I’m having the very pleasant experience of feeling a bit of fall weather this weekend, not because Miami has become unseasonably cool, but because I am in Washington, D.C. to attend an event hosted by Fair Trials, International.
Fair Trials has organized “Demonizing Dissidents” to highlight the abuse of INTERPOL by dictatorships that persecute journalists, peaceful political dissidents, and refugees. The London-based organization has been consistent and relentless in its quest for INTERPOL reform, particularly with respect to politically based prosecutions and violations of individual human rights.
Given the United States’ status as one of the primary funders of INTERPOL, it is appropriate that efforts at reform are undertaken here, as well. While some U.S. officials have made sporadic, individualized attempts to correct abuses of INTERPOL, there has yet to be a concerted, official effort at truly ensuring the protection of individual due process and human rights. The U.S. has both a political and moral obligation to take concrete steps to accomplish these goals, and INTERPOL appears to be poised to continue its efforts to achieve transparency, accountability within its National Central Bureaus, and the enforcement of applicable law in every Red Notice case.
The event will provide an opportunity to witness not only the very real cost to individuals who have suffered from the abuse of INTERPOL’s tools, but also to understand the cost to INTERPOL’s credibility and to the United States’ credibility as a nation of law and order if real reform is not imminent.
As always, thoughts and comments are welcomed.