Interpol removed Yousef al-Qaradawi, head of the Doha-based International Union of Muslim Scholars, from its “wanted” list, the Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR) announced Sunday.
The Egyptian authorities had earlier accused al-Qaradawi of having perpetrated a range of crimes — including murder and theft — after Egypt’s 2013 military coup, prompting Interpol to issue a warrant for his arrest.
But in a Sunday statement, the UK-based AOHR said Interpol had concluded that the prominent Muslim scholar had not been in Egypt at the time of the alleged crimes, thus proving his innocence.
The rights group went on to report that Interpol now had “more information” regarding events in post-coup Egypt, concluding that all but one person accused by Cairo were innocent of any criminal wrongdoing.
AOHR chairman Mohamed Jamil described Interpol’s findings as “a victory against [Egypt’s] post-coup regime, which has murdered Egyptians and arrested scores of people on trumped-up charges, torturing them to extract confessions”.
Interpol, an international police agency, issued a “red notice” for al-Qaradawi in 2014 based on a request by Cairo, which had accused him of inciting violence, theft, arson and vandalism, among other alleged transgressions.
Al-Qaradawi is known for being a vocal critic of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who — as defense minister — led the 2013 coup, which ousted Egypt’s first freely elected president, Mohamed Morsi.
Since the coup, during which hundreds were killed, Interpol has issued arrest warrants for several leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood — of which Morsi was a leading member — at Cairo’s request.