Ahmed al-Raisi, a UAE Interior Ministry official, has been charged with torture and ill-treatment of detainees.
The UAE official’s candidacy for the presidency of Interpol could threaten the credibility of the global police force’s commitment to human rights, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR) said.
Ahmed al-Raisi has been the Inspector General of the UAE Ministry of Interior and a member of the Interpol Executive Committee since April 2015.
In a joint statement with HRW on Wednesday, GECHR Executive Director Khalid Ibrahim said, “The election of General Al-Raisi as President of Interpol will indicate that Interpol member states have no concerns about the UAE’s record of torturing quiet critics.”
He added, “His bid is another bid to whitewash the UAE’s internationally respected purchases and its disgusting record of human rights abuses.”
Joe Stork, HRW’s director of the Middle East, said: “Choosing a top official of an objectionable state institution as president, Interpol’s credibility as a rights-respecting international law enforcement agency is under threat.”
Al-Raisi was Accused last year Of a British academic and a football fan for being responsible for the torture
Matthew Hedges, a British postgraduate student, claims that he was given a drug cocktail while he was in prison in Dubai in 2018.
He spent about seven months in a detention center in the United Arab Emirates – mostly in solitary confinement – after being arrested on a research trip on suspicion of being a British spy.
Al-Raisi was in charge of organizing and managing the security and police forces in the UAE and was “ultimately responsible for my torture and detention,” Hedges said.
On Wednesday, a statement from Carter-Rock Solicitors said Hedges was Claim of damages During his detention in Abu Dhabi, four Emirati officials, including al-Raisi, were charged with assault, fake imprisonment and intentional incitement to psychological trauma.
In March 2020, UN human rights experts called on the UAE to reform its detention in the Gulf region, calling it “torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”