“It is an honor to have been elected as Interpol president.” This is the first reaction of Ahmed Naser al-Raisi, new president of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), on which, however, heavy accusations hang. Inspector General of the UAE Ministry of Interior, al-Raisi has been denounced several times for torture and arbitrary detention. Hence the protests not only from organizations in defense of human rights, but also from several Members of the European Parliament.
Al-Raisi is accused of torture and is facing a series of criminal complaints against him in five countries. Among these there is also France, where Interpol is based, and Turkey, where the elections were held that ‘crowned’ him as the new president. Al-Raisi will assume a predominantly ceremonial role, it is specified in many international newspapers, while the general secretary of the organization, Jurgen Stock, will take care of the daily management of the organization. Stock was reconfirmed in 2019 and will remain in the saddle of Interpol until 2024.
Among those opposed to the appointment of Al-Raisi there is also Maria Arena, Belgian Socialist MEP of Italian descent. “We are deeply convinced – wrote the socialist exponent in a letter to the president of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen – that the election of General Al-Raisi would damage Interpol’s mission and reputation and would seriously damage the organization’s ability to carry out its mission ”.
Also the German Liberal MEP Peter Heidt expressed his concerns about the new appointment. Interviewed by the German agency German waveHeidt said the election “is not a good sign for Interpol”. “We know that Interpol needs money, and the Arab Emirates have financed Interpol and will continue to do so”, added the MEP, alluding to a link between the election of the Emirati military and the subsidies that came from the Arab country to the ‘Interpol. “It would be better – concluded the German politician – that Interpol received the money from all the members and did not need any gifts”.