Sunday, November 28

Accused of torture, the favorite candidate to take the head of Interpol is not unanimous

Emirati Ahmed al-Raisi has a good chance of being elected president of Interpol next Thursday. But his profile has something to displease, particularly in France where the world organization against crime is based.

Inspector General of the Ministry of the Interior, he is one of the strongmen of the United Arab Emirates, a small oil state which occupies 131st place in the press freedom ranking of Reporters Without Borders.

Under his authority, order and security reign. At the cost of an ultra-repressive policy towards opponents, point out human rights defenders.

If Ahmed al-Raisi was able to highlight his record through an intense lobbying campaign within Interpol, his liabilities question. The NGO Gulf Center For Human Rights, for example, recalls the situation of Ahmed Mansour, a dissident blogger locked up for five years in a 4 m2 cell, according to his lawyers. Suspected of being the source of abuse inflicted on the detainee, Ahmed al-Raisi is the subject of a complaint filed in France.

a deputy from Lyon leads the sling

The Emirati dignitary is the subject of another complaint in France, filed by two British citizens before the pole specialized in the fight against crimes against humanity of the Paris prosecutor’s office. Passing through the United Arab Emirates, they claim to have been imprisoned and victims of torture. One in 2018, for having carried out university work on the security apparatus of the Emirates, the other in 2019 for having worn a Qatar t-shirt during a football match.

From Lyon, where the headquarters of Interpol is located, the deputy of the Rhône Hubert Julien-Laferrière (environmentalist) leads the sling. “I can not bring myself to the election of a torturer at the head of the world organization of the police forces, even less with the support of France”, he wrote on Tuesday on Twitter.

If he can count on the support of fifty parliamentarians, his call to reject al-Raisi’s candidacy finds little echo at the top of the state. France is indeed a major strategic partner of Abu Dhabi, with whom it is preparing to sign a contract for 60 Rafale aircraft.

Interpol will announce the name of its president Thursday, November 25, at the end of the general assembly of the organization which has been held since Tuesday in Istanbul.

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