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NEWS

Bahar Kimyongür's wife declared wanted at Zurich airport despite confirmation his alert had been removed

editor - May 7, 2015 - INTERPOL

BK PhotoBahar Kimyongür’s wife was stopped last month at Zurich airport after she was declared wanted through “INTERPOL Turkey”, despite confirmation from INTERPOL in August 2014 that Bahar was no longer registered on INTERPOL’s files.

Bahar Kimyongür is a Belgian activist of Turkish descent who was the subject of an INTERPOL alert from March 2006, relating to allegations by Turkey that he is a member of a proscribed group. As a result of the Notice, Bahar himself has been arrested in the Netherlands, Italy and Spain.  In total he has been deprived of his liberty for over six months across the jurisdictions. INTERPOL knew of Bahar’s serial arrests, but it was only in February 2014, over four months after Bahar himself wrote to INTERPOL, that any action was taken. In a letter dated 22 August 2014 INTERPOL replied to a letter from Fair Trials calling on the organisation to remove the alert, we received confirmation that INTERPOL’S General Secretariat had removed information concerning Bahar and that he was no longer registered on INTERPOL’s files.
On 5th April 2015, Bahar Kimyongür's wife Deniz Dermirkapi was stopped while transitioning through Zurich International airport, she was travelling with Bahar and their children on a family holiday. Deniz was informed by border-police agents that she was declared wanted through "INTERPOL Turkey". Following consultations with "INTERPOL Berne" which we understand to be the NCB for Switzerland, she was able to carry on to her connecting flight as the Swiss authorities informed her they had no interest in pursuing the matter further due to the facts in question being very old.
Fair Trials is concerned to learn of the further use of INTERPOL’s systems against a member of Bahar’s family. We have written a letter to The Commission for the Control INTERPOL’s files for an urgent response to enable Ms Dermirkapi to make further observations to the commission.
Abuse of INTERPOL Red Notices has resulted in refugees, human rights defenders, journalists and activists being subjected to repeated arrest and detention, even when the allegations in question have been found by multiple courts not to be deficient or politically-motivated. There are other examples of Turkey’s misuse of INTERPOL in our report, Strengthening respect for human rights; strengthening INTERPOL.
Fair Trials is campaigning for simple changes to help make INTERPOL a more effective crime fighting tool and put a stop to abuse of its systems. Find out more about Fair Trials' campaign to reform INTERPOL.
Recently we had a positive meeting with Jürgen Stock, the new Secretary General of INTERPOL. You can read more about the meeting and INTERPOL's potential reforms here.
To find out more about Bahar Kimyongür read his case summary.

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