On June 18, 2016, the Wall Street Journal published an article it titles “How Rogue Regimes Have Weaponized Interpol” in which the venerable newspaper implied Interpol becoming extension of rogue regimes. WSJ opening paragraph was:
Autocratic regimes and governments that sneer at the rule of law have found a new tool for harassing their critics and exporting repression. Astonishingly, their willing partner is Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization. It’s time for Interpol’s democratic members—among its 190-nation membership—to stand up to its abuse of power.
Forward to February of 2019 when Interpol played a crucial role in the arrest of a political Bahraini refugee to Australia. Interpol asked Thailand to arrest him on his honeymoon visit. On behalf of Bahrain with a pure political agenda.
NBC News investigated the matter. The news organization wrote in an article entitled “How Bahraini soccer player Hakeem Al Araibi’s honeymoon turned into a nightmare” the role Interpol played in his arrest. NBC summarized Interpol role in those two paragraphs:
Arraibi had contacted Australia’s Home Affairs department, the agency responsible for his refugee status, before his honeymoon and was assured that it was safe to travel, said Fatima Yazbek, a rights activist who has been in close touch with the couple.
But as the couple’s flight took off from Melbourne, where Araibi plays for the Pascoe Vale soccer club, an Interpol notification went out alerting both Bahrain and Thailand of his movements.
INTERPOL becoming extension of rogue regimes and authoritarian rulers. They use its international power to clamp down on human rights advocates and political dissidents.
It is as if the Wall Street Journal article of two years earlier was never written.
INTERPOL OPERATIONALLY DEFUNCT
Today, it was a Bahraini dissident who took refuge in Australia. Tomorrow, it will be a dissident who took refuge in the United States. Interpol is operationally a defunct organization.
Speaking of the United States citizen, the thug Vladimir Putin attempted to arrest a prominent U.S. businessman named William Browder using Interpol as a medium.
Putin failed in this instance because of Browder’s status. But, Interpol will miss at some point. If it does, do not be surprised if U.S. Congress comes hard on the organization for running loose in support of authoritarian and lawless regimes.
The thing is Interpol is accountable to no one. There is no oversight of any kind over the organization’s activities. How many other political dissidents has the organization committed to jail, torture, and possibly death? Interpol becoming extension of rogue regimes.
INCOMPETENT INTERPOL LEADERSHIP
Interpol leadership better get its act together because it would be rather easy to hand over its responsibility to another entity by disbanding its operations. The status quo is unconscionable and unacceptable by any stretch of imagination.
We believe the media must spring to action by constantly monitoring Interpol activities. Only the media can hold this international police club, now representing the inhuman agendas of oppressive regimes, accountable for its actions.
Interpol ‘s budget hovers around $130m annually, which is a meager amount for an organization doing so much damage on the international stage of human rights.