Torture claim filed against Interpol's new UAE leader by French lawyer

Torture claim filed against Interpol's new UAE leader by French lawyer
2 min read
A lawyer for Emirati human rights defender Ahmed Mansour has filed a torture complaint against the new president of Interpol, the UAE's Major General Ahmed Naser al-Raisi.
Al-Raisi has criminal complaints against him in five countries, including France, where Interpol has its headquarters [source: Getty]

 The French lawyer for a jailed human rights defender in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday filed a torture complaint against the new president of Interpol, Major General Ahmed Naser al-Raisi, as the official made his first visit to the international police agency’s headquarters in Lyon.

William Bourdon, a lawyer for the Emirati human rights defender and blogger Ahmed Mansour, said he filed the complaint against al-Raisi in a Paris court under the principle of universal jurisdiction.

Al-Raisi was elected for a four-year term as Interpol president in November. He has been accused by human rights groups of involvement in torture and arbitrary detentions in the UAE.

Al-Raisi announced his trip to the Lyon headquarters in a Twitter post on Monday, saying “with the start of the new year, I begin today my first visit to Lyon, France, as the president of Interpol.” Interpol Secretary General Jurgen Stock welcomed al-Raisi “on his first official visit as president” in his own Twitter post.

Mansour is serving a 10-year sentence in the UAE for charges of “insulting the status and prestige of the UAE” and its leaders in social media posts.

Another torture complaint against al-Raisi is pending in France, filed in October by two Britons: Matthew Hedges, a doctoral student who was imprisoned in the UAE for nearly seven months in 2018 on spying charges, and Ali Issa Ahmad, a soccer fan who says he was tortured by the UAE security agency during the 2019 Asia Cup soccer tournament. Hedges says he was subjected to torture and months of solitary confinement.

The UAE has denied allegations against al-Raisi.