Al-Raisi's election has sparked discontent in the human rights community

Emirati accounts celebrate Al-Raisi victory by threatening opponents abroad

29 Nov 2021
Emirati accounts celebrate Al-Raisi victory by threatening opponents abroad

Many Emirati accounts on Twitter celebrated the election of Major General Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi as chairman of the Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) by threatening Emirati opponents abroad by writing them threatening messages or replying with sarcastic comments on their personal accounts that their arrest was imminent.

The Emirates Detainees Advocacy Centre (EDAC) has sighted a number of comments on accounts apparently managed by UAE authorities, such as "You will be arrested" or "Prepare your luggage", suggesting that Al Raisi's chairmanship of INTERPOL will help UAE authorities track opponents everywhere.

It is worth noting that the election of Al-Raisi, who is accused of torturing detainees of conscience in prisons, has angered the international and human rights community, which fears that the UAE will use its influence at INTERPOL to persecute political opponents.

Dr. Edward Lemon, professor of authoritarian governance at Texas A&M University, commented commented about Raissi's election: "It would send a message to other authoritarian regimes that using Interpol to prosecute opponents abroad is a no-brainer."  

Hiba Zayadin, a researcher at Human Rights Watch, said, "A sad day for human rights and the rule of law worldwide when a representative of arguably the most authoritarian government in the Gulf, one that equates peaceful dissent with terrorism, is elected to head the only police organization that spans the entire globe."

For his part, French MP, Hubert Julien-Laferrière, said, " I deeply regret that this prestigious institution is now headed by a person guilty of numerous human rights violations. By their silence, France and its allies have been complicit in this presidency of shame."