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Weaponizing Interpol

Image Credit: Huang Zheng/Shutterstock

Edward Lemon

9 Apr 2019

Interpol, the world’s leading police-cooperation body, aims to “connect police for a safer world.” Although the organization’s constitution states that Interpol cannot engage in “any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character,” it is increasingly being subverted by autocratic regimes seeking to pursue their exiled political opponents. The number of Red Notices (a type of arrest request issued through Interpol) has increased tenfold in the past fifteen years.


"The United Arab Emirates, which has been accused of using Interpol as a collection agency by issuing notices against debtors, donated US$54 million to the global policing body in 2017—an amount that roughly equaled the statutory contributions of all other members combined. The use of Interpol to pursue critics abroad is not confined only to large or wealthy authoritarian states. Despite accounting for just 0.12 percent of the world’s population, Tajikistan has issued 2,528 Red Notices, or 2.3 percent of the total in circulation, including one against Muhiddin Kabiri, leader of the country’s main opposition party. In short, if authoritarianism has gone global, then Interpol is one of a number of organizations that have facilitated this move. [...]"

full article, under Copyright © 2019 National Endowment for Democracy and Johns Hopkins University Press, here

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