Since it first hit the news about a year ago that Major General Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, Inspector General of the UAE Police, was running for the presidency of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), many human rights organizations have rejected his candidacy because he is responsible for human rights violations and the torture of detainees.
Some torture victims, such as two Britons Matthew Hedges and Ali Issa Ahmad, have filed torture complaints against the UAE candidate.
French lawyer Rodney Dixon submitted the complaints on behalf of the two men under the principle of universal jurisdiction, which would allow the French authorities to investigate and arrest foreign nationals for certain crimes, even if they occurred outside of France.
Al Raisi's relationship to the torture of detainees and the nature of his legal responsibility for these crimes may not be clear to the public.
The lack of clarity about Al-Raisi's role in these violations may be understandable because it is not sufficiently known what the "Inspector General of the Ministry of Interior" is and what his duties are. Therefore, some may think that Al-Raisi's responsibility for the violations is only moral, as he is part of a brutal authorities that commits human rights violations.
Al Raisi has been in this position since 2015. One of his main duties is to oversee the security apparatuses and ensure that they do not violate the law. According to the website of the Ministry of Interior, the Office of the Inspector General consists of 3 specialized departments (Inspection Department, Investigation Department and Follow-up Department).
According to the website, the Investigation Department receives complaints from the public against the police and security apparatuses and their members, investigates them and submits the findings directly to the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior to hold accountable anyone found to be negligent or in violation of the law.
Yet since 2015, Al-Raisi and his government have ignored all complaints of torture and abuse by the State Security Apparatus (SSA) in the UAE. It can be said that Al-Raisi's government has condoned and overseen the human rights violations committed by these agencies.
When detainees or their families filed complaints with Al-Raisi's office against members of the police and the SSA, the response from the staff member in charge of receiving complaints was that "the detainees deserve what happens to them," then he gets rid of the complaints and refuses to investigate them.
When Al Raisi faces a court that specializes in human rights violations, he will face 3 charges due to the nature of the task he has been assigned:
- Supervising the torture of detainees and committing human rights violations. In this case, he will be charged as one of the perpetrators ( principal offender ).
- Covering up the torture of detainees and human rights violations. In this case, he will be considered by the court as an accomplice (accomplice).
- Negligence in the performance of his duties.
On all these charges, Al-Raisi's conviction is certain and his legal and moral responsibility quite clear. In this case, he oversees the torture crimes and human rights violations committed by SSA personnel, by doing nothing to stop them, implicitly encouraging their continuation.
Moreover, he covers up these crimes by refusing to investigate them. This is negligence in the performance of his job, because in his position he must monitor the conduct of the police and ensure that they do not violate the law.
These facts confirm beyond doubt that the UAE candidate for the presidency of Interpol is one of the perpetrators and is legally and morally responsible for human rights crimes in the UAE.