Germany: Interpol chief must respect rule of law

BERLIN (AP) — The German government said Friday that Interpol’s new president, like all officials at the international law enforcement body, must act in accordance with the rule of law, and played down his role in the organization.

The comments from Germany’s foreign ministry followed claims by human rights groups that the newly elected president of Interpol was involved in torture and arbitrary detentions in his native United Arab Emirates. He was elected for a four-year term by Interpol members Thursday.

“We have taken note of the election of Mr. Ahmed Naser al-Raisi as the new president of Interpol,” German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Andrea Sasse said. She declined to say whether Germany had supported al-Raisi’s Czech rival.

“All representatives of Interpol are required to abide by the fundamental values of the organization, for example the principles of neutrality and acting in accordance with the rule of law,” Sasse said. “The principles are laid out in Interpol’s constitution.”

She also played down al-Raisi’s role in the organization, saying that as president and chair of the executive committee he would mainly have “representative duties.”

Sasse said the operative leadership of Interpol would remain with its secretary general, the German official Juergen Stock, who remains in office until 2024.

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