The selection of an Emirati official to the role of president of Interpol, according to many senior members of the European Parliament (MEPs), would “undermine the mission and reputation” of the global police organization.
Three MEPs encouraged European Union (EU) nations to nominate an Interpol leader “from a country with an established criminal justice system and longstanding respect for human rights” in a letter to the European Commission president.
They also urged Interpol members “to examine allegations of human rights abuses” against UAE police head Ahmed Naser al-Raisi, who is a leading candidate in the next elections.
“We deeply believe that the election of Naser Al-Raisi would undermine the mission and reputation of Interpol and severely affect the ability of the organization to carry out its mission effectively,” they said.
“It is incumbent on European institutions to ensure its economic contributions are used in a way that strengthens human rights, rather than weakens them.”
The letter was signed by Maria Arena, chair of the subcommittee on human rights, as well as Heidi Hautala and Fabio Massimo Castaldo, vice presidents of the European Parliament.
Al-Raisi’s victory would go against “the values for which the European Union stands, particularly to human rights and accountability for serious violations, including torture,” according to European parliamentarians.
Al-Raisi has been the UAE police commander since 2015 and has been accused of major human rights violations, including “presiding over the torture of two British citizens.”
Al-Raisi was also named in a complaint submitted by the Gulf Centre for Human Rights earlier this year, alleging that he was involved in “torture and barbaric acts” against UAE dissident Ahmed Mansoor.
The European Parliament approved a resolution in September urging Interpol members to look into the claims of abuse against Raisi.