The instrumentalization of the Interpol’s system, as part of transnational repression’s campaign led by some States, including against refugees, remains a topic of serious concerns and our organization commends Interpol’s efforts to prevent the abuse of the red notices for political goals and for persecuting dissenting voices.

IAHRA Geneva releases an open letter, calling on all member states of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) to deter authoritarian regimes using red notice to persecute political opponents abroad! The Association highlights Interpol’s crucial role in combatting international crime and fully supports its main objective. However, the instrumentalization of Interpol’s system, as part of transnational repression’s campaign led by some States, remains a topic of serious concern.

The 2021 Interpol’s General Assembly will be held in Istanbul, Turkey. This situation could be perceived as a strong negative signal with regards to these efforts to combat the instrumentalization of the system, as Turkey has been identified as one of the champion States abusing the system. Turkey’s abuse of the Interpol’s system, red notices’ database and stolen and lost travel documents’ database, is part of a global purge and campaign grounded on mobility controls, arbitration detentions and illegal renditions.

Turkey’s abuse of the system poses serious risks of human rights violations and crimes against humanity. Any person deported to Turkey for real or alleged links with the Gülen Movement is very possibly to be tortured, victim of arbitrary detention and of unfair trial. Therefore, the next General Assembly will be crucial with regards to the interaction between the Interpol processes and international human rights law and standards.

With this regard, IAHRAG has respectfully requested the member States of the International Criminal Police Organization (I) recognize that red notices have a potential serious negative impact on human rights, (II) support further improvements in combatting the instrumentalization of the system with transnational repression purposes and human rights violations consequences, and (III) ensure that the new Interpol’s leadership is deeply committed to human rights and rule of law values and rejects any politicization and instrumentalization attempt

Read the open letter on 2021 meeting of the Interpol’s General Assembly in Istanbul here:

Open Letter: 2021 meeting of the Interpol’s General Assembly in Istanbul