Written by Sara Faruqi, CNN
Interpol’s new chief is expected to be announced this week.
The crime-fighting agency has long been led by a French member, but Ibrahim Thaleb is an Emirati general who is accused of overseeing the abuse of his country’s political opponents.
Twenty-five police officers from the United Arab Emirates have been suspended after a US diplomatic cable was leaked which revealed that Thaleb ordered the torture of a Tunisian terrorist suspect, said Human Rights Watch.
Sara Faruqi, CNN
The Washington Post reported that the cable, written by US ambassador in Abu Dhabi Robert McCartney in 2004, described how Al-Nagha, the suspect, was subjected to sleep deprivation, being forced to hold the bathroom door open and shaking when tied to a chair, in addition to threats of rape and death to his family.
The case has resurfaced as Thaleb is widely expected to be named Interpol’s next president Tuesday.
“We have repeatedly called for investigations by a UN committee, the OIC, the World Court or other competent international authority into these incidents,” said Middle East Director, Gulf States, Amnesty International, Joe Stork.
“The next Interpol head should come clean and clean up Interpol’s failures by investigating these claims and upholding international and regional conventions against torture,” Stork added.
Interpol did not respond to an emailed request for comment. The world body did not publicly comment on the media reports before the Telegraph reported Thaleb’s alleged conduct in July.
This is not the first time Interpol has been called to investigate allegedly human rights abuses by its members.
In November it was reported that the organization’s whistleblower protection policy had become ineffective as many of its members were not properly investigated.
Interpol’s future is also uncertain. Last week it was reported the group had to pay $260 million to it’s vast ranks of member countries in a deal which, if approved, will see them waive their right to sue the agency for liabilities relating to terrorist and organized crime.