Defending theHuman Rightto a Fair Trial
August 25, 2015
Update: In response to a question about the case from Fair Trials, INTERPOL has confirmed that it has rejected the request for a Red Notice and asked member countries to delete any data relating to it. Fair Trials welcomes the news that Ms Rewcastle Brown is not the victim of a Red Notice, but the case shows that some countries continue to see INTERPOL as a tool to try and target critics.
Fair Trials has asked INTERPOL to clarify its position regarding the case of Clare Rewcastle Brown following the publication of an arrest warrant in Malaysia, where she works as a journalist.
Ms Rewcastle Brown is a British journalist whose publication Sarawak Report alleged the diversion of some USD 700m into the personal accounts of the Prime minister of Malaysia. News reports indicate that Ms Rewcastle Brown, who was recently given police protection in the UK after being photographed and followed in London, is subject to an arrest warrant in Malaysia for alleged ‘activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy’. The whistle-blowing website Sarawak Report, through which she published the report, has been blocked within Malaysia.
Press reports indicate that Malaysian authorities have made a request for a Red Notice against Ms Rewcastle Brown through INTERPOL’s systems. One article states that “Federal police are confident of [INTERPOL]’s cooperation following discussions between Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and [INTERPOL] Secretary-General Jürgen Stock during the ASEAN police chiefs meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia this week”.
In an interview with The Independent, Rewcastle Brown describes the warrant as “ridiculous” and said the tactic was designed to frighten her sources. “It’s not something they could execute against me. They have charged me under laws that don’t exist in the UK or any other normal democratic country,” she said. “What they have said is that I have printed material that has caused concern in the minds of the public and that is a crime, apparently.”
Since 2013, Fair Trials has led a campaign for the reform of INTERPOL, to prevent countries using its global ‘wanted person’ alerts to export the persecution of exiled human rights defenders, journalists and peaceful political activists. This is something we’ve seen from countries across the world, including Azerbaijan, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Venezuela, who have all succeeded in using INTERPOL in this way.
INTERPOL are beginning to listen, and earlier this year announced a new asylum policy, as well as launching the Working Group on the Processing of Information. The Working Group has been tasked by INTERPOL’s General Assembly with reviewing the organisation’s supervisory mechanisms in the area of data processing.
Since we published our major report, ‘Strengthening respect for human rights; strengthening INTERPOL’ in 2013, others are noticing, taking up the baton and looking at exactly how INTERPOL operates themselves. There remains work to be done, however, and Fair Trials is continuing to highlight what further changes are needed, and have made it a priority to highlight shocking cases of injustice all over the world.
The Letter to INTERPOL can be found here
If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on 020 7822 2370 or 07950 849 851.
Watch our recent film, which shows exactly why INTERPOL needs reforming.
For regular updates follow Fair Trials on Twitter or sign up to our monthly bulletin at the bottom of the page.
Show your support and Link to us.
View our Site Map
By accessing, browsing or otherwise using this website
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.