The Emirati boss of Interpol targeted by an investigation in France for "torture"

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The anti-terrorism prosecution (Pnat) has opened an investigation for “torture” and “barbarism” against Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi, president of Interpol, accused by several NGOs of being responsible for the ill-treatment in prison of an Emirati opponent . The question of his diplomatic immunity in France continues to pose a problem.

He was elected to the presidency of Interpol in November despite warnings from NGOs. Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi is now targeted by an investigation in Paris for “torture” and “barbarism”. The anti-terrorism prosecution (Pnat) opened this preliminary investigation after a complaint from an NGO denouncing the treatment of one of the main Emirati opponents, imprisoned since 2017.

A judicial source told AFP that this investigation followed a complaint filed in January by the NGO Gulf Center for Human Rights (GCHR), which accused Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi of being, through his duties as an inspector General in the United Arab Emirates’ Interior Ministry since 2015, one of those responsible for the torture of opponent Ahmed Mansoor.

The judicial source did not indicate on what date the investigation of the Pnat, competent in matters of crimes against humanity, was opened. According to two sources familiar with the matter, she was entrusted to the gendarmes of the Central Office for the Fight against Crimes against Humanity, Genocide and War Crimes (OCLCH).

Diplomatic immunity denounced

Maitre William Bourdon, lawyer for the GCHR, told AFP that “as soon as a preliminary investigation was opened, and it was necessary because of the presence of the respondent in France” as part of his duties to Interpol, “it is totally incomprehensible that the Pnat did not have Mr. Al-Raisi arrested when he had the opportunity to do so”.

“If immunity were to be invoked by General Ai-Raisi, it can only be invoked by the defendant, and certainly not by the Pnat which must not replace him”, he pointed out. keep.

According to the lawyer’s analysis, Ahmed Nasser is one of the current perpetrators of this torture, which would be grounds for an exception to the diplomatic immunity he enjoys under the 2008 agreement governing relations between France and Interpol, the organization whose headquarters it hosts.

Two complaints closed since June 2021

He has, through his functions, “directly supervised the increased repression of rights and freedoms and their defenders in the United Arab Emirates, and in the first place Ahmed Mansoor”, advanced the NGO in its June complaint.

Khalid Ibrahim, director of the GHCR, told AFP that he was heard by the OCLCH gendarmes on March 18. “I told them that the Pnat was very slow to act on these serious allegations of torture concerning Mr. Al-Raisi, who is fully responsible for massive human rights violations that have taken place in recent years,” he said. he added.

The boss of Interpol had already been targeted by two complaints, including one from the GCHR dating from the beginning of June 2021, when he was tipped to run for the presidency of the international criminal police agency. The two complaints had been closed by the Pnat for lack of jurisdiction: the person concerned did not reside in France and was not on French soil.

For its part, Interpol pointed out in January 2022 that “Al-Raisi holds full-time official duties in his own country and is not permanently based in Lyon”, considering that the dispute was “a matter between The parties involved”.

With AFP

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