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A judicial investigation was opened at the end of March in Paris for “complicity in torture” after the complaint of two Britons targeting the Emirati president of Interpol, Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi.
The National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor’s Office (Pnat) confirmed on Wednesday May 11 that it had entrusted a Parisian investigating judge with an investigation into the Emirati President of Interpol, Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi, for “complicity in torture” after the complaint of two British.
This complaint with civil action evokes “torture” and “arbitrary detention” in 2018 and 2019 in which Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi would have been complicit as a senior police officer in the United Arab Emirates. This type of complaint makes it possible in France to obtain the almost automatic designation of an investigating judge, who is statutorily independent.
“Forced into a false confession”
In a press release, the two Britons indicate that they will “provide evidence of the torture” of which they accuse Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi on Wednesday during a hearing “at the request of the examining magistrate” of the pole crimes against humanity of the Paris Court of Justice.
The first plaintiff, Matthew Hedges, is a doctoral student at Durham University in England. During a press conference in Lyon in October, he recounted the espionage charges he had been subjected to during a study trip to the United Arab Emirates, following which he said he had been detained and tortured between May and November 2018 and “forced to make a false confession”. Sentenced to life in November 2018, he was pardoned less than a week later, under international pressure.
At the same conference, Ali Issa Ahmad, a security officer from Wolverhampton in central England, had meanwhile reported being repeatedly beaten and even stabbed during a month-long stay in detention. between January and February 2019 in the emirate of Sharjah.
He had indicated that he had been criticized for having supported too ostensibly during an Asian Cup match the football team of the emirate of Qatar with a T-shirt on which appeared the burgundy flag of this country, rival of the Emirates.
An honorary position
The presidency of Interpol is essentially an honorary function. Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi was elected president of the international criminal police organization by member states in November, much to the chagrin of human rights defenders and politicians.
The Pnat has also opened a preliminary investigation concerning Major General Al-Raisi after a complaint for “torture” and “barbarism” filed by the NGO Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR), concerning the fate of Ahmed Mansoor, one of the leading human rights defenders in the United Arab Emirates.
In a statement released in January 2020, the Emirati Foreign Ministry dismissed “baseless” claims by NGOs about Mr Mansoor’s fate. On this aspect, Interpol had underlined in January that the dispute fell under “a subject between the parties concerned”.