Who will take charge of Interpol in Lyon? The issue has been on everyone’s lips since the publication of a column in Le Monde newspaper denouncing the possible election of a senior police officer from the United Arab Emirates. The problem is that he is accused of torturing an opponent.
Seven elected officials from Lyon and its region, particularly from the president’s majority, condemned the possible election of a senior police officer from the United Arab Emirates to head Interpol, implicated in the crackdown on human rights, in a column published in Le Monde on Friday is activists.
Headlined “Interpol Not For Sale To Highest Bidder,” the collective believes the sole declared candidate, Gen. Nasser Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi, “at the head of an administration of torturers“whose country”just wrote a big check on the interpol budget“Signers are afraid”another affront“threatening to take away”the venerable institution” following the arrest of former Chinese owner Meng Hongwei in his country in late 2018.
“Interpol’s swan song“
“That among the elites of nations joining Interpol there is not a single honest and honest candidate without blood on their hands would (…) undoubtedly be Interpol’s song of the swan‘ they continue, raising the specter of a future Red Notice targeting Mr Al-Raisi. Among them the LREM deputy from Villeurbanne Bruno Bonnell or the PCF senator from Loire Cécile Cukierman, both list leaders in the regional elections in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, or the former president of the metropolis of Lyon David Kimelfeld.
A complaint of torture
Last week, 35 French parliamentarians, led by Rhône MP Hubert Julien-Laferrière (unregistered, former LREM), also a signatory of the Le Monde tribune, wrote to Emmanuel Macron to urge Paris to oppose this candidacy. Mr Al-Raisi, in charge of the Emirati security forces and also a delegate of Interpol’s executive committee, has been targeted since mid-June in France by a complaint of “torture” against opponent Ahmed Mansoor, who has been held in solitary confinement for more than four years, filed by the NGO Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR). The post of President of Interpol is due to be filled next November, an essentially ceremonial role with appointments occurring every four years. (AFP)
Who is Ahmad Mansur?
The human rights activist was arrested in 2017 and sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2018 for, according to the authorities, criticizing the Emirati government and tarnishing his country’s image on social media. According to Human Rights Watch, “On March 20, 2017, security forces arrested Ahmed Mansoor, who was peacefully pro-reform. In May 2018, after a closed trial, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for insulting the “status and reputation of the United Arab Emirates and its symbols”. On December 31, 2018, the Federal Court of Justice, the final instance in state security cases, confirmed the verdict.“
According to our colleagues at Jeune Afrique, the allegations of torture are more specifically directed at “punches” and from “knife“, “simulated asphyxiation in a plastic bag, followed by sleep, water and food deprivation, and electrical torture“.
Contacted through Interpol, General Nasser Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi did not respond to our request.
China’s former Interpol president convicted of bribery
Previously, Meng Hongwei, the former head of Interpol, mysteriously disappeared while returning to China in September 2018. He then resigned from his post as head of the police organization by post in October after Beijing opened a corruption investigation against him. He was sentenced to more than 13 years in prison