Archive for the ‘Interpol’ Category

Michelle Betz

by on Aug 27, 2014 with 3 Comments

Michelle Betz is a Canadian journalist and media consultant who has worked for numerous NGOs and UN agencies in conflict and post-conflict countries in Africa to build the capacity of local journalists. In 2011, Michelle was one of 43 NGO workers charged in Egypt of operating without a licence and receiving foreign funding, as part of a crackdown on independent civil society groups in the country. The prosecution was described by the United States government as “politically motivated”. You can read the story in Michelle’s own words here.

Michelle and others indicted in the case had, by this time, left Egypt which therefore sought to use INTERPOL (the world’s largest international policing organisation) to seek her arrest and extradition. Michelle was advised not to travel to avoid arrest and extradition. For someone whose work depended on the ability to travel, this was devastating for Michelle’s career. Following intervention by the US Government, in April 2012 INTERPOL  refused Egypt’s red notice request, acknowledging that the request was politically-motivated and in violation of the organisation’s guidelines. In June 2013, Michelle was convicted in absentia to 5 years hard labour in a “politically-motivated” trial.

Sadly, although INTERPOL eventually refused to issue a Red Notice, Egypt had already been able to use INTERPOL’s systems to issue another, less “formal” wanted person alert – a ‘diffusion’ notice.  Without any prior review by INTERPOL. “diffusion” notices can be circulated directly between countries. Despite being notified of the decision not to issue a formal red notice, INTERPOL’s 190 member countries are not required to remove this diffusion from their databases. As a result, Michelle’s name is likely to appear on police databases across the globe, leaving her at risk of arrest.

Read more about our proposed reforms to INTERPOL here.


Fair Trials Europe
85 Avenue des Nerviens (# 10)
Brussels B-1040, Belgium.

Fair Trials International
3/7 Temple Chambers, Temple Avenue
London EC4Y 0HP, United Kingdom

Show your support and Link to us. View our Site Map

© Fair Trials International 2015

By accessing, browsing or otherwise using this website you agree to be bound by our privacy policy and website terms of use.

Fair Trials Europe is a registered public foundation in Belgium (No. 552688677). Fair Trials Europe was founded by Fair Trials International (a registered charity with limited liability in England and Wales, Nos 1134586 and 7135273), together they form Fair Trials.