On 21 November 2018, at the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL, a new INTERPOL president was to be elected. According to the report of reputable mass media, the representative of the Russian Federation, Major General of Police, Vice-President of INTERPOL Oleksandr Prokopchuk had the greatest chances to be elected for this post.
In reply to the threat of a Russian representative taking charge of INTERPOL, ODF joined an open letter against the candidacy and ran an advocacy campaign with the help of MEPs and influencers, focused around the #InterpolNotForPutin hashtag. The hashtag quickly became viral, being used by numerous organisations supporting the cause, e.g. Avaaz and Disinfo Digest or influencers like Alice Stollmeyer (No 1 female EU influencer in the 2019 EUinfluencer ranking).
The campaign was supported by numerous MEPs, incl. Sophie in ‘t Veld, Rebecca Harms, Michał Boni, Ana Gomes, Petras Austrevicius, Julie Ward, Jaromir Stetina, Dariusz Rosati, Brando Benifei, Tadeusz Zwiefka and Elmar Brok.
In just 4 days our hashtag was used by over 3 thousand users in over 4 thousand tweets, reaching a 19-million worldwide audience. At the end, due to international pressure, Russian Aleksandr Prokopchuk was not elected the new Interpol president.
ODF is among the initiators of the INTERPOL reform. For 5 years now it has been running a campaign for this cause as well as providing expertise for the institution. In its report “The reform of Interpol: Don’t let it be stopped halfway” it reviewed amendments to its legal basis as well as proposed a new mechanism aiding further reform. Our research was also a leading source for a recent report on INTERPOL by the European Parliament’s Human Rights Subcommittee.
- PACE adopts ODF’s amendments to its report on INTERPOL reform and extradition proceedings (30.11.2019)
- The report: They’ve Come For You: Misuse of Extradition Procedures and Interstate Legal Assistance (05.11.2019)
- The report: They’ve come for you. Misuse of extradition procedures, unlawful expulsions and kidnappings of victims politically motivated prosecution (25.02.2019)
- ODF’s Interpol research as leading source for the European Parliament’s Human Rights Subcommittee (DROI) (21.02.2019)
- Statement of NGOs from different countries regarding the possible election of a Russian representative as a President of Interpol (19.11.2018)
- The report: The reform of Interpol: Don’t let it be stopped halfway (09.06.2017)