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Interpol’s Emirati president , Gen. Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi faces French probe into “acts of barbarism”

Interpol

French anti-terror prosecutors have opened a preliminary inquiry into torture and acts of barbarism allegedly committed by Emirati General Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi who in November became head of Interpol, judicial sources said on Thursday.

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The probe follows a legal complaint by an NGO, which accused Raisi of torturing an opposition figure when he worked as a top official at the United Arab Emirates interior ministry.

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Raisi is also one of a number of UAE officials facing legal action from Matthew Hedges, a British academic detained by Emirate authorities in 2020. 

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Mr. Hedges, then 31, said he was detained and tortured between May and November 2020 in the UAE after being arrested on false charges of espionage during a study trip.

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He has previously described how he was questioned for up to 15 hours a day and forced to wear ankle cuffs during his imprisonment.

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The Gulf Centre for Human rights (GCHR), which holds Raisi responsible for inhumane treatment of Ahmed Mansoor, an opponent of the Emirati government, lodged its complaint in January with the anti-terror prosecutors unit whose brief includes handling crimes against humanity.

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Allegations of torture had already been levelled at Raisi by human rights organisations when he ran for president of Interpol saying they feared the agency would be at risk of exploitation by repressive regimes.

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He was nevertheless voted in as president in November following generous funding from the UAE for the Lyon, France-based body.

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There were also accusations that Abu Dhabi had abused Interpol’s system of so-called ‘red notices’ for wanted suspects to persecute political dissidents.

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The probe against Raisi is being handled by the prosecution unit for crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes, the sources said. 

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William Bourdon, a high-profile lawyer acting for the GCHR, said it was ‘totally incomprehensible’ that the prosecutors had not immediately ordered Raisi’s arrest which, he said, ‘they should have done given that he is in France’. 

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The accusations were a sufficient motive to lift Raisa’s diplomatic immunity which he enjoys thanks to an agreement between the French state and Interpol, Bourdon said.

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GCHR boss Khalid Ibrahim told AFP he had been interviewed by French police on March 18.

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‘I told them the French Prosecutor is very slow in taking actions in relation to… very serious allegations of torture against General Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi.’

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Two previous complaints against Raisi had been rejected on competency grounds by French prosecutors who said they could not prosecute unless the accused resided in France permanently or temporarily.

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But in its latest filing, the NGO was able to show that Raisi was in Lyon in January and again in March, using his activity on Twitter as evidence.

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Raisi was elected following three rounds of voting during which he received 68.9 percent of votes cast by Interpol member countries.

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His four-year role at Interpol is largely ceremonial, with Secretary-General Juergen Stock handling day-to-day management of the organisation. 

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Join me in praying for his safe return

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Join me in praying for his safe return - Actor Uche Odoputa reveals his father has been kidnapped for over two weeks

Nollywood actor, Uche Odoputa, has raised an alarm over the kidnap of his father, Kenneth Odoputa, over two weeks ago.

 

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In a post shared on Instagram, Uche appealed to his friends to pray for the safe rescue of his dad who he said has been in the kidnapper’s den for two weeks and counting.

 

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In his post, the distraught actor wrote ;

“Friends please join me in praying for my father’s safe return from the hands of kidnappers that took him over two weeks now. Mr. Kenneth Odoputa”

Join me in praying for his safe return - Actor Uche Odoputa reveals his father has been kidnapped for over two weeks

 

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2023: ‘I’m focused on AfDB’, Adesina rejects calls to run for president

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Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

THE President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, has rejected the calls from some Nigerians urging him to run for President in 2023.

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Some groups had reportedly purchased and submitted the presidential nomination form of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on behalf of Adesina.

But in a statement issued on Tuesday, the AfDB boss said he is “focused on the mission of supporting the accelerated development and economic integration of Africa”.

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”I have been extremely humbled by several calls from Nigerians at home and abroad that I should consider running for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I am very touched by all who have gone to great extent, with such huge sacrifices, of their own volition, to consider me worthy to be proposed for potential consideration,” he said.

”The coalition groups of youth, women, farmers, physically challenged and well-meaning Nigerians that have done this have expressed their genuine free will, political right, freedom of expression and association for my consideration, with the interest of Nigeria at heart. While I am deeply honored, humbled and grateful for all the incredible goodwill, kindness, and confidence, my current responsibilities at this time do not allow me to accept to be considered.

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”I remain fully engaged and committed to the mission that Nigeria, Africa and all the non-African shareholders of the African Development Bank have given me for Africa’s development. I remain fully focused on the mission of supporting the accelerated development and economic integration of Africa. May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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Many feared dead as explosion rocks Sabon Gari in Kano (video)

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Many feared dead as explosion rocks Sabon Gari in Kano (video)

Several people are feared killed with others injured in a huge explosion in the Sabon Gari area of Kano State. 

 

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Details of the incident are still sketchy at the time of filing this report but it was gathered that the explosion occurred at about 9am, near a primary school along Court Road by Aba Road, with many children affected .

 

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It was not clear whether it was a case of a bomb blast or as a result of a  gas explosion. 

 

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Meanwhile the police anti bomb unit and several security units have moved  to scene of the incident. 

 

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Details later…

 

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