Defending the
Human Right
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Fair Trial


INTERPOL confirms reforms at meeting with Fair Trials

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Dolkun Isa

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INTERPOL removes alert against activist Bahar Kimyongür after Fair Trials intervention

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What is the problem?

INTERPOL, the world’s largest international policing organisation, plays a vital role in fighting crime, connecting police forces across the globe to facilitate the arrest and extradition of people wanted for serious crimes. However, we believe that its systems -particularly its international ‘wanted person’ alerts (“Red Notices”) are being abused by countries around the world in order to persecute refugees, journalists and peaceful political demonstrators, at huge personal cost to these individuals. We are especially concerned about the operation of the CCF, INTERPOL’s existing supervisory authority, which is the only realistic option for people subject to an INTERPOL alert to seek a remedy.

What do we want?

Fair Trials is campaigning for simple changes to help make INTERPOL a more effective crime-fighting tool. We believe that 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.

What are we doing?

Since 2012, Fair Trials has been instrumental in highlighting the misuse of INTERPOL. We have:


Our work has not gone unnoticed: political pressure is mounting for INTERPOL to introduce much-needed safeguards, including from the OSCE, a US Senate Committee and the Council of Europe.

In 2015, following a meeting with Fair Trials, INTERPOL announced that it had taken the first steps towards implementing reforms that we had proposed, including the introduction of a new refugee policyINTERPOL have also established a working group to look at the way the organisation operates, and Fair Trials has taken part in the process. You can read Fair Trials’ written submissions here. 

As well as an announcement of new safeguards against abuse of INTERPOL, based on our recommendations, we have continued to have successes elsewhere.
Our achievements include:
  • The removal of global wanted person alerts, including in the cases of Paramjeet Singh, and  Bahar Kimyongür, whose Red Notice was finally deleted this summer after repeated requests from Fair Trials (read more);
  • Engagement in a constructive dialogue with INTERPOL, which has resulted in INTERPOL setting up a ‘working group to review its operations as well as proposed reforms of the Red Notice system, a development Fair Trials has welcomed;
  • Building political support for reform of INTERPOL, including in the EU institutions, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Take a look at our videos featuring some of the people affected by the abuse of INTERPOL’s Red Notice system.