Interpol needs reform. ODF appeals to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees

  • 10.03.2015
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The Open Dialog Foundation appealed to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) pointing to the need to reform the international police mechanisms. At the same time, stories of victims of the system, documented in the Foundation’s most recent report, were presented.

Russia was involved at least in 18 cases where was identified the the abuse of Interpol towards prosecuted political refugees. Kazakhstan was involved at least in 10 cases.

Interpol needs to reform institutions such as the refugee status. This problem has been mentioned before by the Director of the UNCHR’s Bureau for Europe, Vincent Cochetel. In 2008, Cochetel pointed to cases involving the detention and arrest of refugees on politically-motivated charges initiated in their home countries through the so-called Red Notice. Anna Koj of the Open Dialog Foundation noted that since 2008, not only has the problem failed to be resolved but has become more serious. Because of this, the Foundation has drafted a report presenting the cases of 44 people, victims of omissions and loopholes in Interpol’s system which are made use of by authoritarian states. Russia was involved in 18 cases, Kazakhstan in 10; the list also included countries such as Belarus, Iran and Turkey.

The UNHCR’s mandate authorises the Commissioner to coordinate international actions aimed at protecting refugees and that is why the Foundation has appealed to the High Commissioner to initiate the process of reform. The ODF’s postulations also included the creation of institutional conditions for closer cooperation between the UN and Interpol’s authorities and the initiation of a dialogue at the level of the European Parliament and the European Commission.

More on this topic: Open Dialog, Interpol, UNHRC