Controversy over Interpol wanted alerts

Interpol – the world’s largest police organization – has told Al Jazeera that they have identified cases where member countries have not complied with their rules on international wanted alerts.

The disclosure comes in Interpol: Red Alert!, a People & Power documentary on Al Jazeera, which follows allegations that member states have used Interpol’s wanted notice system to target political opponents. In testimony gathered by People & Power, individuals describe how some countries have been able to pursue them across borders on apparently politically motivated charges.

Each of Interpol’s 190 member states can request that Interpol circulate a ‘Red Notice’ informing countries across the world that an individual is wanted for serious offences. In 2015 Interpol issued over 11,000 Red Notices. Countries can also use Interpol systems to circulate ‘Diffusions Notices,’ which are described as ‘less formal’ than Red Notices and are also used to request the arrest or location of an individual.

Member states are expected to abide by Interpol’s constitution, which states that it’s strictly forbidden for the organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.

Speaking to People & Power during Interpol’s 2016 General Assembly in Bali Indonesia, Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock stated that while such “non compliance” with Interpol’s rules was “the exception rather than the rule,” Interpol took every case “very seriously.”

Questioned on which member states might be serial offenders when it comes to non-compliance with Interpol rules, Stock did not identify the countries concerned, saying that if Interpol identified “non compliance” the organization provided feedback to the member country.

Stock also stated that he has introduced a task force to review every request for a notice “even more intensively.”

Stock’s comments on Red Notices – a crucial crime fighting tool – follow pressure from critics and activists for Interpol to filter out politically motivated wanted alerts before Interpol issues the notices through their secure data bases.

The UK-based NGO, Fair Trials International, has been among the voices calling for Interpol to do a tougher job at reviewing wanted alerts before they are circulated.

“Interpol has been allowing itself to be used by oppressive regimes across the world to export the persecution of human rights defenders, journalists and political opponents by circulating these global wanted alerts from them,” claims Jago Russell, chief executive of the NGO Fair Trials International. “It has to get used to saying no to member countries. I think it can be done and I think Interpol has to do it to maintain its reputation.”

In addition to filtering out abuse of wanted notices before they’re circulated, critics have also called on Interpol to make it easier to challenge information held by the global policing organization.

If individuals believe they are the subject of a politically motivated wanted alert, they can contact an organization called the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s files (CCF). However, this body has come under fire over the length of time it takes to settle cases, and claims of a lack of transparency.
At their General Assembly in November last year, member countries agreed changes to the CCF which they say will “strengthen the integrity of Interpol’s information processing mechanisms.”

Nina Vajić, the CCF Chairperson, said that while this could mean a more streamlined process in gaining information held by Interpol, the policing organization still has to rely on member countries to co-operate and provide data.

Each Interpol member country has a ‘National Central Bureau’ (NCB) who provide information for an Interpol wanted alert. “The Commission will always have to rely on the willingness of the NCB’s to co-operate, because according to the principle of national sovereignty, the national bureau’s remain owners of that data,” she told Al Jazeera.

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BREAKING: Buhari resubmits ambassadorial nominees list

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday resubmitted a list of 46 non-career ambassadorial nominees to the Senate for consideration and confirmation.wo months after the legislature rejected the earlier list. Recall that the President had submitted a list about two months earlier which was rejected by the legislature. The Senate had in November last year voted to […]

The post BREAKING: Buhari resubmits ambassadorial nominees list appeared first on The Nation Nigeria.

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Exclusive: Lagos state police command to take action on Pretty Mike for using dog chains on two girls

The Lagos state police command has said it will be taking action on club owner, Mike Eze-Nwalie Nwogu aka ‘Pretty Mike’, for putting a leash on two girls and treating them like dogs while attending a wedding in the state last weekend.

Speaking to LIB, the state public relations officer, Dolapo Badmus, said the command will be inviting Pretty Mike over to caution him over his action. The command will also be investigating if the girls consented to being chained and also whether they are underaged.


She said the command doesn’t have to wait for a petition before it acts.

“You have seen the video, this is our responsibility, We don’t need to wait for a petition” Asked if the act was a crime, she said “If i put a chain on your neck and I start dragging you around, is it a crime to you?”

What if I gave my consent, LIB asked. She replied

“If you consent to inhuman treatment, we will study what made you give your consent, put your age, willpower and vulnerability into consideration. We are taking action but we have not finished studying what needs to be studied.

This post first appeared on Linda Ikeji’s Blog. Read the original story here.

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Kerosene scarcity hits Nsukka, product sells for N300 per liter

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Some residents of Nsukka in Enugu have decried the scarcity of kerosene in the town which has resulted to the product being sold for as high as N300 per litre. The commodity sells for between N280 and N300 per litre at filling stations as against the official pump price of N150. The residents of the…

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