موقع إخباري يهتم بفضائح و انتهاكات دولة الامارات

Investigation against the Emirati head of the Interpol on charges of torture

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The French authorities have opened a judicial investigation against the head of the Interpol, Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, on charges of torture and arbitrary detention, after a complaint filed by two Britons who had previously been detained in Abu Dhabi prisons.

The Agence France-Presse news agency quoted the French Public Prosecution Office for Combating Terrorism as saying that the case is about the suspected involvement of a high-ranking Emirati official in torture.

The office has handed the file over to an investigative judge who will decide whether to press charges against Raisi.

Matthew Hedges and Ali Issa Ahmed accused the Emirati head of the Interpol of being responsible for the torture and arbitrary arrest they said they were subjected to in the UAE. He is a high-ranking security official in the Ministry of Interior.

The source said that the investigative judge would also have to decide whether Al-Raisi, elected president of Interpol in November, enjoys diplomatic immunity that protects him from legal prosecution in France.

The British filed the complaint based on universal jurisdiction, which allows a country to prosecute the perpetrators of serious crimes, even if they were committed outside its territory.

This means that it is possible to arrest Al Raisi for questioning in France if he visits it, given that the headquarters of Interpol is located in the French city of Lyon (southeast).

He is believed to have already visited Lyon several times since January.

The source stated that the investigation was opened in late March.

Prosecutors in France had previously opened an investigation into Al-Raisi in November against the background of the arrest of the Emirati dissident Ahmed Mansour.

As for the latter case, the investigation is now in the hands of a judicial investigator, a step before formal charges are filed.

The two complainants came to testify in Paris on Wednesday before the investigating judge.

Academic Hedges says that he was arrested and tortured in the UAE from May until November 2018. He was arrested on false accusations of espionage while visiting the Gulf state as part of his studies.

He told a press conference in Lyon in October that he was forced to make false confessions that led to a life sentence before being released thanks to international pressure led by the United Kingdom.

On Wednesday, Hedges said he spent seven months in solitary confinement and was forced to take medication, which he explained as part of a “strategy of psychological torture.”

He indicated that he was subjected to interrogation for up to 15 hours and was subjected to threats of violence against him and his family, describing what he had gone through as “terrifying.”

He said the “effects of the drugs” led him to self-harm and attempt suicide. He stressed that Al-Raisi “should have known” of his treatment.

In turn, Ahmed said that he was repeatedly beaten and even stabbed during his month-long detention in January 2019 on suspicion of encouraging the Qatar team during a match against Iraq in the Asian Football Cup.

He added that a policeman, during his arrest, cut the Qatari flag with a penknife from his T-shirt, causing him injuries.

He said he was subjected to “interrogation day and night” during his arrest, adding, “It is a very difficult stage that I have gone through. It is horrific.”

The plaintiffs also started legal action against Al-Raisi in Norway, Sweden and Turkey.