Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) utterly condemns the recent decision by Interpol, the international policing network, to re-admit Bashar al-Assad’s Syria as a full member of the 194 member-strong organisation. As an Interpol spokesperson has said, “Damascus has been granted access to the organization’s secure global police communications network.”
One of Interpol’s chief functions is to coordinate policing across national territories: a state’s request for a “red notice” on an individual in a second country can easily lead to that person’s detention and extradition. In the case of Syria, such a process may well cost that person their life.
The Syrian regime’s continuous and systematic repression of all opposition forces, including civilian opposition using extra-judicial killings, unlawful detentions, and torture, is globally acknowledged.
Moreover, any such “red notices’” would be issued even as the ten-year civil-war continues. In July, the regime broke the “de-escalation” agreement, killing eight civilians and wounding eight during an attack on the village of Iblin, in the northwestern Idlib province. And, the regime has continuously besieged the town of Daraa al-Balad, in the southern Daraa province, since June of this year, resulting in 38,500 people fleeing the area.
The Assad state is clearly attempting to repatriate dissidents, as part of a wider campaign of vengeance. Only one month ago, the regime appeared to demand the immediate return of 6 Syrian refugees from Lebanon, against all international protocol.
Therefore Interpol’s move presents the clear risk of enabling the Assadist state’s to hunt down dissidents and critics of the regime far beyond its borders – and now, with the help of police forces across the world.
AOHR UK demands that Syria’s re-admittance to the network be immediately reversed, given the grave threat it poses to Syrians internationally.