Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Russia uses Interpol to harass critics

QZ - how Russia is using Interpol to harass Bill Browder. Intro goes like this:

Bill Browder used to be Russia’s biggest foreign investor; now he is one of its harshest critics. The Russian government tried three times between 2012 and 2015 to get Interpol, the international policing organization, to issue a global “red notice” for Browder—a request for other countries to arrest him.

All three times, the attempts failed, with Interpol declaring them politically motivated. This year the Kremlin has changed tactic and twice unilaterally issued a different type of notice—a “diffusion,” an arrest request that isn’t public and isn’t vetted by Interpol itself. The latest one was filed last week, on Oct. 17, and within the US immigration bureaucracy it apparently triggered an automatic ban on Browder, who is a UK citizen. It took the US a day (paywall) to realize its mistake and revoke the ban. Interpol took nine days to finally block Russia’s warrant, Browder says.

“It’s outrageous that Russia has repeatedly abused the Interpol diffusion system for political and criminal purposes,” he wrote in an email to Quartz. “The only way to stop their abuse is to take away Russia’s right to unilaterally post diffusions and have any future notices vetted by non-Russians at Interpol headquarters.”

Why not just shut Russia out of Interpol? I mean, sure, then all the world's child molesters, mass murderers, terrorists and mafia would move there... but most of the world's child molesters, mass murderers, terrorists and mafia live there already, right? Why not stick all of them in one country so we know where they all are?

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