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  • Detained in Dubai

Interpol Red Notices Damage Reputations: How to Recover.

Interpol Red Notice reports have a devastating effect on people’s lives. Victims can lose their visa status, employment, security clearance and their freedom while being perceived as criminal “fugitives”.

Interpol “fugitives” are perceived to be guilty even though no due process or investigation occurs at the time a Notice is activated and disputing a Notice is nothing like a courtroom. Even once an application to delete a wrongful Notice has been made, the decision is ultimately made behind closed doors and appealing an unfavourable decision is extremely difficult.

A number of countries have exploited the organisation, misusing it for political persecutions, human rights abuses or debt collection. Business owners have notoriously used the tool as a means to extort victims or loot corporate assets and prevent their former partners from taking action. Whether it’s a Sheikh, a government, a bank or a corporation, Interpol has left itself open to abuse and there are no consequences for anyone other than the victim.

Even after surviving the risk of arrest and extradition and successfully deleting a Red Notice, the damage done to a person’s career and reputation can be permanent. “Even when the Notice is removed, I will never be able to work in this industry again” is a common complaint amongst those in security or finance. “I lost my business and my clients after my name was splattered all over the media”, an issue for businessmen who were publicly branded criminals after opponents leaked news of their fugitive status. Some victims have struggled to keep their immigration status or obtain visas. Expert Radha Stirling explains “I am regularly required to provide expert testimony for immigration and asylum applications to prove the Interpol Red Notice should not be a factor in decision making and that the individual may face human rights abuses if asylum is denied”.

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