New Interpol president accused of running torture sessions

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Dr Mousa Buhari, also head of secret service, is nominated for third time by ruling family and has no experience in policing

The new president of Interpol has been accused of overseeing the torture of a detainee and attending training sessions on torture techniques that allegedly used chemicals to harm prisoners.

Dr Mousa Buhari, 54, is also head of the UAE’s controversial secret service, where he chairs the special forces staff committee.

The UAE has been accused of human rights abuses in its internal affairs, with human rights groups saying its troops have violated the laws of war in Yemen.

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Buhari is also head of the Emirates’ National Counter-Terrorism Centre and the National Criminal Investigation Department.

The decision to re-nominate him was taken by the Abu Dhabi ruling family which has appointed a number of its top officials to the role of Interpol president.

Buhari, who was first appointed in 2012, has none of the experience necessary to be head of Interpol, according to human rights groups and diplomats.

Luisa Dilliweiss, the director of the International Service for Human Rights, said that Buhari would not be able to do his job because he has no experience of the diplomatic arena.

“Interpol is all about ensuring law enforcement around the world is consistent in its practices and is not free from political interference,” she said.

Concerns over law enforcement in the UAE have increased after a UN report in May highlighted the alleged abuse of detainees by the government’s special forces.

Human Rights Watch said that detainees and family members in Yemen had told of widespread torture, political arrests and political killings as part of the country’s three-year civil war.

It said that suspects accused of terrorism were abused in jail and tortured to confess through beatings and electric shocks.

UN special rapporteur Ben Emmerson condemned the alleged use of electric shocks to “intensify trauma and cause strokes” and described torture as a serious human rights violation in Yemen.

In 2011, Emmerson criticised the UAE over its alleged involvement in political killings in Yemen.

A UN report later said that UAE forces had participated in the extrajudicial killings of at least five Yemeni civilians and had committed other human rights violations.

Buhari, a Nigerian, heads the government’s Counter-Terrorism Centre and has been chairman of the National Criminal Investigation Department since January this year.

Human Rights Watch said in 2015 that he was responsible for the execution of a group of suspects arrested after the bombing of the Grand Mosque in Cairo.

In 2014, he oversaw a record-breaking recruitment drive in the country’s domestic intelligence and security forces.

It said that at the time up to 30,000 staff had been recruited, including 1,850 new intelligence officers.

Interpol is the international organisation that helps police forces around the world exchange information in a fight against crime.

It is a global network of 191 member countries and has around 19,000 employees. Its secretariat is based in Lyon, France.

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