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Crime Fighting, Perverted: Interpol and Authoritarian Regimes

  • When
  • June 11, 2015
    8:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. (EDT)
  • Where
  • Open Society Foundations–New York
    224 West 57th Street
    New York, NY 10019
    United States of America
  • Programs
  • Eurasia Program

Interpol Is Targeting Activists and Refugees. What Fair Trials International Is Doing to Help


Space for civic activity has been shrinking globally. As a result, many of Open Society’s partners are being criminalized for promoting democracy and human rights, with some forced into exile. Even in exile, some of these activists are targeted by the regimes they fled through the abuse of Interpol alerts that label them as criminals in Interpol’s 190 member countries, marking them for extradition back to unsafe environments.

This method of repression gives authoritarian regimes a global reach. People targeted through this system see their reputations destroyed, their travel and work opportunities restricted, and their risk for arrest and detention increased. Fair Trials International (FTI), an Open Society grantee, has identified cases of abuse originating from a wide range of countries. In 2014–2015, FTI documented 108 new cases of abuse of this system.

How do we protect human rights within the rubric of international cooperative efforts to fight crime? In this conversation, Jago Russell discusses FTI’s work to combat abuse of the Interpol red notice system.


  • Jago Russell has served as chief executive of Fair Trials since September 2008. Before joining Fair Trials, he worked as a policy specialist at the human rights NGO Liberty and worked as a legal specialist in the UK Parliament, assisting the Human Rights, Home Affairs, and Constitutional Affairs Select Committees.

Learn more about the work of Fair Trials International.

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