leaked documents, that: The UAE candidate to take head of Interpol is accused of directing the “torture” of British academic Matthew Hedges, who was arrested at Dubai Airport in May 2018 on suspicion of espionage for the British Foreign Intelligence, before he was released months later by a presidential pardon the same year.

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