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NEWS

Fair Trials welcomes new INTERPOL President in surprise election result

admin - November 21, 2018 - INTERPOL

Fair Trials welcomes the appointment of Kim Jong-yang as the president of the world’s largest international policing organisation at the INTERPOL General Assembly this year.

Jago Russell Fair Trials’ Chief Executive, described his reaction to the news:

“Fair Trials is hugely relieved by this result and delighted that Kim Jong-yang was elected with such a clear mandate to see through the reforms needed to prevent political abuse of the Red Notice system.”

Last week Fair Trials had written to INTERPOL to urge more transparency in the way the President was appointed, and to recommend ‘that the country of which future Presidents are delegates is … subject to scrutiny.’ We hope that the new President can begin taking steps to increase transparency.

The appointment of Kim Jong-yang sends a message to the public about INTERPOL, and how seriously it regards its constitutional commitment to respect international human rights standards. It would have been inappropriate for INTERPOL to be headed by a delegate from a country that disregards its rules and principles, even if their role is primarily a ceremonial one. The President takes over at a crucial time, with the organisation only part way through a necessary reform process.

INTERPOL is a crucial tool in the fight against cross-border crime and other threats to international security, but it cannot make the ‘world a safer place’ if its systems are systemically abused to target human rights defenders, political dissidents, refugees, and others in need of protection. Fair Trials has been working to make sure that INTERPOL is better protected from abuse, and we have started to see significant positive changes (as highlighted in our recent report ‘Dismantling the Tools of Oppression’), as the organisation has begun to adopt various reforms to strengthen the reliability and human rights compliance of its Red Notices.

However, the work isn’t yet done, and INTERPOL and its member countries must now ensure that they work together to introduce the reforms needed to protect the organisation’s reputation and legitimacy. 

 

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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