Fair Trials welcomes INTERPOL vote to reform Executive Committee elections

Article by Fair Trials

Fair Trials has welcomed a vote by delegates at INTERPOL’s General Assembly in Istanbul to reform the crime agency’s procedures for nominating and electing its Executive Committee.

Fair Trials Legal Director, Bruno Min said:

“The process for electing the officials who lead INTERPOL is opaque and these proposed reforms are long overdue. Fair Trials welcomes this vote and hopes that this commitment to transparency extends to other areas of INTERPOL’s work.”

Following these reforms, we now urge INTERPOL to improve transparency over how its systems work including more data about the Red Notices it receives and rejects so that the agency can be held to account when it comes to the abuse of its systems by authoritarian regimes.

One of the candidates for the next President of INTERPOL is Ahmed Naser al-Raisi, a senior police chief from the United Arab Emirates. Human rights groups have voiced concerns that al-Raisi has been implicated in human rights abuses in the UAE.

INTERPOL has also been under fire for the ongoing abuse of its systems by authoritarian regimes. Last week, Fair Trials and organisations representing Syrian refugees wrote to INTERPOL to express concerns about the decision to reinstate the Syrian government’s access to its Information System. The open letter, co-signed by 19 organisations representing Syrian refugees, called on INTERPOL to ensure that robust procedures are put in place to guarantee their safety.