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“MPs Święcicki and Wróblewska addressed INTERPOL in defense of victims of abusive Red Notices”

In two letters addressed to the Secretary of INTERPOL, Mr Jürgen Stock and the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files (CCF), Members of the Polish Parliament, Mr Marcin Święcicki (Platforma Obywatelska) and Mrs Kornelia Wróblewska (Nowoczesna Ryszarda Petru) expressed their concern over individual cases, which serve as examples of misuse of INTERPOL for political purpose.

While acknowledging the importance of structural reforms introduced by INTERPOL last autumn, Mr Święcicki and Mrs Wróblewska underlined how INTERPOL’s reform is also subject of interest for human rights organisations.

In their letters, MPs directed the attention of INTERPOL to several cases in Kazakhstan, Russia, Azerbaijan and Moldova. For example, the Kazakh nationals linked to oppositionist Mr Mukhtar Ablyazov, prosecuted via INTERPOL’s Red Notices mechanism. Amongst the names, the Khrapunov family and a former associate of Mr Ablyazov, Mr Anatoliy Pogorelov and relatives of jailed businessman Mr Muratkhan Tokmadi, on the risk to be placed on the wanted list.

The most notorious cases in Azerbaijan which resulted in red notices being issued for them involved human rights activists – Mrs Leyla and Mr Arif Yunus, and Mr Ferid Yusub. Russia put Mr Yan Andreev, former head of one of the districts of the Yaroslavl region, on the list after he refused to step down from his office because non-affiliated to the party ‘United Russia’.  

Eventually, there is a high probability that the Moldovan citizens and civil activists Mrs Ana Ursachi and Mr Alexandru Machedon could be placed on INTERPOL wanted list by Moldovan authorities.

Bilateral meetings between Members of the Polish Parliament and the Open Dialog Foundation are the result of an international advocacy campaign aimed at raising the awareness about the risk of abuse of INTERPOL by authoritarian states.

Since adoption of the report  “Abusive use of the Interpol system: the need for more stringent legal safeguards” by Members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Open Dialog Foundation actively cooperated with international institutions (e.g UN; Council of Europe) and national parliaments all over the European Union. During the missions, assessments of the reforming process and a list of 16 recommendations contained in the new report “The reform of Interpol: Don’t let it be stopped halfway” were presented. In the list, reference is made to the development of a mechanism which would prevent or remove a person from the wanted list after the court has issued a decision banning the extradition because politically motivated, or after political asylum has been granted. As well a special mechanism which would allow for the removal from the international wanted list of persons who cannot be granted a refugee status due to their stay in a non-democratic country.

Download letters from MPs Mr Marcin Święcicki and Mrs Kornelia Wróblewska:

  • letters addressed to INTERPOL’s Secretary General and CCF [1], [2]

Download reply to MP Mr Marcin Święcicki’s letter: