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Interpol’s impartiality must be safeguarded

Interpol plays a critical role in coordinating international efforts to combat crime, terrorism, and other transnational threats. However, in recent years, concerns have been raised about the potential for private funding of Interpol to unduly bias the organisation's neutrality. Private funding refers to financial contributions made by corporations, foundations, or individuals to support the work of Interpol. While private funding can be a valuable source of support for organisations, it also raises questions about the potential for conflicts of interest and undue influence.


Interpol's mission is to promote international police cooperation and to assist in the enforcement of national and international laws. To fulfil this mission effectively, Interpol must be, and be seen as, an impartial and neutral organisation that operates solely in the interests of justice and the rule of law.


However, if private entities are allowed to fund Interpol's activities, there is a risk that the organisation's decisions and actions could be influenced by the interests of these funders. For example, a corporation that contributes significant funding to Interpol may expect the organisation to prioritise investigations that align with the corporation's interests or to avoid investigating matters that could harm the corporation's reputation.


Another concern with private funding of Interpol is that it could compromise the organisation's transparency and accountability. Private funders may expect a level of influence or control over the organisation's activities in exchange for their financial support. This could result in a lack of transparency regarding Interpol's decision-making processes, as well as a lack of accountability for the organisation's actions.


Furthermore, private funding could lead to a situation where Interpol is seen as a tool of powerful interests rather than an impartial law enforcement organisation. This could undermine the trust and cooperation that Interpol relies on to carry out its mission effectively.

While Interpol has taken steps to strengthen its policies and procedures around private funding. For example, the establishment of a Code of Ethics that sets out the principles that should guide its relationship with private funders. The code emphasises the importance of transparency, accountability, and impartiality in Interpol's dealings with private entities.

Interpol has also established a dedicated unit to oversee its private sector engagement. This unit is responsible for ensuring that private funding is used in accordance with Interpol's Code of Ethics and, theoretically ensuring that the organisation's independence and neutrality are not compromised by its relationships with private entities.

While these measures are a step in the right direction, they do not go far enough to address the potential risks associated with private funding of Interpol. Objectively, the organisation's Code of Ethics is not sufficiently detailed or comprehensive to provide clear guidance on how to manage the risks of private funding effectively.  There is, for instance, no independent oversight of private funding or its use, and indeed, no external accountability mechanisms to investigate potentially biassed practices by Interpol that may occur as a result of that funding.

To address these concerns, IPEX believes several measures could be implemented to improve the financial and operational transparency of Interpol.  These broadly include:


1. Increased Transparency around Private Funding

One of the primary concerns regarding Interpol's operations is the potential for private funding to unduly influence the organisation's decisions and actions. To address this concern, Interpol should increase its transparency around private funding by:

a. Requiring all private donations to be disclosed publicly: Interpol should require that all private donations, regardless of their size, are disclosed publicly on the organisation's website. This will enable greater scrutiny of Interpol's funding sources and help to identify potential conflicts of interest.

b. Implementing clear guidelines for the acceptance of private funding: Interpol should establish clear guidelines for the acceptance of private funding to ensure that the organisation's independence and neutrality are not compromised. These guidelines should cover issues such as the types of activities that can be funded by private entities and the conditions that may be attached to such funding.

c. Establishing an independent oversight body to monitor the use of private funding: Interpol should establish an independent oversight body, with representatives from civil society, to monitor the use of private funding and ensure that it is being used in accordance with Interpol's guidelines and the principles of transparency, accountability, and impartiality.

2. Strengthening Oversight of the Issuance of Red Notices

Another area of concern regarding Interpol's operations is the lack of oversight surrounding the issuance of Red Notices. Red Notices are a type of international arrest warrant issued by Interpol at the request of a member country. However, there have been instances where Red Notices have been used for political purposes, raising concerns about the potential for abuse. To address this concern, Interpol should strengthen its oversight of the issuance of Red Notices by:

a. Implementing more rigorous criteria for the issuance of Red Notices: Interpol should establish more rigorous criteria for the issuance of Red Notices to ensure that they are only used for legitimate law enforcement purposes. This could include requiring member countries to provide detailed evidence supporting their request for a Red Notice and requiring that requests be reviewed by an independent panel of experts.

b. Enhancing transparency around the issuance of Red Notices: Interpol should increase its transparency around the issuance of Red Notices by publishing detailed information about the criteria used to assess requests for Red Notices, the number of Red Notices issued, and the reasons for their issuance.

c. Establishing an independent oversight body to review requests for Red Notices: Interpol should establish an independent oversight body, with representatives from civil society, to review requests for Red Notices and ensure that they are being issued for legitimate law enforcement purposes and not for political purposes.

