PACE rapporteur condemns Interpol abuses, Red Notice for Doğan Akhanlı

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Bernd Fabritius, leader of the German Federation of Expellees (Bund der Vertriebenen - BdV), addresses the federation's annual meeting in Berlin on April 12, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALL

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Rapporteur Bern Fabritius on Monday condemned the misuse of Interpol Red Notices by the Turkish government against people abroad who are critical of the government, including German-Turkish author Doğan Akhanlı, who was recently detained in Spain at Turkey’s request.

In a statement on Monday, Fabritius said: “As Rapporteur of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on abusive use of the Interpol Red Notice system to persecute human rights defenders and opposition politicians, I condemn the Red Notice against Dogan Akhanli requested by Turkey and invite Interpol to re-examine it in light of the rules outlawing politically-motivated interventions and to delete the Notice as appropriate. If an abuse is indeed found, Interpol should apply to Turkey the sanctions suggested in my report.”

A German politician from EPP/CD group in the European Parliament, Fabritius said Interpol Red Notices, which allow police in one country to seek the arrest of a wanted person in another, should be circulated by Interpol only when there are “serious grounds for suspicion against the person in question.”

Fabritius noted that the Interpol Red Notice system was prone to abuse by certain countries and called on Interpol to implement remedial action in order to safeguard this important tool for international police cooperation.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday criticized Turkey’s use of an Interpol arrest warrant to detain Akhanlı in Spain, saying that this amounted to abuse of the international police agency.

The 60-year-old writer was detained on Saturday at around 8:30 a.m. local time at his hotel in the southern Spanish city of Granada over an Interpol red notice earlier requested by Turkey.

Akhanlı was released on Sunday on condition that he remain in Madrid while Spain assesses Turkey’s extradition request, his lawyer İlyas Uyar said.

It is not right and I’m very glad that Spain has now released him. (…) We must not misuse international organizations like Interpol for such purposes,” Merkel said during an election town hall event.

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