The British Matthew Hedges and Ali Issa Ahmad were detained in the UAE before Raisi was elected head of Interpol last November. Both in October to Raísí filed a criminal complaint on the basis of the principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows persons suspected of particularly serious crimes to be brought to justice in a country other than that in which the alleged crimes were committed.
Hedges claims he was tortured by UAE police when he detained him during a study stay in the country in 2018 on charges of espionage. He spent about six months in prison. In 2019, police in the UAE also arrested British football fan Ali Issu Ahmad, allegedly because he cheered Qatar’s national team too eagerly during the football match. He also claims that the police tortured him during his imprisonment.
Raísí faces criticism from human rights organizations
Two Britons filed a criminal complaint against Raisi in France because Interpol is based in Lyon. According to French law, “an open investigation should lead to the arrest of Raisi for questioning while on French territory,” said both men’s lawyer Rodney Dixon.
Raisi was elected president of Interpol last November. The colonel of the Czech police also ran for office at the time Šárka Havránková.
Raisi has a four-year term. Prior to his election, he faced criticism from human rights organizations for torture and human rights abuses, according to the media, by police in the UAE under his leadership. Authorities in the country have denied the allegations.
Interpol is the largest international police organization. It was set up to exchange information on international criminals and on crime and terrorist acts in the Member States. The Czech Republic became a member in September 1993.