New Head of Interpol Has Been Accused of Torture

Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi of the United Arab Emirates will serve a 4-year term
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2021 6:43 AM CST
New Head of Interpol Has Been Accused of Torture
Inspector general at the United Arab Emirates interior ministry Maj. Gen. Ahmed Naser al-Raisi speaks on his cell phone during the first day of the Interpol annual assembly in Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021.   (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

"The #INTERPOLGA has elected Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi of the United Arab Emirates as the Organization’s new President." The Thursday tweet would be a typical update for Interpol, whose elected presidents serve a four-year term, except for the fact that al-Raisi has been accused of torture in five countries, among them France (the site of Interpol's headquarters) and Turkey (where the election took place). Per the AP, human rights groups have also alleged he has had a hand in torture and arbitrary detentions occurring in the United Arab Emirates, where he heads up security forces.

His being appointed to the role comes after the UAE pledged $50 million to Interpol a few years ago, reports the Washington Post. In a preview of the vote, it saw al-Raisi as "the likely victor, having spent months traveling the world and meeting with law enforcement officials to hear their hopes for the organization." The AFP notes that the position is "largely ceremonial," with the running of the organization falling to Interpol Secretary General Juergen Stock, who was re-elected to a second five-year term in 2019. Still, al-Raisi will guide the body's overall general direction. Interpol said al-Raisi was elected following three rounds of voting and received 68.9% of the votes cast in the final round.

Al-Raisi will take over from Kim Jong Yan from South Korea, a vice president who was hastily elected to finish out Interpol president Meng Hongwei's four-year term. Meng went missing while on a return trip to China in 2018, and is said to be serving time there for corruption. His wife claims he is innocent and says the "fake case" against him is simply an attempt on the part of senior Chinese officials to silence him. (More Interpol stories.)

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