Dismantling the tools of oppression

Ending the misuse of INTERPOL


This report explores the successes and failures of the reforms INTERPOL has enacted in recent years to try and combat the abuse of its systems. It follows Fair Trials’ earlier report ‘Strengthening Respect for Human Rights, Strengthening INTERPOL‘.

INTERPOL plays an important role in the global fight against crime, but their systems have been misused by authoritarian regimes intent on targeting refugees and critics abroad. For the last few years, Fair Trials has been campaigning for simple changes to help make INTERPOL a more effective crime-fighting tool. INTERPOL can and must do better at filtering out abuses of its systems before information is sent out to police forces across the globe. When abusive ‘wanted person’ alerts do slip through the net, victims should have redress through an open and impartial process.

Whilst the majority of INTERPOL Red Notices may be legitimate, people who are subject to abusive notices should not just be seen as ‘collateral damage’. The abuse of cross-border mechanisms undermines the efficacy and legitimacy of these mechanisms, and human rights should never be seen as a ‘necessary sacrifice’ to combatting terrorism.