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23 April 2012 - Media release

INTERPOL’s rules prohibit publication of Red Notices requested by Egypt for NGO workers

Egyptian request for Red Notices denied


LYON, France – The INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon, France has refused a request by Egyptian authorities to issue Red Notices, or international wanted persons alerts, for 15 individuals with links to several US-based non governmental organizations (NGOs) after ruling that it would be in violation of the Organization’s regulations.

Following a review, INTERPOL’s Office of Legal Affairs  concluded that the request is not in conformity with INTERPOL’s rules, notably  Article 3 of INTERPOL’s Constitution under which it is ‘strictly forbidden for the organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.’ This prohibition is taken extremely seriously by INTERPOL.

In addition to determining that the Red Notices may not be published, the review also concluded that no information about the individuals, 12 American, two Lebanese and one Jordanian national, which was circulated by the Egyptian authorities via diffusions, be maintained in INTERPOL’s databases.

Following the diffusion sent by the Egyptian authorities, all 190 INTERPOL member countries were advised that a legal review of the request was being conducted, and all 190 member countries have now been updated as to the General Secretariat’s decision to refuse the Red Notice request.

Similarly in the interests of transparency and openness, now that the review process is complete the General Secretariat can confirm this decision publicly.

In refusing Egypt’s request for these Red Notices, INTERPOL has respected its rules and regulations, however there has been much ill-informed speculation about this case and INTERPOL’s role.

This is not the first time that misleading and erroneous information has been circulated by individuals and organizations looking to further their own agenda or raise their profile on the back of false allegations made against INTERPOL.

Anyone seeking the truth about INTERPOL's involvement, or otherwise, in any matter should contact the organization directly in order to ascertain the facts, rather than making statements based on ill-founded rumour and speculation.