The British Telegraph newspaper – quoting leaked documents – revealed that the UAE candidate for the presidency of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) is accused of supervising the “torture” of a British academic.
The newspaper stated that Major General Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi, Inspector General of the UAE Ministry of Interior, is accused of committing serious human rights violations in the Middle East, including violations against British citizens.
The newspaper reported – in a news report published today, Thursday – that the Interpol organization threatens to lose its credibility if Raissi is elected as its president.
The newspaper declared that it had seen the electoral campaign papers of “the smiling brigade, which shows a long list of his professional achievements, honorary titles and academic qualifications, including a diploma in police administration from Cambridge.”
However, a British graduate student claims that Al-Raisi gave him a mixture of drugs while he was detained in Dubai on espionage charges, while a football fan who was beaten, stabbed and electrocuted accuses him of being responsible for his torture. The two men say he should never become president of Interpol.
Matthew Hedges, a doctoral student at the University of Durham, was held in solitary confinement for about 6 months, after he was arrested at Dubai Airport in May 2018 on suspicion of spying for British Foreign Intelligence (MI6).
Hedges says his phone calls were monitored, he was forced to sign a false confession, and given a combination of high-strength drugs to help him fight the panic attacks and depression from which he is still recovering.
He was sentenced to life in prison after a hearing that lasted only 5 minutes, although the British authorities publicly denied that he was an agent of their intelligence, but a presidential pardon about him It was released later that year due to international pressure.
As Inspector General of the Ministry of the Interior, Major General Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi is responsible for organizing and managing the security and police forces in the UAE, and British academic Hedges considers him ultimately responsible for his torture and detention.
Ali Ahmed – a British soccer fan who was arrested for wearing the Qatari national team shirt in one of the Asian Nations Championship matches in the UAE – shares Matthew Hedges’s fear of Al Raisi taking one of the most important positions in an international security organization.
Ali Ahmed spent more than two weeks in prison, confirming that he was subjected to electric shocks, deprived of food and drink, forced to sign a confession, and not allowed to seek legal assistance.
Hedges quotes Telegraph as saying that the next INTERPOL boss must be fully aware of the leadership’s burdens and respect the rule of law.
Hedges added that the UAE police under the leadership of Al-Raisi acted without fear of being held accountable for his case, Ali and many other cases, indicating that they would not allow him to head Interpol.
Hedges and Ali Ahmed sent a letter to INTERPOL Secretary General Juergen Stock to express their concern.
The Interpol General Assembly will hold a meeting to elect a new president for the organization in December in the UAE, following the change of the meeting’s venue from Uruguay.
Al Raisi is a member of the Interpol Executive Committee, but he has not been nominated for its presidency.