Aysoltan Niyazova, a Turkmen dissident and a member of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot, was recently arrested in Croatia. This was reportedly on the basis of an INTERPOL Red Notice issued at the request of the Turkmenistani authorities. Although she has been released, Niyazova still faces the risk of extradition to one of the most authoritarian countries in the world.
Cases like Niyazova’s aren’t uncommon. Authoritarian regimes know that INTERPOL Red Notices cause serious difficulties for their critics exiled abroad, and that they can put them in serious danger.
If INTERPOL fails to prevent a Red Notice being issued against a high profile activist like Niyazova, then how can we trust that it has the systems in place to prevent abuse? The only way the agency can repair its damaged reputation is to be more transparent.