The head of Interpol became a general from the UAE, accused of torturing prisoners and harassing dissidents

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    General Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi

    Photo author, AFP

    Photo caption,

    General Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi at the Interpol General Assembly in Istanbul this week

    The former head of the special services of the United Arab Emirates, General Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi, has been elected the new president of Interpol. Human rights defenders and MEPs have expressed concern about his candidacy, as he is accused in several countries of torture and encouraging violence in UAE prisons.

    In particular, complaints against him were filed by citizens of Great Britain, France and Turkey, which this week will host a meeting of the Interpol General Assembly.

    Two Britons – scholar Matthew Hedges and football fan Ali Issa Ahmad – accuse al-Raisi of encouraging torture in UAE prisons.

    Hedges was arrested on suspicion of espionage, spent seven months in prison, after which he was pardoned and deported to his homeland. His guilt was never proven.

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