Category: INTERPOL “case law”

IN PROTECTING REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS, THE COMMISSION FOR THE CONTROL OF INTERPOL’S FILES LOOKS BEYOND INTERPOL’S REFUGEE-ASYLUM-SEEKER POLICY

IN PROTECTING REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS, THE COMMISSION FOR THE CONTROL OF INTERPOL’S FILES LOOKS BEYOND INTERPOL’S REFUGEE-ASYLUM-SEEKER POLICY

In late 2014 – early 2015, INTERPOL introduced its refugee-asylum-seeker policy according to which “in general, the processing of Red Notices and diffusions against refugees will not be allowed if the following conditions are met: the status of a refugee or asylum-seeker has been confirmed, the notice/diffusion has been requested by the country where the individual fears persecution, and the granting of the refugee status is not based on political grounds vis-à-vis the requesting country.”  Since its adoption, the policy has become a true lifeline for many individuals targeted by abusive government requests disseminated via INTERPOL’s channels.  It is arguably the most straightforward way to fight an abusive Red Notice or diffusion.

Refugee Travel Document

The Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files has very rarely publicly opined on its application of the refugee-asylum-seeker policy.  Until recently, the Commission’s decision not to grant the relief provided by the policy to individuals who challenge government requests after they become the nationals of countries that have granted them asylum has been the most notable development.  In my opinion, this decision to limit the application of the policy is wrong.  This issue, however, deserves special attention, and I will give my reasoning in another publication.  Today, I want to discuss the Commission’s recent disclosure in which it signals its willingness to protect refugees and asylum-seekers from INTERPOL abuse even when the refugee-asylum-seeker policy does not apply.

In the disclosure, the Commission describes a case of an individual targeted by a Red Notice which also involves three different countries: (1) the country-source of data (the Red Notice), (2) the country of the individual’s nationality, and (3) the country that has granted him refugee status because of persecution in the country of his nationality and refused to extradite him to the country-source of data, citing possible violations of his fundamental rights by the latter if he is extradited.  In this regard, it is important to remember that under the second prong of the INTERPOL refugee-asylum-seeker policy, it applies to “notice[s]/diffusion[s] requested by the country where the individual fears persecution” (emphasis added).  Because the country of the individual’s nationality, whose conduct became the reason for the decision to grant the individual refugee status, was not the source of data in this case, the Commission refused to apply the policy and delete the Red Notice on this basis.  At the same time, the Commission did not ignore the individual’s refugee status either.

Following its consideration of all available evidence, the Commission, taking into consideration the totality of circumstances, ruled in the individual’s favor, citing, among other reasons, his refugee status.  In this regard, the Commission reasoned that although the INTERPOL refugee-asylum-seeker policy did not apply stricto sensu in this case, the fact that the individual was granted asylum could still serve as evidence, an “aggravating factor,” as the Commission put it, that INTERPOL’s involvement in the case may lead to a violation of Article 2 of the INTERPOL Constitution.

The sixth of NEMETS’ webinar series Open Conversations About INTERPOL Abuse will focus on the results of the 91st INTERPOL General Assembly

The sixth of NEMETS’ webinar series Open Conversations About INTERPOL Abuse will focus on the results of the 91st INTERPOL General Assembly

On December 7, 2023, NEMETS PLLC will host the sixth of its webinar series Open Conversations About INTERPOL Abuse.  This webinar will focus on the results of the 91st INTERPOL General Assembly.  Join us live on YouTube, Twitter (X) or Facebook!

Yuriy Nemets to speak at the American Bar Association panel ‘Latest Developments in INTERPOL’s and its Member Countries’ Approach to Transnational Repression’

Yuriy Nemets to speak at the American Bar Association panel ‘Latest Developments in INTERPOL’s and its Member Countries’ Approach to Transnational Repression’

On July 25, 2023, Yuriy Nemets will speak at the American Bar Association (ABA) panel ‘Latest Developments in INTERPOL’s and its Member Countries’ Approach to Transnational Repression.’ The panel will discuss the latest developments in the area of INTERPOL abuse and defending the rights of individuals on the international wanted list. This is the fifth panel dedicated to this pressing problem hosted by the American Bar Association. Yuriy has participated in all five previous panels under the aegis of the ABA. Before that, in 2018, a panel on the topic was hosted by the Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists (ACFCS) in which Yuriy participated as well. These panels are always comprised of experienced and dedicated professionals, attorneys who specialize in defending the victims of INTERPOL abuse as well as scholars who study and write about this issue. The panelists report on the most recent developments, such as INTERPOL’s latest approach to the interpretation and application of its rules, the reforms that must be carried out to bring the Organization’s redress mechanism closer to modern democratic due process requirements and legislative initiatives concerning INTERPOL abuse. It is exciting to witness the panel becoming a regular event. The discussions are always incredibly interesting and insightful. We are looking forward to this year’s panel, and we hope to see you there! Click here to register: https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__americanbar.zoom.us_webinar_register_WN-5FsUGjMqqXTze187DpIN5wnw&d=DwMGaQ&c=euGZstcaTDllvimEN8b7jXrwqOf-v5A_CdpgnVfiiMM&r=EdbakWNcaBtMWC6KkfB5Zv42TLxobocOWsk6DltS1vo&m=_LRIAoz2719_YERnqu6yP68mEHTn1DAZ1-4IRo7PyAJv0cZPjlPL9NhZY0njWAK1&s=kx7Vk6mMalntNgZ1ihFyyH90etRftbKAjHEYpMpv5-w&e=

Location Known: Can INTERPOL Continue to be Involved if the Requesting Government is Aware of the Accused’s Location and, Moreover, if the Accused Cooperates?

Location Known: Can INTERPOL Continue to be Involved if the Requesting Government is Aware of the Accused’s Location and, Moreover, if the Accused Cooperates?

During the past several years, the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files has published a number of its decisions regarding complaints against government use of INTERPOL’s resources.  Although these decisions are often published heavily redacted, they provide valuable insight into the Commission’s interpretation of some of the key provisions in the INTERPOL Constitution and the Rules on Data Processing.  In addition, with regard to some of the rules, the Commission has published its interpretation more than once, which demonstrates their consistent application by the Commission.  In this post, I reflect on one of the most common questions I get in my practice – can a Red Notice or a diffusion continue to circulate via INTERPOL’s channels if the requesting country is aware of the individual’s location?

INTERPOL Headquarters, Lyon, France

The Commission has responded to this question in the affirmative, and it has done so in several of its published decisions.  The fact that the government knows the individual’s location, even if the individual was the first one to reveal it, does not by itself make the government’s request disseminated through INTERPOL unlawful. The Commission has explained that “[t]he purpose of a red notice is not only to locate a person, but also to request his/her provisional arrest in view of extradition. In this regard, the fact that the Applicant’s location . . . is known to . . . authorities does not undermine as such the lawfulness of the Red Notice.”  Therefore, the purpose of a Red Notice or a diffusion is twofold.  Establishing an individual’s location achieves only one of the goals, and as such, it does not make the Red Notice or diffusion irrelevant.  Following the Commission’s reasoning, it seems logical to conclude that if the accused not only reveals her/his location but also cooperates with the requesting government in its criminal investigation, such cooperation by itself does not invalidate a Red Notice or a diffusion either.  This seems important for accused and their attorneys to remember.

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