The International Criminal Police Organization, INTERPOL, is an international, law enforcement organization that facilitates cooperation between the law enforcement bodies of nearly 200 different countries. Any member country may submit information about a suspected criminal or witness so that other countries may assist in locating (and potentially extraditing) the individual.
Unfortunately, INTERPOL does not have adequate procedures to vet requests for international police cooperation before they are distributed through INTERPOL’s vast network of databases. This lack of oversight on the part the Organization has allowed certain member countries to abuse and manipulate INTERPOL’s law enforcement and extradition mechanisms for the purpose of persecuting or illegitimately seeking the extradition of otherwise innocent people.
The personal consequences of an illegitimate of an INTERPOL "hit" on individuals who are illegitimately included in INTERPOL databases may be disastrous. As the subject of a red notice, or other type of inclusion in INTERPOL databases, individuals may be prohibited from international travel, prevented from engaging in certain financial transactions, and may also suffer U.S. immigration consequences in the form of visa denials, revocations and cancellations, bond denials, and delays in the processing of applications such as those for asylum.
While INTERPOL does have a mechanism (The Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files) for individuals to request that negative information about their person be deleted from INTERPOL’s databases after they have been included, the process is extremely drawn-out and opaque.
How we help: Our firm represents clients illegitimately included in INTERPOL databases by advocating on their behalf before the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files. Due to our efforts, in many cases, the Commission has agreed to delete or cancel information about affected individuals. Our attorneys utilize arguments based on international human rights law, as well as INTERPOL's own legal documents, to advocate for individuals.
INTERPOL has recognized the importance of respecting human rights since the early days of the Organization. INTERPOL’s General Assembly Resolution no. 3 of 1949, emphasizes that “all acts of violence or inhuman treatment, that is to say those contrary to human dignity committed by the police in the exercise of their judicial and criminal police duties, must be denounced to justice.” Article 2 of INTERPOL’s Constitution mandates that the Organization ensure and promote international police cooperation “in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” The restriction laid down by Article 3 applies both to the General Secretariat and to Member States. Specifically, Article 3 states: “It is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.”
If you believe you have been illegitimately included in an INTERPOL database, please contact Grossman Young & Hammond for a consultation.