iPEX founder and CEO Radha Stirling specialises in the removal of Interpol Red Notices issued by abusive nations like Iran. Stirling has helped hundreds of Interpol abuse victims over the past decade and has campaigned for reforms to Interpol’s procedures and for sanctions against countries who continue to abuse the system, like Iran, the UAE, Qatar, Russia, China, Egypt and Turkey. Stirling is an expert witness on Interpol abuse in civil and extradition cases, and is part of a working group in DC lobbying for reforms and accountability for wrongful notices. Stirling commented on reports of Trump’s listing with Interpol:
“Iran’s attempt to list the President of the United States and others involved in the drone strike that killed General Qassem Soleimani is a fantastic example of how susceptible the international organisation agency is to abuse by its member states.
“The only thing Iran has achieved in this instance is showing up how Interpol is perhaps the only policing organisation that should be defunded by the US. The escalation of offensive actions against Americans by countries like China, Qatar, Saudi & the UAE is something that needs to be urgently put in check. Whether it is the planned murder of Americans, the abduction of citizens or the misuse of collaborative crime agency Interpol, the United States needs to end the escalation of aggression against its nationals and make agencies like Interpol accountable.
“Iran treats Interpol like its own little politicised police force, to harass, threaten and cause the unfair detention of victims abroad. Iranian beauty queen Bahareh Zare Bahari was detained in the Philippines on the basis of her support for opposition parties and though removed, neither Interpol nor Iran have their lesson. Interpol has zero checks and balances and their members know it. Interpol relies entirely on the member state to voluntarily abide by their charter and their lack of action against regular abusers, has raised allegations of corruption against the controversial agency.
“When an Interpol victim challenges an abusive notice, Interpol will review the removal request and after nine months or more, finally remove the notice. They do not, however, sanction the country for repeat abuse which sends a very clear message to member states that Interpol is open for business and it’s a pay to play database. After the controversial arrest of Ms Bahari, Interpol might have considered suspending Iran’s membership but instead, they continue to accept frivolous, politically motivated red notices, leading to human rights violations and lengthy, wrongful detentions abroad.
“Iran has issued notices against journalists, football players, businessmen, opposition supporters and now a head of state. In this case, they have succeeded at highlighting the urgent need for the reform of Interpol’s procedures and protocols in accepting notices from nations like Iran.
“Interpol is funded by its member states and has little incentive to upset their donors, even if it means innocent victims are arrested or detained unfairly, for “crimes” such as journalism, credit card debts or for countries like Iran who seek to harass and cause individuals harm.
“Interpol is already under review and pressure to reform its dangerously abusive procedures, and now they may face sanctions from the States.”