45 NGOs call on Interpol General Assembly to implement long overdue reforms

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On the eve of the 89th General Assembly of the INTERPOL, 64 civil society organisations and individuals including renowned human rights activists, MPs and MEPs called for further reform to ensure that the INTERPOL complies with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The document titled ‘Civil Society Resolution on the Forthcoming 89th General Assembly of INTERPOL’ and endorsed by NGOs, lawyers and award winning human rights activists, expresses concerns about the ongoing abuse of the INTERPOL mechanisms including Red Notices and Stolen and Lost Travel Document database and calls for the full implementation of recommendations put forward by Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the European Parliament have not been fully implemented yet.

Specifically, the Resolution calls on the General Assembly and the General Secretariat of the Organisation to:

  • further improve transparency on INTERPOL procedures;
  • further strengthen the appeals procedure before the Commission for the Control of Files (CCF) by making it speedier, more interactive and more transparent;
  • set up an independent appeals body against the decisions of the CCF; – set up a compensation fund for victims of unjustified Red Notices and wanted person diffusions as well as for victims of abuse of SLTD database;
  • further improve preventive and subsequent scrutiny of requests submitted by abusive states;
  • ensure more effective control over the information which flows through its communication system and SLTD database.

NGOs and activists are calling their governments to:

  • support Interpol by providing the Organisation with the necessary resources to improve the quality and timeliness of both preventive compliance checks and the subsequent review by the CCF;
  • set up a caucus of democratic states to push reforms for (i) ensuring the human rights and freedoms of both victims and subject persons, (ii) naming and shaming abuser countries, inter alia People’s Republic of China, Russian Federation, Belarus, Turkey, Kazakhstan;
  • adopt a risk assessment guideline to be more vigilant about the requests and data submitted by National Central Bureaus (NCBs) of abuser countries;
  • duly probe all instances of misuse of Interpol, extraditions and other forms of interstate legal assistance by the requesting states for political or corrupt purposes;
  • be vigilant about any attempt of member countries to leave a permanent effect on Interpol’s mechanisms and leadership structure that would make the organization susceptible to abuse of its mechanisms.

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The Resolution has been submitted by the Italian Federation for Human Rights & the Arrested Lawyers Initiative and signed by:

  1. FIDU – Italian Federation for Human Rights
  2. The Arrested Lawyers Initiative
  3. Norwegian Helsinki Committee
  4. Freedom House
  5. Human Rights Foundation
  6. Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada
  7. Statewatch
  8. Defend Democracy
  9. International Association of People’s Lawyers
  10. Open Dialogue Foundation
  11. Fundación Internacional de Derechos Humanos
  12. Platforma Pro Derechos y Libertades
  13. The Good Lobby Profs
  14. Center for Human Rights in Iran
  15. Human Rights Institute of the World Jurist Association
  16. Human Rights Defenders e.V.
  17. Hong Kong Watch
  18. European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights
  19. Lawyers for Uyghur Rights
  20. World Uyghur Congress
  21. Yet Again UK
  22. Foundation Day of the Endangered Lawyer
  23. Journalists and Writers Foundation
  24. The Justice Abroad
  25. London Advocacy
  26. TASC- Think-tank for Action on Social Change
  27. Peace & Justice EU
  28. Safeguard Defenders
  29. Supolka Italia | Associazione bielorussi in Italia
  30. Aktion für Flüchtlingshilfe e.V
  31. Saleh Institute
  32. The Association Solidarité Chine
  33. International Campaign for Tibet
  34. Istituto Sindacale per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo
  35. Foundation for Entrepreneurship, Culture and Education
  36. OTHERS AISBL
  37. YC Epirus
  38. International Association for Human Rights Advocacy in Geneva
  39. Universal Rights Association
  40. Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong
  41. Movements For Freedom
  42. Center for Civil Liberties
  43. International Collegium of Lawyers
  44. Freedom Kazakhstan Foundation
  45. Freedom for Eurasia
  46. Maria Arena, Member of the European Parliament, the Chair of Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament
  47. Emma Bonino, Senator of Italy; ECFR co-chair, Former Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs
  48. Roberto Rampi, Senator of Italy, the member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Inter-Parliamentary
  49. Lord Hylton MA ARICS, House of Lords of the UK
  50. William Browder, Head of the Global Magnitsky Justice Campaign and CEO of Hermitage Capital
  51. Lorent Enrique Gómez Saleh, human rights activist, the European Parliament 2017 Sakharov Prize Laureate
  52. Bill Bowring, Professor of Law, Birkbeck College, University of London; Barrister, Bar of England and Wales
  53. Cesare P.R. Romano, Professor of Law; Director, International Human Rights Center of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
  54. Jared Genser, Adjunct professor of law, Georgetown University Law Center
  55. Elena Gaju, The member of Paris & Barcelona Bars
  56. Brian Samuels Q.C., British Columbia & Colorado Bars
  57. Matilde Arrigucci, International law attorney
  58. Enes Güngören, International law attorney
  59. Ana Ursachi, Lawyer
  60. Dmytro Morhun, Lawyer
  61. Raj Daya, Lawyer
  62. Yavuz Aydin, Former Turkish judge – Justice for Rule of Law ASBL
  63. Aigul Pavel, Human rights activist
  64. Gianni Alioti, International Secretary of FIM-CISL

Eleonora Mongelli, Vice President of the Italian Federation for Human Rights said: “More and more human rights experts are denouncing the abusive use of the INTERPOL system by authoritarian regimes to persecute abroad refugees, activists, journalists and political opponents. Such method of repression gives human rights abusers a global reach, which affects our democratic societies. This Civil Society Resolution signed by more than 60 NGOs and human rights experts defines the objectives and the recommendations that INTERPOL should implement without delay during the forthcoming 89th General Assembly in order to stop its systematic abuse by autocratic leaders”.

The Arrested Lawyers Initiative said: “This meeting should be the time to implement the reforms that international society has been calling for years. A sanction mechanism for the abuser states and compensation fund for the victims of these abusive conducts should be created without further delay. Transparency of data removal procedure should be improved. A caucus consisting of democratic member states would be a good initiative to push for more reforms, to ensure that law abiding candidates are elected to the appellate body and executive posts, and also to name and shame abusive countries such as Turkey, China, Russia and others”.

Related news: Three NGOs called on Interpol for legal and structural reforms to ensure that Interpol’s leaders adhere to high moral standards

 



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