Prior to being elected President of INTERPOL, Major General Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi was the subject of several accusations of human rights violations in connection with his law enforcement role in the United Arab Emirates. For example, Britons Matthew Hedges and Ali Issa had filed two separate torture complaints accusing Al-Raisi of racial, psychological, and physical abuse while in custody of the UAE’s authorities in Emirati prisons. Additionally, Al-Raisi allegedly committed “acts of torture and barbarism” against incarcerated human rights activist Ahmed Mansour, who is accused of “insulting the status and prestige of the UAE.” The UAE has denied all allegations regarding Al-Raisi.
The accusations of human rights violations by the UAE and Al-Raisi have been advanced in multiple investigations and lawsuits in the UK, Sweden, Norway, and France.
Of particular concern to French authorities must be the complaints filed by the Gulf Centre for Human Rights accusing Al-Raisi of “acts of inhumanity and torture” regarding Ahmed Mansoor (the human rights activist mentioned above). If French prosecutors pursue this criminal complaint, Al-Raisi could be held liable for alleged crimes. When the complaints were filed last year, the court dismissed them due to a lack of personal jurisdiction over Al-Raisi. That status may have changed* since the time of last year’s General Assembly, where Al-Raisi became INTERPOL’S President in 2021 and received 68.9 percent of votes cast by member countries in the 89th INTERPOL General Assembly.
As always, thoughts and comments are welcomed.
*The status of the complaints in France will be addressed in Part 2 of this two-part series.
** Thanks to Daniela Gomez, B.A. Candidate at Florida International University August 2022, for her contribution to this post.