INTERPOL statement on lifting corrective measures applied to Syria

15 October 2021

Syria has been a member country of INTERPOL since 1953. Since December 2012, corrective measures have been applied to the National Central Bureau (NCB) in Damascus in relation to use of the INTERPOL Information System. These measures did not affect the status of Syria as a member country of INTERPOL.

Based on improvements in its data processing activities, which had been closely monitored by the General Secretariat headquarters, in June 2021 the Executive Committee decided to lift the corrective measures. The decision was implemented in October 2021 after additional training for NCB Damascus staff.

The decision to lift the corrective measures was based on INTERPOL’s rules and does not reflect any position by INTERPOL on recent events concerning Syria. INTERPOL is barred from taking any political positions under Article 3 of its Constitution.

As a global law enforcement organization, INTERPOL provides a neutral platform for police to work directly with their counterparts, even between countries which do not have diplomatic relations.

The criminal landscape is more complex than ever, making cooperation between our 194 member countries essential in maintaining a global security architecture.

Close monitoring

The General Secretariat will continue to carefully monitor the NCB’s activities including any requests for Red Notices. Corrective measures can be reinstated in accordance with INTERPOL’s rules in the event of renewed concerns.

The Syrian NCB remains bound by INTERPOL’s Constitution, which under Articles 2(1) and 3 requires INTERPOL to act ‘in the spirit of the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”’, and not ‘undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character’.

It is important to note that INTERPOL does not issue arrest warrants. A member country can request that the General Secretariat issue a Red Notice, which is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action.

Every Red Notice request is reviewed by a specialized task force to ensure it complies with INTERPOL’s Constitution and rules.

A decision to arrest an individual subject to a Red Notice is a matter for the competent national authorities.