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19 Oct 2021

Reason for canceled Red Notice revealed

  • China's requested Red notice for Turkey-based Uyghur canceled by INTERPOL due to it being in violation of articles 2(1) and 3 of the INTERPOL charter.
    • Article 2(1): to be in “the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, and
    • Article 3: found to be In violation of rule forbidding use of INTERPOL “to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character”,
    • This information is made available by the Moroccan authorities, while INTERPOL has failed to respond to Idris nor his representative, including Safeguard Defenders, and have not responded to request for this information, hampering Idris Hasan's legal defense. 
    • INTERPOL has not stated if China will face any restrictions, sanctions, or corrective measures for the violation.

For details, contact INTERPOL spokeswoman, Rachael Billington, at +33 472 447 212 (France),

Following the urgent appeal by four UN Special Procedures to Moroccan authorities in the case of Yidiresi Aishan (also known as Idris Hasan) of August 2021, in a response letter of October 13th, Moroccan authorities reveal further details of Interpol’s cancellation of the Red Notice that led to his arrest at Casablanca Airport on July 19. The insight appears to provide further damning evidence that Interpol failed to comply with its obligation to verify the notice prior to its issuance on March 13, 2017.

In their response letter, Moroccan authorities’ state:

His arrest at Casablanca airport took place during border control formalities, which revealed that he was the subject of an international arrest warrant subject to a red notice (n ° A-2236 / 3-2017) for belonging to a terrorist organization, disseminated against him on March 13, 2017, by the International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO-Interpol), on the basis of a request from the Chinese judicial authorities on July 10, 2014.

The letter then provides further detailed clarifications in relation to the subsequent cancellation of the Red Notice, a question raised also by Aishan’s legal defense at the September 22nd hearing before the Court of Cassation:

On July 29, 2021, the Special Group Notices and Diffusions, reporting to the General Secretariat of the ICPO-Interpol, sent a message to the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) (DPJ/BCN) indicating that the red notice under which Mr. Yidiresi AISHAN was arrested in Morocco was subject to a legal review, aimed at ensuring its compliance with the Statute and regulations of Interpol, and that pending the conclusion of this review, the notice has been suspended, and will no longer be visible in its database, indicating that the information concerning Mr. Yidirsei AISHAN will not be accessible to member countries.

The Interpol Notices and Diffusions Special Group stressed that the decision to temporarily block the red notice in question is not intended to have an impact on national procedures or bilateral cooperation outside Interpol channels in accordance with the law, national law and its international obligations.

In fact, as noted the suspension and cancellation of the Red Notice by Interpol did not have any effect on the judicial extradition proceedings for Aishan in Morocco, as the King’s General Prosecutor had by that time ordered its continuation. However, while legal, Interpol’s emphasis on how its decision to suddenly overturn a notice that had been outstanding for no less than four years should not affect internal proceedings shows a remarkable lack of assumption of responsibility over the fate of the man they clearly do not believe should have been arrested in the first place. The final relevant paragraph makes this even worse:

On August 11, 2021, the Special Group Notices and Diffusions of Interpol informed the National Central Bureau (BCN) - Rabat that after its examination, the red notice in question was canceled, on the grounds that it was, according to them, non-compliant with the provisions of Articles 2 (1) and 3 of the Statute of this Organization, and its regulations on data processing.

Article 2 (1) of Interpol’s Constitution expressly binds the Organization to “the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whereas its Article 3 strictly forbids the Organization “to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character”.

Unlike the press statements made, there is no mention of “relevant new information” in the communications to the Moroccan authorities, but an acknowledgment of blatant non-compliance with two fundamental articles in its founding Constitution, heightening the suspicion that it was only worldwide media attention on Aishan’s case that pushed Interpol to examine his file.

In 2016 a dedicated multidisciplinary task force was created at the General Secretariat headquarters with responsibility for checking that every Red Notice request complies with INTERPOL’s Constitution and Rules on the Processing of Data (RPD). Aishan’s notice was filed in March 2017 and should therefore have been subject to such examination. Reports on the relentless and atrocious persecution of Uyghurs in the People’s Republic have been well and widely documented. How many more files on Uyghurs or others at risk of persecution for political, military, religious or racial reasons linger unchecked within Interpol? How many more must face detention and the risk of extradition before this glaring issue is recognized and corrected?

For more information about the case, see Safeguard Defenders extended post yesterday (Monday).