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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 drive since 1980 and serves as inspector common on the nation’s ministry of inside, acquired 68.9% of the vote at Interpol’s common meeting in Istanbul. The function is essentially ceremonial — he’ll chair the final meeting in addition to three government committee conferences for every of the 4 years of his tenure.

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

Hedges returned to the UK 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 severe assault on the values it stands for,” Hedges mentioned in a tweet on Thursday. “His complicity in systematic torture and abuse is legitimised by way of Interpol and provides the inexperienced mild to different authoritarian states that they’ll act with out impunity.”

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

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

Ahmad was within the nation attending the Asia Cup.

The UAE Ministry of International Affairs and Worldwide Cooperation mentioned in a press release that “any authorized criticism that could be filed with allegations in opposition to al-Raisi is with out benefit and shall be rejected.”

“He strongly believes that the abuse or mistreatment of individuals by police is abhorrent and insupportable,” the assertion mentioned.

In the meantime, Raisi has vowed to construct a “extra clear, various, and decisive” Interpol.

“I’m delighted to have been elected as President immediately, and it’s the honor of my profession to serve residents the world over, on behalf of the UAE,” Raisi mentioned 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 “each undermine the mission and fame of Interpol and severely impression the flexibility of the group to hold out its mission successfully and in good religion.”

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