3. Enhancing Public Accountability

Finally, to enhance public accountability and increase public trust in Interpol, the organisation should take steps to enhance its public accountability by:

a. Strengthening its engagement with civil society: Interpol should strengthen its engagement with civil society by establishing regular consultations with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other stakeholders to discuss issues related to transparency and accountability.

b. Increasing its public reporting: Interpol should increase its public reporting on its activities, including its budget and financial statements, to provide greater transparency around its operations.

c. Establishing a complaints mechanism: Interpol should establish a complaints mechanism to enable members of the public to report any concerns they have about the organisation's activities, including its use of private funding.

d. Compensating victims who have been unfairly listed on Interpol’s database.

The international community must remain vigilant to ensure that Interpol remains an impartial and effective organisation that serves the interests of justice and the rule.  Interpol, therefore, must welcome input from the broader stakeholders who are impacted by how Interpol operates, if the organisation is to maintain credibility and the cooperation of member nations.

Interpol Red Notice - Press Pack - Download your free Media and information pack on Interpol Abuse, produced by leading expert Radha Stirling, one of the most prominent voices against Interpol abuse since 2008.

BREAKING:  Conor Howard FREE rule Greek Courts over Qatar extradition request

BREAKING: Conor Howard FREE rule Greek Courts over Qatar extradition request

Greek Courts Ruled to dismiss extradition from Qatar today after three month "herb grinder" ordeal. Interpol and Extradition Expert Radha Stirling, who is representing Conor Howard, issued a statement on today's ruling. “Conor Howard and his family are naturally relieved by today's ruling to dismiss Qatar's extradition request, but these are proceedings that Conor never should have had to endure in the first place. “Conor was questioned in Doha for carrying an herb grinder in transit from Australia to the UK. The grinder was confiscated but he was allowed to continue on to the UK and thought nothing more of it until he was arrested in Greece on the basis of an Interpol Red Notice almost three months ago. Conor was detained in a foreign prison and forced to undergo extradition proceedings from a country with a dubious human rights record and a history of Interpol abuse. “Greek authorities arrested and jailed Conor Howard because Qatar asked them to do so. It is far from acceptable that Middle Eastern countries are overreaching their powers of arrest through use of Interpol's Red Notice database. It is not Qatar that has earned respect, it is Interpol and it is on the basis of our trust for Interpol, that we are arresting European citizens. Interpol though, has been accused of corruption and Qatar is one of its biggest donors. This leads to people like Conor being arrested in European countries, in violation of human rights and is something in urgent need of reform. “Countries like Greece need to consider the human impact of allowing countries like Qatar to cause the arrest of our citizens. Conor has been unfairly detained, his father suffered a heart attack as a result of the stress and the financial impact huge. Others have suffered PTSD and health issues following their arrests abroad. It is not something that can be taken lightly. Conor thought he faced years in a desert prison with a terrible human rights record. This is a family's worst nightmare and they should never have had to go through this. “Conor should be compensated by Interpol for this ordeal. I will be making recommendations to Greece's government that will offer more protections to victims of Interpol abuse in the future. “Qatar has shown itself to be unsafe as a tourist destination and transport hub in Conor Howard's case and in the recent treatment of women en route to Australia. Brits should avoid transport via Doha until the government of Qatar values the rights of travellers to Qatar.” “I am very happy we were able to bring Conor home and privileged to have helped him and his lovely family.”
UAE bank Interpol Abuse raised at Parliament - Detained in Dubai

