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Interpol as theocracies’ little helper

Interpol has said it had nothing to do with the extradition of Hamza Kashgari, but Dennis McShane MP apparently didn’t get the memo – or got the memo and didn’t believe it.

The charge of apostasy was maintained, his home was attacked and, again, sensibly enough, Kashgari decided it was time to leave Saudi Arabia. The response of the Saudis was to approach Interpol and ask them to issue an international search and arrest warrant.

Interpol is meant to be tackle serious crime, not act as the little helper for régimes that want to kill journalists.

Maryam too finds the memo not entirely convincing:

If it says so – though I am skeptical especially since its has done this before.

In 2009, a number of us wrote to its office complaining about Iranian opposition leaders being included on its wanted list at the request of the Islamic regime of Iran!

McShane has suggestions:

Pressure is important. This time last year the Egyptian military police arrested an Egyptian blogger. Maikel Nabil. He was jubilant about the fall of Mubarak but as he saw the increasing role of the military he criticised the soldiers. A military tribunal sentenced him to three years in prison but an effective international campaign got under way and on Saturday I got a letter from the Egyptian ambassador announcing that Nabil has been freed and pardoned.

So once again it is time to write to the Saudi Ambassador, and to William Hague so that our Ambassador in Riyadh can make protest. The Commonwealth Secretary General should get involved to as it is to Malaysia’s shame that they send this harmless young man to the possibility of a dusty public square and the executioner’s sword. The Home Secretary too should ask why Interpol is acting as an agent for the most blood-thirsty and cruel of régimes. Might Twitter pay for his legal defence. And when of our Royals takes tea with one of their Royals perhaps a few whispered words might be muttered about why in the 21st century Royals — Muslim, Christian, whatever —  should not chop off heads because of a tweet.

Comments

  1. Alecthar says

    To quote “Phillip IV” in a Maryam Namazie thread:

    Interpol is only a liaison organization, they do not issue arrest warrants at all. They only promulgate arrest warrants issued by one of their member countries to their other members, but that is non-binding – member countries have full sovereignty in rejecting other members’ request if they consider them illegitimate. Arrest warrants issued by Iranian authorities get rejected quite regularly, for example.

    As Interpol is forbidden from interfering in religious or political issues, they will also not promulgate warrants issued for something like ‘blasphemy’, although member countries have been know to work around that restriction by simply charging religious or political dissidents with regular crimes like corruption in their warrants.

    If Saudi Arabia would have had their arrest warrant promulgated through Interpol (by issuing it for something other than blasphemy), Malaysia could still have rejected the request, so the blame would belong only with Saudi and Malaysian authorities even in that case.

    Interpol is keenly aware of the issue of being instrumentalized by oppressive regimes. They have four SS Generals in the list of their former presidents, and they are not proud of it.

    It’s unlikely that Intepol had anything to do with Mr. Kashgari’s extradition back to Saudi Arabia, as they would not have promulgated a warrant for “blasphemy,” and even if they had it would not have bound Malaysia to respond to it the way they did.

  2. says

    ‘Phillip IV’ from Maryam’s thread (via Alecthar @ # 2):

    “Interpol is keenly aware of the issue of being instrumentalized by oppressive regimes. They have four SS Generals in the list of their former presidents, and they are not proud of it.”

    The four SS generals should have spent the rest of their days following WW2 counting the cockroaches in some dungeon. Not presiding over Interpol, for Christ’s sake.

  3. John says

    So once again it is time to write to the Saudi Ambassador, and to William Hague so that our Ambassador in Riyadh can make protest.

    The UK will never raise this issue with the Saudis. Saw a photo of Cameron and the King of S.A. the other day. Cameron was in town to sell the Saudis some very expensive british-made military hardware.

    I think we all know how those things work.

  4. Alecthar says

    @ Ian MacDougall (#4):

    The 4 SS Generals were all presidents during WWII, presumably the headquarters of Interpol was in Nazi occupied territory, and thus the appointments don’t reflect post-war Nazi sympathies. From the founding of Interpol until the end of the war, it’s Secretary General was Austrian, as were its first presidents. Leadership of the organization was seized by Nazi Germany during the Anschluss.

    All but one of those presidents were dead by the end of the war, and the surviving one was executed as part of the Nuremberg Trials.

    All of this information is readily available via Wikipedia.

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