The Interpol has selected United Arab Emirates (UAE) Interior Ministry Inspector General Major General Ahmed Naser al-Raisi, who has criminal complaints of human rights violations against him in five countries, as its next president.
Al-Raisi was chosen as the president during Interpol’s General Assembly in Istanbul. The Interpol announced his appointment on Twitter on Thursday.
Mr Ahmed Nasser AL RAISI of the United Arab Emirates has been elected to the post of President (4-yr term). pic.twitter.com/pJVGfJ4iqi
— INTERPOL (@INTERPOL_HQ) November 25, 2021
According to Deutsche Welle, the UAE high official’s appointment was announced despite alarm bells being raised by human rights groups and lawyers in the European Parliament. Opponents to al-Raisi’s new office had said that he had complaints of arbitrary detention and torture against him in five countries, including France and Turkey, where elections were currently underway.
German Free Democrats Member of Parliament (MP) Pete Heidt told DW that al-Raisi’s appointment did not bode well for Interpol.
Heidt also said that assigning a president from UAE, demonstrated Interpol’s monetary dependence on the Emirates. Heidt furthered that it would be better if Interpol pooled in money from state members instead on relying on gifts.
Al-Raisi, however, has assumed the new role with gratitude. He said it was an ‘honour’ to be selected as president and hoped Interpol would continue to make the world safer for its inhabitants.
The new president lauded Interpol as an ‘indispensable organization’, the foundations of which were fortified by its partnerships and collaborative spirit.
Historically, the high office of Interpol’s president, has been shrouded in controversy. A former Interpol president Meng Hongwei went missing in 2018 when he was on a visit to his home country, China. It had later surfaced that he was detained in China on alleged grounds of bribery and other crimes. Hongwei was succeeded by South Korea’s King Jong-yang, whose office would now be assumed by al-Raisi.