Online Seminar Rejecting the Candidacy of Former UAE Security Personnel for the Head of Interpol

An online seminar was held today, November 17, by the MENA Rights Group entitled ‘Opposing General Ahmed Al Raisi’s Candidacy to the president of Interpol’.

As the members of the INTERPOL are going to meet this month in Istanbul for the General Assembly and they will be electing a new president of the Interpol, as all the candidates are officially announced, including General Ahmed Al Raisi, UAE’s General Inspector of the UAE’s Ministry of Interior and is in charge of the police forces there, and he is responsible for a very large number of human rights violations in the UAE.

The seminar was attended with a number of activists, thinkers, and human rights defenders including:

•  Peter Heidt – a German lawyer and politician of the Free Democratic Party (FDP)

• Mathew Hedges- a British doctoral student who was arrested in the UAE.

•  Julia Lenger- independent human rights consultant.

•  Ines Osman a human rights lawyer and the co-founder and director of MENA Rights Group.

• Rodney Dixon – International lawyer.  

Peter Heidt clarified that as a lawyer and criminal defence attorney and member of the human rights committee he receives a wide range of human rights violations including arbitrary detention and torture, which is against the rule of law.

He stressed that the UK’s former Public prosecutor has issued a report including strong evidence has been found on the misuse of the USE’s red notice system for both minors and political dissidents.

Heidt pointed out the conflicting interests that General Al Raisi would be working in favor of the UAE government to take revenge on the political dissidents.  

Ines Osman stressed that Al-Raisi is part of a state apparatus that has been committed abuses like torture, enforced disappearance. She highlighted the possibility of UAE heading the Interpol, however, this would undermine the credibility of the Interpol.

She also spoke about conflict interest as the Interpol works mainly in combatting terrorism, while the UAE accuses all peaceful opponents of terrorism.

Mathew Hedges detailed his experience as a British doctoral student who was arrested at Dubai International Airport on suspicion of spying on behalf of the British government. In November 2018, Hedges was sentenced to life imprisonment in the United Arab Emirates on charges of espionage in state security, and he highlighted that there are a great number of victims who have no one to defend them and allowing the UAE to head the Interpol will further increase violations in the UAE.

Rodney Dixon stated Al-Raisi is travelling making campaigns for himself and for his candidacy all over the world and that Dixon has filed five complaints in places that he went to hinder his election for this position. He stressed that this would continue until they ensure that such sensitive position would not be occupied by a human rights violator.

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