Letter to INTERPOL on “hooliganism” offences
November 5, 2013
Following our meeting with INTERPOL in September, Fair Trials International has written directly to INTERPOL’s Secretary General Ron K. Noble asking for clarification on how the organisation deals with controversial cases of “hooliganism” coming out of Russia.
Critics have long alleged that the offence is used as a catch-all provision to pursue criminal proceedings against peaceful political demonstrators, journalists and artists. The maximum punishment under Russian law is seven years’ imprisonment. Fair Trials is now concerned that the politicised use of the hooliganism offence is being extended to the international arena through the use of INTERPOL alerts.
The letter asks INTERPOL to confirm whether “hooliganism” features as a criterion on INTERPOL’s “watch lists”, to provide copies of any guidance on reviewing alerts based on “hooliganism”, and to confirm whether any current alerts issued by the Russian Federation are based on this offence and, if so, whether these have been reviewed.