An Interpol Red Notice, which is processed through each Interpol member country's National Central Bureau, seeks the arrest of a wanted person with a view towards extradition based on an arrest warrant or court decision issued by that member country. Diffusions are more informal electronic wanted alerts that member countries use to bypass the Red Notice system in order to achieve essentially the same goals.
Interpol's international wanted alert system occasionally has been abused and exploited by its members to locate, detain, and extradite persons for political, racial, or religious reasons. In these and even legitimate cases, Red Notices come with substantial human impact. The consequences of being targeted by one of the thousands of Red Notices or less regulated Diffusions filed each year can be devastating to an individual, personally and professionally. The effects can be far-reaching and linger for substantial periods of time. Often the individual has not committed a crime that would, from a reasonable man’s perspective, justify being tracked down, arrested and jailed in a foreign country. Regrettably, once a Red Notice or Diffusion has issued, the victim has little to no recourse against his accuser and, once detained, is subject to being extradited to the pursuing nation.
In an article published in the July issue of Engage, I provide an overview of the procedures governing the publication of Red Notices, the legal strategies that can be employed to prevent and challenge them, the inherent flaws and systemic abuses in the Red Notice system, and possible reforms that could be implemented to improve Interpol's wanted notice system. My article also briefs the growing threat to human rights posed by Interpol's Diffusion alert and the reforms necessary to assure that fundamental due process rights of those targeted are not violated. Read more here.