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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world


INTERPOL and international justice: are authoritarian states using the system to silence dissent?

Date: Wednesday December 11th 2013

Time: 6pm-7.30pm

Venue: Committee Room 9, House of Commons, Westminster


  • Rt Hon Richard Ottaway MP, Chair, Foreign Affairs Select Committee
  • Libby McVeigh, Head of Law Reform, Fair Trials International
  • Bartosz Kramek, Chair, Open Dialog Foundation
  • William Browder, CEO, Hermitage Capital Management

Chair: Peter Oborne, Chief Political Commentator, Daily Telegraph

The Foreign Policy Centre is delighted to host a Westminster seminar, kindly supported by the Open Dialog Foundation, that aims to address important issues around the use and potential abuse of Interpol's legal mechanisms by authoritarian states. The event will examine the potential misuse of Interpol 'Red Notices', the international instruments that seek to locate and arrest those wanted by law enforcement agencies with a view to extradite or undertake similar lawful action, at the request of a member government. The use of Red Notices has come under fire from campaigners who argue that the mechanism is being used by authoritarian states to pressurise and potentially extradite dissident voices living in exile. There have been recent controversial Red Notice cases involving Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and a number of other countries.

The event will explore how effective Interpol is in upholding human rights values and complying with its own 'neutrality clause'. Red Notice subjects are required to appeal to the independent Commission for the Control of Interpol's Files (CCF). The event can explore whether the CCF has the capacity it needs to deal with political cases swiftly and fairly. The event could also examine how Interpol can work more effectively with other international institutions, civil society and external experts to improve its understanding of potential political cases submitted by its member states and look at how foreign and home affairs ministries can work to improve cooperation around challenging cases. The event will seek to place these issues within the wider debate around the UK's engagement with other international legal mechanisms such as the European Court of Human Rights and the European arrest warrant.

The event is free and open to all.

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