Meng Hongwei is a loyal member of China’s Communist Party, since November 2016 he has has also been the President of Interpol, the global policing partnership. An election greeted with considerable alarm among human rights groups, which were justly concerned his appointment would lead to abuse of the organization’s powers to issue international arrest warrants. Particular targets would of course be those voices of dissent against the Chinese regime. Which while terrorizing Tibetans, torturing Uighurs and vicously oppressing its own people is cynically branding protesters against its tyranny as terrorists.
It’s an irony off of the scale for sure. Meanwhile the world’s most repressive state, which maintains its power through forced labor camps, torture, executions and censorship has its Deputy Minister Of Public Security (the very department that inflicts such violations) leading Interpol!
This week Beijing is hosting Interpol’s annual assembly and Meng Hongwei will be ensuring that ‘terrorism’ is given prominence on the agenda. No doubt his keynote speech will receive warm applause from international police representatives. It will also please the Chinese regime which is slyly seeking to legitimize (and manipulate global political opinion) its oppressive actions in East Turkistan as a just response to what it claims are terrorists. They would expect nothing less of their ideological colleague, who during a briefing of a Chinese police unit being dispatched to Syria during 2014 advised them to place:
“Politics first, party organization first and ideological thinking first.” (Source: New York Times November 10, 2016)
How such thinking complies with and respects the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Interpol is supposed to uphold as a core value, is difficult to understand. If anything it suggests that Meng Hongwei has a clear conflict of interest. While his position as a Chinese Minister presiding over a department which systematically inflicts a range of abuses makes a mockery of any claim that Interpol is commited to human rights principles.