Britons file torture complaint against Interpol president

Tuesday, Nov 28, 2023

VIENNA: Lawyers for two Britons have filed a criminal complaint in Vienna against Interpol´s president Ahmed Naser al-Raisi over their alleged arrest and torture, one of their lawyers said on Monday.

The two Britons, Matthew Hedges and Ali Issa Ahmad, accuse Raisi of having ultimate responsibility -- as a senior interior ministry security official -- for the torture and arbitrary detention they say they suffered in the United Arab Emirates. Under the principle of universal jurisdiction, the complaint was submitted to Austrian prosecutors in Vienna, where Emirati Raisi is currently attending the body´s general assembly.

Austrian prosecutors can in theory judge crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture under universal jurisdiction if suspects are on its national territory, regardless of where the crimes took place. “We hope that the Austrian authorities will investigate and prosecute these very serious allegations,” said lawyer Rodney Dixon, quoted in a statement. The complaint is the fifth of its kind filed against Raisi, following similar ones in Turkey, France, Sweden and Norway.