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15 NGOs Address Interpol Secretary-General: Election of Emirati Accused of Torture to INTERPOL Presidency Raises Concern

2021-12-02 - 12:27 am

Bahrain Mirror: 15 international human rights organizations sent a letter to the INTERPOL Secretary General, Jürgen Stock, to express concern over the election of Mr. Ahmed Al-Raisi, the General Inspector of the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) Ministry of Interior, to the presidency of INTERPOL during the 89th General Assembly.

The signatories believe that the election of Mr. Al-Raisis, who is accused of torturing political dissidents in the UAE, is going to severely damage INTERPOL's reputation and undermine its ability to carry out its mission effectively and in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It also sends a chilling message: that the international police organisation can be presided by the representative of an autocratic regime accused of torture.

In addition, the signatories said they fear that the election of Mr. Al-Raisi represents a continuation of the UAE's efforts to maintain and gain greater influence over the functions and operations of INTERPOL.

"We find the recent reports about a proposal of the Emirati authorities to the French government to fund and host the executive management of INTERPOL to be extremely worrying. We urge you, as Secretary General of INTERPOL, to reject any proposal made in that regard," the signatories stated.

They also stressed that "The INTERPOL Foundation for a Safer World, which was established for the sole purpose of channeling UAE governmental funds to INTERPOL, remains the second biggest voluntary contributor of the organisation," urging the Secretary-General to resign from the Foundation's Board, and to reject funds coming from the Foundation.

The signatories are: L'Action des chrétiens pour l'abolition de la torture (ACAT-France), ALQST for Human Rights, Association of Victims of Torture in the UAE (AVT-UAE, Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), CIVICUS, Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), Emirates Detainees Advocacy Center (EDAC), European Center for Democracy and Human Rights (ECDHR), Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med Monitor), FairSquare, Freedom Forward, The Freedom Initiative, Safeguard Defenders, MENA Rights Group and SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties.

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