STOCKHOLM (PanARMENIAN.Net) — The Stockholm Center for Freedom has published a report it released on August 24 that focuses on how the Turkish government, under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has abused Interpol in a number of ways.
The Erdoğan government has used the International Notice System, such as Red Notices and diffusions, to target political opponents who have done nothing more than criticize the government. Similarly, it has also abused Interpol’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents Database (SLTD) by filing tens of thousands of notifications for critics and opponents who, in many instances, were not even aware that their passports had been invalidated. In several cases some of these people were stranded at international airports or put in detention before they were released or, in the worst cases, were handed over to Turkish operatives and ended up in Turkish prisons.
“The Turkish government must be held responsible for abusing the Interpol system to commit human rights violations,” said Dr. Merve R. Kayıkcı, research director at the Stockholm Center for Freedom. “It is encouraging to see that the organization’s General Secretariat took considerable steps to safeguard the rights of innocent people and, in many cases, chose not to look the other way when the Turkish government went after critics without credible evidence.”
The report sheds light on such abusive practices by providing information on how Interpol mechanisms work and the way Turkey misused them in various cases. It ends with policy proposals aimed at preventing future abuse of the system by autocratic regimes to target their opponents.