Interpol is an essential international law enforcement institution, as such its protocols and procedures must be beyond reproach. When Interpol fails to uphold standards of fairness, transparency, and accountability; and when it is allowed to become a mechanism of injustice, persecution, and extortion, global law enforcement is in a worse position than if Interpol did not exist at all.
Abuse of the Interpol system has been increasing year on year since the beginning of the 21st Century. Non-democratic, Authoritarian, and transitional governments have equal access to utilise Interpol’s mechanisms as stable, democratic states; and Interpol provides no procedures for filtering requests for inclusion of individuals in its database which do not meet Interpol’s own criteria.
Spurious Red and Blue Notices are issued upon request with little or no discrimination as to the integrity of the requesting state, nor that state’s human rights record, nor even to the frequency of a state’s habitual misuse of the Interpol system.
Thus, countries such as Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Qatar, China, and others routinely report innocent individuals to Interpol purely for political reasons, or in an attempt to intimidate debtors and extort payments from often victimised businesspeople over civil disputes. These individuals may find themselves restricted in their freedom of movement; they may be detained, and they may even face extradition to countries where they will face persecution, unfair trials, and even torture and grave human rights abuses.
IPEX seeks to advise, lobby, and achieve urgently needed reforms in Interpol’s internal procedures for data collection and the issuance of diffusion Notices, as well as to improve Interpol’s overall transparency and accountability so that the organisation’s crucial function in global law enforcement will no longer be compromised by abuse and manipulation; and so that no more innocent individuals will suffer the devastating consequences of being wrongfully included in Interpol’s database.