NGO, human rights groups from different countries oppose election of Russia's representative as president of INTERPOL
A number of non-governmental organizations and human rights groups from different countries have called on the delegates by member states to the 87th session of INTERPOL's General Assembly not to allow for electing the current INTERPOL Vice President Aleksandr Prokopchuk as the new president of that organization.
We "hereby call on the delegates of the countries participating in the 87th session of the General Assembly of INTERPOL to prevent the election of a representative of the Russian Federation Oleksandr Prokopchuk to the post of President of INTERPOL and to take all necessary measures to prevent the use of this reputable organization, in violation of Art. 3 Constitution of INTERPOL, for prosecuting people within the framework of fabricated and politically motivated cases," a statement on the website of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union says.
The statement says that it is important that "the engagement of INTERPOL with Russia and other authoritarian regimes need to be ceased immediately"; otherwise if the situation does not change now, it can become a serious challenge to humanity, which will entail a significant number of victims.
The statement says that currently Russia and its allies are leaders in misusing INTERPOL mechanisms, including Red Notice and Diffusion requests for the purpose of politically motivated prosecution and national, religious, social and gender-related persecution. Thus, in spite of an active work aimed at preventing such misuse, it can be asserted with confidence that the database of the organization includes several thousand people that follow authoritarian regimes, including the Russian Federation, in violation of Art. 3 of the INTERPOL Constitution. These are residents of the occupied Crimea and other regions of Ukraine, natives of Chechnya and other republics of the North Caucasus, human rights activists, opposition politicians, and businessmen.
In addition, the INTERPOL list contains the names of many people who have been granted refugee status in relation to the state that is pursuing them.
"If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organization, the number of politically motivated prosecutions with the use of the INTERPOL mechanisms will only increase, as it is highly likely that the authorities of the Russian Federation would apply methods of blocking complaints regarding unlawful registration of the criminal record of prosecuted persons whose names have been included in the database of the organization," the statement reads further.
Also, the possibility that Russia would reissue requests for the pursuit of individuals who had been previously removed from the INTERPOL database due to a violation of the organization’s Constitution cannot be ignored. Thus, these individuals may be subjected to unlawful prosecution again.
The organizations that have signed the statement also voice their fears that INTERPOL can turn into an organization that deals with the persecution of dissenters under the orders of dictatorial, authoritarian and totalitarian regimes.
"If a representative of the Russian Federation is elected to the leading position in the organization, it can be argued that the database of the organization could be used in the interests of the regime of Putin and his satellites," the statement says.
The statement was signed in particular by Kharkiv human rights group, Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Open Dialogue Foundation, Center for Civil Liberties, Humanitarian Studio Khvylia, Anticorruption Action Center, Media Initiative for Human Rights, Center for Global Studies Strategy XXI, Civic organization Fairness corps, Human Rights Information Center, Center Eidos, Center for Political Studies, Vostok-SOS (East-SOS), Crimean Human Rights Group, Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy, NGO Transcarpathian community, Democracy Monitor – Azerbaijan, Democracy For Azerbaijan – France, Journalist Academy Latvia, Democratic Azerbaijan Movement, Azerbaijani Latvian Lawyers, Institute for Peace and Democracy – Azerbaijan/Netherlands, Migration Center of Azerbaijan (Germany), Ukraine Action (France), Euro Asia News Media Group Journalist Against Corruption, and many others.