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Chinese police official to head Interpol

By Newsd
Updated on :

A Chinese police official has been elected president of Interpol, raising alarms from human rights groups concerned that the appointment will lead to abuse of the global police organization’s powers to issue international arrest warrants.

Meng Hongwei, vice minister for public security since 2004 and the first Chinese to hold the post, will serve as president for four years after he was elected at an Interpol meeting in Indonesia, the agency announced on Twitter.

“This is extraordinarily worrying given China’s longstanding practice of trying to use Interpol to arrest dissidents and refugees abroad,” Nicholas Bequelin, East Asia director at Amnesty International, said on Twitter.

“The Chinese police have a terrible human rights record, including the endemic practice of coercing ‘confessions’ and the widespread use of torture,” Bequelin said separately in an interview.

“Unlike most law enforcement agencies around the world, the Chinese police have – in addition to the classic law and order mandate – a political mandate to protect the power of the Communist party.”

Meng was previously deputy director of China’s armed police, a paramilitary force that is often deployed to the country’s most unstable areas, including Tibet, the border with North Korea and the far western province of Xinjiang.

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