China's use of the Interpol system has been a subject of concern and scrutiny, with reports and investigations highlighting potential abuses and misuse of Interpol's tools, particularly Red Notices. Red Notices are alerts issued to seek the arrest and extradition of individuals wanted by national jurisdictions. China's use of Red Notices has raised questions about the potential for politically motivated targeting and human rights abuses.
Reports from organizations such as Due Process International, Safeguard Defenders and Human Rights Watch have shed light on China's use of Interpol and its potential for abuse. Investigations revealed a significant increase in China's use of Interpol's tools, particularly Red Notices, since Xi Jinping assumed leadership in 2012. Reports consistently highlight issues such as prolonged detention and arbitrary arrest of activists and persecuted ethnic or religious groups based on Red Notices. Furthermore, China's use of Interpol has become shrouded in secrecy, with the country refraining from making its Red Notice requests public, raising concerns about transparency and accountability.
We have raised concerns about China's misuse of the Red Notice system, citing cases of politically motivated Red Notices issued against dissidents and individuals deemed problematic by the Chinese authorities. We have expressed concerns about the potential risks faced by individuals subject to Interpol Red Notices from China, including the risk of torture, ill-treatment, and unlawful forced repatriation.
China's National Central Bureau (NCB) in Interpol plays a crucial role in international police cooperation, supporting efforts to tackle transnational crimes such as terrorism, cybercrime, drug trafficking, and environmental crime. However, the misuse of Interpol's tools, particularly Red Notices, has drawn attention to the need for safeguards to prevent human rights abuses and politically motivated targeting.
The issue of China's abuse of Interpol has prompted calls by ourselves and others for Interpol to address and prevent abuses of the Red Notice system. We have urged Interpol to address China's misuse of Red Notices and to ensure that suspects returned to China are not subjected to ill-treatment or torture. We emphasized the importance of upholding international human rights standards and preventing the manipulation of Interpol's system. The problem, however, has yet to be addressed in an adequate way, and China’s Interpol abuse remains a serious, and growing concern.