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Interpol elects UAE official as president ignoring outcry from rights teams

Raisi, who has been a part of the UAE’s police pressure since 1980 and serves as inspector basic on the nation’s ministry of inside, acquired 68.9% of the vote at Interpol’s basic meeting in Istanbul. The position is basically ceremonial — he’ll chair the overall meeting in addition to three govt committee conferences for every of the 4 years of his tenure.

The vote went by way of regardless of prison circumstances made by ex-detainees. Matthew Hedges, who was detained within the UAE for seven months, filed a declare for damages on the High Court of London towards Raisi and a number of other different senior Emirati officers. He accused them of assault, torture and false imprisonment.

Hedges returned to the United Kingdom in November 2018 after he was pardoned from a life sentence for espionage. The UAE had launched a video depicting him apparently confessing that he was a member of the UK’s MI6 intelligence company.

“The inevitable election of Raisi to Interpol presidency is a serious attack on the values it stands for,” Hedges stated in a tweet on Thursday. “His complicity in systematic torture and abuse is legitimised through Interpol and gives the green light to other authoritarian states that they can act without impunity.”

The UAE has denied allegations that Hedges was subjected to bodily or psychological mistreatment throughout his detention.

Hedges stated this week that he and one other ex-detainee, Ali Issa Ahmad, additionally filed a prison case with Turkish prosecutors. Ahmad, 29, stated he was detained in 2019 throughout a vacation within the UAE as a result of he wore a T-shirt with a Qatar flag, in the course of the diplomatic row between the 2 international locations. He stated he was electrocuted and crushed, in addition to disadvantaged of meals, water and sleep.

Ahmad was within the nation attending the Asia Cup.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation stated in a press release that “any legal complaint that may be filed with allegations against al-Raisi is without merit and will be rejected.”

“He strongly believes that the abuse or mistreatment of people by police is abhorrent and intolerable,” the assertion stated.

Meanwhile, Raisi has vowed to construct a “more transparent, diverse, and decisive” Interpol.

“I am delighted to have been elected as President today, and it is the honor of my career to serve citizens across the world, on behalf of the UAE,” Raisi stated in a press release.

The elections have been postponed by a 12 months as a result of pandemic. In October 2020, 19 human rights teams criticized Raisi’s candidacy for Interpol president, saying his presidency would “both undermine the mission and reputation of Interpol and severely impact the ability of the organization to carry out its mission effectively and in good faith.”

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