What is a blue warrant

Abuse of arrest warrants: Interpol wants to clean up

Interpol reviews tens of thousands of arrest warrants for possible abuse. Some states use international arrest warrants to prosecute opponents of the government. A dedicated working group from Interpol recently started work. The task force consists of seven employees from Slovakia, Croatia, Sweden and Ukraine, according to a recently published EU document. The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) has already sent a fully qualified lawyer to the working group to review the arrest warrants. The Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection is now also considering sending staff from the state justice administrations.

According to Article 3 of the Articles of Association, Interpol is prohibited from any “activity or participation in questions or matters of a political, military, religious or racial nature”. The international searches for arrest (the so-called "red corners") must not undermine this policy. Many countries still use the Interpol channel for politically motivated searches.

Only arrest warrants are examined

A manhunt for arrest is sent to Interpol via the central office of the issuing Member State. The requests are distributed to all 194 member states via this Interpol channel, but it is also possible to send them to a regionally limited group of recipients. Only if a central office belongs to this distribution list does it find out about the search. The German contact point is the BKA in Wiesbaden.

More than 200,000 people are currently stored in the file for "Rotecken"; since 2014, their number had increased by 30 percent. The investigation of the "wanted inventory" concerns 80,000 arrest warrants that were issued before 2016. The “colored corners” in the colors blue (“Request for the whereabouts of those who have been posted”) or green (“warnings”), which states could also use for political persecution, are not subsequently checked.

In advance, the incoming search requests are also checked at Interpol for a violation of Article 3. The central offices are called upon to be more vigilant and should report any possible abuse to the Interpol general secretariat. According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, such notifications have "occurred variously in the past". How many arrest warrants the BKA then singled out is not documented.

The investigating authority should notify the asylum application

The General Secretariat had informed the central offices of the withdrawal of 130 searches since 2014. However, the federal government decided not to weed out five requests, despite serious suspicions, but to continue them as national arrest warrants. The Federal Office of Justice and the Foreign Office are responsible.

In June 2014, the Interpol Secretariat decided to give special attention to arrest warrants for those seeking protection. For this purpose, the issuing authorities should indicate if a person wanted with "Rotecke" has applied for asylum in another country or if this has even been decided positively. The Interpol General Assembly approved this procedure two years ago in a resolution. Now the Member States are being reminded of the implementation.

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About the author

Matthias Monroy

Knowledge worker, activist and member of the editorial board of the magazine Bürgerrechte & Polizei / CILIP. All texts at digit.so36.net, in English digit.site36.net, on Twitter @matthimon. Not a believer in conspiracy theories of any kind. Use the Binnen-I despite the rumble of annoying masculists.
Published 02/08/2019 at 1:11 PM