Defending theHuman Rightto a Fair Trial
October 25, 2013
25th October 2013
In a one page letter, INTERPOL has rejected a challenge to Russia’s use of an international wanted person alert against refugee, Petr Silaev, charged with “hooliganism” after his involvement in an environmental demonstration outside Moscow. Fair Trials International has sought an explanation of INTERPOL’s decision and questioned INTERPOL on the use of its global policing systems by Russia against activists on “hooliganism” charges.
Fair Trials International’s Chief Executive, Jago Russell, said:
“Unlike many others, Petr Silaev was able to escape Russia and find refuge in Europe after he was targeted for “hooliganism” following his involvement in an environmental demonstration. INTERPOL’s decision to reinstate the alert leaves Petr at threat of arrest whenever he crosses a border. As international concern mounts over Russia’s use of vague “hooliganism” charges against demonstrators, INTERPOL should justify its decision to reinstate this alert against Petr and explain whether it is helping Russia to pursue anyone else across the globe on hooliganism charges.”
After Petr Silaev was arrested and detained in Spain due to the INTERPOL alert, Fair Trials International challenged Russia’s use of INTERPOL’s systems against him. The 28-page application highlighted Petr’s recognition as a political refugee, Russia’s pattern of misuse of vague “hooliganism charges” against demonstrators, the vague nature of allegations against Petr and Spain’s refusal to extradite Petr on the basis that the charges against him were politically motivated.
The one page response from INTERPOL has rejected this application, without referring to any specific facts of the case, stating that: “there is no reason to believe that the retention of information [relating to Petr] in INTERPOL’s files would not be in compliance with INTERPOL’s rules”. There was no hearing before the decision was reached and there is no right of appeal against this decision. Fair Trials International has sought a reasoned decision from INTERPOL and asked for disclosure of “additional information” which it confirms has been received from Russia since submission of the application. We have also asked INTERPOL to disclose details of Russia’s use of INTERPOL alerts, including against those wanted on hooliganism charges.
For more information please contact Fair Trials International on +44 (0)20 7822 2370 or +44 (0)7950 849 851
Notes to Editors
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