Don’t Give Up Human Rights Activists to Dictators

Target: Ahmed Naser Al-Raisi, President of Interpol

Goal: Ensure governments do not exploit Interpol resources for extradition and detainment of activists and political enemies.

At least 127 journalists are believed to be in Chinese detention, accused of being terrorists simply for reporting news. The detainees include a female journalist jailed since May, who was one of the first citizens to report on the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan, China. Another journalist was recently extradited from Morocco after his reporting on the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China made him a target of the Chinese government. The latter case highlights a potentially pervasive misuse of a tool developed by international police that could be enabling authoritarian rulers in their quest for abusive power.

Interpol utilizes a Red Notice system in which countries can issue requests for the finding, extradition, and arrest of individuals wanted for alleged crimes. While the global organization has claimed a rigorous vetting process prevents abuse, many governments still exploit loopholes and weaknesses in the system to go after activists by using Interpol resources. Some of these damaging deficiencies include murky language about what constitutes a fugitive crime, the lack of a formal hearing afforded to Red Notice targets, and other failings of due process.

Sign the petition below to help stop this legal authority from becoming an instrument for wide-scale human rights abuses.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Al-Raisi,

Over the past year, journalist detentions have risen globally by 20 percent. Nearly 500 reporters around the world have been imprisoned for doing their jobs. Too many of these human beings have fallen into abusive government hands with the aid of Interpol’s vast resources.

This organization recognized the potential for abuse of the Red Notice system and has tried to implement reforms. Unfortunately, these efforts have not deterred exploitation of the system. Language remains unclear in many areas and critical due process is often inaccessible to the accused.

Please revisit these reforms, enhance them, and strengthen the Red Notice system so that it performs its intended job of apprehending the world’s worst criminals. Do not do the dirty work of oppressive regimes that trade in abuse, secrecy, and egregious violations of the most fundamental rights.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Cameron Casey


One Comment

  1. Evan Jane Kriss says:

    ALL JOURNALISTS SHOULD BE ABLE TO REPORT EVERYWHERE WITHOUT FEAR OF ARREST. RELEASE ALL IMPRISONED JOURNALISTS NOW.

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