The Open Dialogue Foundation has once again raised a call for an INTERPOL reform to bring in more transparency, openness and attention to the politically motivated Red Notices. During an event held on 27 February 2015 in the German parliament, the President of the Open Dialogue Foundation, Mrs Lyudmyla Kozlovska, outlined the main issues relative to the misuse of INTERPOL by non-democratic states.
The new Open Dialog report “The INTERPOL system is in need of reform” clearly indicates a broad scope of the misuse of INTERPOL problem, highlighting 44 cases of individuals that have been persecuted by their home countries on political grounds, have received international protection in the EU, the US or Canada, have been protected from being rendered to the authoritarian regimes by the independent courts, and yet still remain on the Interpol wanted list.
The Open Dialogue Foundation is committed to brining the voices of those directly affected to the public light. Two victims of the INTERPOL misuse gave their testimony during the event in Berlin, Germany: Mrs Alma Shalabayeva, wife of a Kazakh dissident Mr Mukhtar Ablyazov, himself also a victim of politically motivated misuse of INTERPOL, and Pavel Zabelin, Russian entrepreneur, involved in the Jukos case, granted political asylum in Estonia.
Mr Wojciech Mądrzycki, Polish lawyer specialising in refugee law, provided a set of recommendations, including a call for more transparency in the procedure of issuing of Red Notice alerts, and prompt reactions in providing information on Red Notices and appeals against them. A system should be put in place, enabling member states to easily exchange comments on individuals, for whom request for Red Notices have been sent to INTERPOL. Higher degree of synchronisations is needed between the process of issuing of Red Notices and the asylum and extradition procedures. Thus, names of individuals granted with international protection relative to the Red Notice, should automatically be taken off the international wanted list. Furthermore, INTERPOL member states that systematically abuse of the system should be sanctioned and subsequent requests placed by such states should undergo an increased scrutiny.
The Open Dialogue Foundation is highly dedicated to fighting for individual’s rights, which are put at risk by authoritarian regimes. We call on the INTERPOL authorities, as well as the INTERPOL member states that keep human rights and basic civic liberties high at the core of their values to engage in an open dialogue with the civil society and undertake the necessary reforms of the INTERPOL system. We see this exercise as necessary to maintain the credibility of the whole organisation and stay faithful to the original goal of the INTERPOL.