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

INTERPOL

INTERPOL plays a vital role in fighting crime, but we know that its systems are being abused by countries around the world in order to persecute refugees, journalists and peaceful political demonstrators.

Photo: interpol.int

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.

Some changes have been introduced, but there remains more work to be done.

 

 

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 played a leading role in highlighting the misuse of INTERPOL and contributed to the reform process. We have:

  • Helped dozens of people who have been subject to abusive INTERPOL alerts from countries including Russia, Belarus, Turkey, Venezuela, Sri Lanka and Indonesia; [Link]
  • Worked constructively with INTERPOL to understand the cause of the problems and develop realistic reform proposals set out in our report‘Strengthening respect for human rights, strengthening INTERPOL;’. [Link]
  • Organised events to raise awareness of the problem amongst policy-makers including in Washington D.C. (in partnership with Georgetown Law), [Link] the Parliamentary Assembly for the Council of Europe, [Link] European Parliament [Link]and the Oslo Freedom Forum; [Link] and
  • Highlighted shocking cases of injustice, [Link]generating press coverage around the world[Link] (our short films [Link]provide an illustration of the devastating impact that these alerts can have on those affected.)
  • Held a positive meeting [Link]with new Secretary General Jürgen Stock to discuss reforming the way the Red Notice system is operated.

 

Key Stats

1,378

Number of Red Notices issued in 2003

12,878

Number of Red Notices issued in 2016

20

How many years Dolkun Isa had a Red Notice before it was deleted

6

The number of years Sayed Abdellatif has been held in detention, because of an abusive Red Notice
CASE STUDY

Sayed Abdellatif

CASE STUDY

Dolkun Isa

Impact

Our work has not gone unnoticed.

In March 2017, INTERPOL introduced a number of reforms, which were informed by our recommendations, and they include:

  • Greater independence and influence of the CCF;
  • Improvements to the CCF’s capacity and expertise;
  • Better transparency and respect for the equality of arms; and
  • Reasoned and public decisions on individual cases

The political pressure mounted for INTERPOL to introduce these changes, including from the OSCE, a US Senate Committee and the Council of Europe.

These reforms followed earlier changes introduced in 2015, when, 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 policy.

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.

Key Stats

1,378

Number of Red Notices issued in 2003

12,878

Number of Red Notices issued in 2016

20

How many years Dolkun Isa had a Red Notice before it was deleted

6

The number of years Sayed Abdellatif has been held in detention, because of an abusive Red Notice
CASE STUDY

Vicdan Özerdem

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.