UAE bank Interpol Abuse raised at Parliament - Detained in Dubai

UAE bank’s Interpol Abuse raised at UK Parliament after Brit’s 12 month long ordeal. Emma Lewell-Buck MP has been the first to raise at Parliament level, serious issues of malpractice within the international crime agency Interpol. Detained in Dubai has been a leading voice against Interpol Abuse over the past decade, having seen hundreds of innocent people either arrested, harassed, extorted or threatened with Interpol notices. Interpol has been criticised for accepting notices from countries who have a political motivation, such as Russia, Turkey and Egypt but amazingly, the private sector and even top international banks, have systematically abused a system that leaves itself open to exploitation. Gulf nations have not only reported people to Interpol for political reasons, but they have allowed frivolous private matters to be misrepresented to Interpol as criminal matters, often with the intention of harassing the victim, preventing travel, damaging their reputation, extorting funds or having them imprisoned. This common practice has been regularly used by banks, particularly those in the UAE and Qatar who have been criticised for using the agency as an instrument for “debt collection”. Radha Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubai and Expert Witness in Interpol and Extradition matters has dealt with numerous cases of European nationals who have been arrested in Europe over Interpol Notices issued on the basis of a small credit card debt, bounced cheque or missed car payments. She has recently established a new organisation called IPEX, dedicated to reforming Interpol and extradition protocols internationally.
Live with Radha Stirling on Alan Stevenson Interpol Abuse - Detained in Czech Republic

Live with Radha Stirling on Alan Stevenson Interpol Abuse - Detained in Czech Republic

Czech court rules detention of dual British / Australian citizen Alan Stevenson was a violation of human rights; calling into question the legitimacy of Interpol’s Red Notice system due to widespread abuse by authoritarian regimes around the world. Stevenson was held due to claims of unpaid debt in Qatar, despite owing no money. Stirling vows to pursue all legal avenues for justice. Alan’s case is emblematic of what has been happening with ever greater frequency from the Gulf States. Interpol has been hijacked by authoritarian regimes around the world who abuse the Red Notice system to persecute political opponents, dissidents, independent journalists, and private individuals over financial disputes. Countries like Qatar and the UAE lead the world in wrongful Red Notice requests for the purpose of debt collection – something that violates Interpol’s own protocols. In Alan’s case, the claim of unpaid debt was entirely unevidenced, and Qatar did not substantiate the charge when Czech authorities requested proof. Law enforcement officials around the world comply with Red Notices because of their relationship with Interpol, not because of their relationships with the countries requesting the Notices; so, like in Alan’s case, people get detained very often without evidence, simply on the basis of a country’s respect for Interpol. When a Red Notice is subsequently deemed invalid, people whose lives have been turned upside down by detention and extradition procedures are just expected to shrug and move on. By challenging the legality of his detention, Alan is helping to change the state of play with the way countries deal with these Notices. The Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic has determined that his incarceration was a violation of his human rights as guaranteed by the UDHR, and they are correct. Interpol has allowed itself to be manipulated, exploited, and used as, essentially, an instrument of financial extortion, not to mention political repression; and this has to stop. Interpol is not vetting Red Notice requests from known abusers of the system, and innocent people are paying the price. Interpol accepted the bogus Red Notice request against Alan from Qatar, and so Czech officials are now guilty of human rights violations because they trusted Interpol. We have been leading the call for years for reform of Interpol’s protocols and for greater transparency. With Alan’s case, we intend to pursue every viable legal option to achieve not only justice and restitution for Alan Stevenson, but the enactment of fundamental changes in how Interpol deals with habitual abusers of the system and those authoritarian member governments with documented gross violations of human rights. Extradition to countries like the UAE, Qatar, Iran, China, Russia, and so on, should be unthinkable; their human rights records are abysmal and their legal systems are starkly below international standards of due process. Yet, they remain eligible for requesting Red Notices, even while in many cases, extradition will mean unjust detention, torture, and potentially death. The stakes are so high, but Interpol has no measures in place to vet requests. Alan’s case can be a watershed moment in this regard. If Interpol reforms, the residual impact could potentially incentivise countries to improve human rights conditions, due process standards, and governmental reforms around the world.
Radha Stirling discusses Interpol Abuse

Radha Stirling discusses Interpol Abuse

Interpol is continually abused by its member states who allow citizens to inappropriately report others. It is common in the gulf states to report people to Interpol for private matters, civil matters and even for credit card debt. The ability to do this has created a culture where business partners, banks and even Landlords are using the database to their financial advantage, as a means to extort funds or pressure a settlement. The gulf member states' legal systems allow it to happen. The process to clear one's name from Interpol is long and complex and is a nightmare to the victim. It is frightening and can lead to the loss of employment, loss of income, inability to travel and even arrest. Victims of Interpol abuse, in some cases, have been arrested multiple times, detained then released. We saw a man detained for three weeks in #Germany and another for one week in #Greece. It can depend on how experienced the country is in dealing with these kinds of reports. Germany seemingly had little idea of what their role was in these circumstances. Interpol is an "international organisation" with no tangible accountability, operating with immunity. Therefore, they have little incentive to address these issues and little incentive to speed up their removal review process. They are funded by their members and private corporations which can create a conflict of interest. We have managed Interpol Removal applications for close to a decade. We have made the world aware of the way in which Interpol is being abused and lobby for change and improvements. INTERPOL HQ. #Interpol #InterpolAbuse #Extradition #UAE #Qatar #Saudi #Jordan #UAELaw #Dubai #Law #Lawyer
Radha Stirling Live: Interpol “pawns to Arab nations” as Abu Dhabi bids for presidency.

