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Article

26 Oct 2021

Author:
MENA Rights Group

PR firm hired to promote Al Raisi’s candidacy to INTERPOL presidency should end relationship with UAE government, NGOs say

We, the undersigned human rights organisations, are writing to express our concern regarding recent reports that Project Associates has been hired to promote the candidacy of Ahmed Al Raisi, the General Inspector of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Interior, to the presidency of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL).

We are also aware of previous reports that a contract was signed between the National Media Council of the UAE and Project Associates in 2017.

Given the human rights record in the UAE, the continued abuses perpetrated by state security forces under Al Raisi’s leadership, and the multiple allegations of torture filed against him in France and the United Kingdom, we ask you to fully consider your moral and legal responsibilities under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and urge you to terminate your contract and cease your representation of the UAE government and Mr. Ahmed Al Raisi.

[...]

Al Raisi is a leading figure in a security apparatus that tolerates no criticism or dissent and systematically violates human rights. At the hands of the UAE security forces, lawyers, journalists, political activists, and human rights defenders  have been forcibly disappeared, tortured, arbitrarily detained, and intimidated for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression...

[...]

By providing consulting services to Al Raisi, Project Associates is actively supporting the efforts of the UAE to obfuscate its record of human rights abuses and is advocating for a possible outcome in which INTERPOL...would be led by an individual credibly accused of torture.