Interpol’s Red Notices Used To Punish Political Opponents —ICIJ Report

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A new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has revealed that aside from helping several security agencies across the world hunt down murderers, war criminals, child sex offenders and wildlife poachers, the International police (Interpol) is also used by world leaders to punish political dissenters and opponents.

According to a press statement issued by ICIJ, current investigation clearly shows that the global law enforcement organisation is being used to pursue political opponents of regimes in countries like Iran and Venezuela.

The agency said it analyzed Interpol’s Red Notice and public alert programmes, used to flag persons wanted in connection with crimes in specific countries which includes 7,622 notices issued at the request of 145 countries and discovered that about a quarter of the notices were from nations deemed to have no political rights or civil liberties.

It also noted that nearly half of the Red Notice alert were from nations deemed corrupt by international transparency observers while about 17 countries have used Interpol to pursue political opponents or cases where judges have found political motives in the past five years.

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ICIJ also found that the powers of Interpol is being abused by world leaders in hunting their opponents because the operations of the crime agency are mostly opaque, in the name of protecting the soveriegn national interest of nations.

ICIJ stated that Interpol is putting more power into the hands of national police forces — partly to save time and money.

The agency added that lawyers and human rights observers who had dealt with Interpol reported that the world crime agency’s workings make it vulnerable to abuse by countries that target people for political reasons.

—Henry Ojelu

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