Top INTERPOL abuser Turkey to host next meeting
Interpol under spotlight for human rights violations over abusive notices
The announcement that Turkey will host the 2021 Interpol General Assembly meeting raises serious doubts about the organisation's integrity.
Interpol has been under growing scrutiny over widespread abuse of its data collection process, with increasing incidences of abusive Red Notices being issued at the request of authoritarian states; with Turkey as one of the leading abusers.
Lawmakers from the US, UK and Australia have been reviewing their relationships with Interpol as it has become clear that the international policing organisation implements no serious screening process before listing people on their system as fugitives.
Radha Stirling, Founder of IPEX and an international expert leading calls for Interpol and extradition reforms says that Turkey has requested more politically motivated, wrongful Red Notices from Interpol than almost any other country.
"Turkey is a top abuser of the Red Notice system, using Interpol to persecute political enemies for years, in violation of Interpol's own rules," She says. "Interpol is not vetting Red Notice requests even from habitual abusers of the system. No one is supposed to be listed over political vendettas or private financial disputes, and Turkey has consistently gotten innocent people listed for these reasons time and time again."
Despite broad criticism of its failure to prevent wrongful listings, Interpol has taken no steps to improve the vetting process when members request Notices. "Victims of illegitimate Red Notices have to appeal themselves to have their names removed from Interpol's database; a process that can take up to a year before a resolution." Stirling explains, "In the meantime, they are subjected to travel restrictions and risk of arrest and extradition, even to countries with ghastly human rights records -- like Turkey.
"It is unacceptable for Interpol to reward one of the worst abusers of its system by holding their General Assembly meeting there." She continues, "This delivers a strong and disappointing message that Interpol has no intention of improving its procedures, and has no concern for the hundreds of wrongful Red Notices they issue which devastate the lives of innocent people every day."