I would like to help today and donate

Next
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Next
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
CLOSE
NEWS

INTERPOL and the case for reform: who has said what?

editor - August 20, 2015 - INTERPOL, red notice

Since 2013, Fair Trials has led the campaign for 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. Countries across the world, including Azerbaijan, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Venezuela, have succeeded in using INTERPOL in this way. INTERPOL not only gives these countries’ oppressive activities wider geographical reach; it also provides its own stamp of authority, providing greater credibility to politically-motivated efforts at criminalizing human rights defenders and free speech. You can read more about the campaign and some of its successes here.

At the end of 2013 we published our major report, ‘Strengthening respect for human rights; strengthening INTERPOL. The report called for much needed, but straightforward reforms that could weed out most abusive alerts and provide redress where cases slip through the net. Since the report, people have started listening, and it’s not just us: others are taking up the baton and looking at exactly how INTERPOL operates.

Members of the European Parliament have expressed their concerns, and the European Commission has committed to raising the issues outlined in our report with INTERPOL. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has also undertaken to examine abuses of INTERPOL in the context of a report on the topic and domestic parliaments in the Netherlands, UK and Germany have also raised concerns.

Elsewhere, other organisations have started their own work, and in some cases produced their own reports:

  • The US based Heritage foundation released a report detailing the potential abuse of INTERPOL systems and the necessity of reform in relation to US foreign and domestic policy.
  • Earlier this year, REDRESS, together with Fair Trials, submitted an application to INTERPOL requesting the deletion of information concerning Mr Djamel Ktiti. Mr Ktiti, a French national, is the subject of information on INTERPOL’s files circulated by the National Central Bureau of Algeria. The United Nations Committee Against Torture held that Ktiti’s extradition ran an unacceptable risk of being based on evidence obtained by torture, and that Mr Ktiti faced an unacceptably high risk of torture if he is returned to Algeria.
  • The Centre for Peace Studies has presented recommendations on safeguarding refugees from the abuse of INTERPOL mechanisms at a side event that took place at the 13th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Doha, Qatar.
  • The Henry Jackson Society has also released a report examining the extent to which INTERPOL is used as a tool to persecute businessmen and businesswomen, journalists, lawyers, and political activists. The policy paper highlights a number of cases wherein individuals have feared, or have been subject to arrest or detention.

INTERPOL are listening, 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.

Fair Trials is continuing to work to highlight what further changes are needed, and have made it a priority to highlight shocking cases of injustice all over the world.

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.

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please call the media team on +44 (0) 7749 785 932 or email [email protected]

Keep up to date

Receive updates on our work and news about Fair Trials globally

Activities in the following sections on this website are supported by the Justice Programme of the European Union: Legal Experts Advisory Panel, Defence Rights Map, Case Law Database, Advice Guides and Latest News. More information about our financial supporters is available here.