Radha Stirling Live: Interpol “pawns to Arab nations” as Abu Dhabi bids for presidency.

Interpol Abuse Expert appalled as Interpol, once again, puts its credibility on the line with leaked documents revealing Emirati bid for presidency. Emirati security chief Major General Nasser Ahmed al-Raisi has made a bid to become the new head of Interpol. Veteran Interpol and Extradition expert Radha Stirling, issued a statement today: “Interpol is complicit in numerous and serious human rights abuses and will soon be held to account. Interpol has become a pay to play organisation, open to manipulation and abuse by countries with poor human rights records. Countries like the UAE, Saudi, Qatar, Bahrain, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Egypt and China have been able to use the crime tool for their own personal vendettas. Countries like the Emirates have used Interpol’s reach to extend their jurisdiction beyond their borders, causing the arrest, detention and prosecution abroad of many innocent victims. Innocent individuals have been listed on Interpol, arrested, detained and tried for “crimes” that don’t even meet Interpol’s minimum reporting criteria. Journalists, activists, businessmen and credit card debtors have been locked up in Western nations at the mere request of countries who repeatedly take advantage of their membership with Interpol. “Western countries do not make civilian arrests because they trust the United Arab Emirates. They make arrests because of their relationship with, and trust for, Interpol. Such trust has been terribly misplaced and abused, making a mockery of the entire crime agency and putting people’s lives at risk. The UAE has been the top abuser of Interpol in the Gulf region, reporting victims to Interpol as international fugitives to either punish or extort them and what’s worse, Interpol knows it. Every time Interpol cancels a red notice, they are made aware that the notice should never have been issued in the first place. But do they punish or sanction the issuing country? No. Do they compensate the victim? No. Do they continue to cooperate with and accept millions from that country? Yes. It is no surprise that while the UAE is one of Interpol’s largest abusers, it is also one of Interpol’s largest donors. “The former President of Interpol represented China, before his arrest. China has been criticised for its own abuse of Interpol’s database, and now we have the UAE making a bid for the job. Interpol’s credibility is already at an all time low, with Hollywood movies failing to counter the growing awareness that Interpol is just a pawn, submitting to extreme exploitation by rogue nations for cash. “The United Kingdom, along with a majority of Western nations, have refused to extradite to the United Arab Emirates because of the ‘real risk of human rights violations and unfair trials’. It is astonishing enough that countries with clear and repeated abuse of Interpol’s protocols have membership and a seat at the board but the potential appointment of Major General Nasser Ahmed al-Raisi though, would be sufficient cause for Western nations to fully withdraw all financial support for the crime body. If you can’t imagine the impact Interpol has on real lives, think Hakeem Al Araibi, Bahareh Zare Bahari, Robert Urwin and Alan Stevenson. Imagine being arrested and prosecuted in Greece, Ukraine, Thailand, Philippines on the basis of a frivolous Interpol request from an abusive country. Imagine being swarmed by a police squad at a restaurant in Rome, humiliated, jailed and forced to undergo extradition proceedings. This is what we are dealing with. Countries like Saudi, Qatar and the UAE are enabled to abuse individuals in the West, without consequence, without penalty and even worse, at our own expense. This has to stop. “The US, UK & EU countries simply can not continue to support an agency, headed by an Emirati who has been personally accused of human rights abuses and torture, without risking lawsuits. If Western nations continue to support the organisation and act on its red notices, while being fully aware of the levels of abuse, they may find themselves liable to damages. We are finalising our recommendations to Interpol and advice to Western governments” Radha Stirling is the founder of Detained in Dubai and IPEX Reform. Established by Radha Stirling, founder and CEO of Detained in Dubai, and a leading voice against Interpol abuse, Interpol and Extradition Reform (IPEX) is a comprehensive initiative to address the widespread and multilayered problems with the current framework of the extradition process, including the many flaws in Interpol itself as an organisation. http:/
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