Interpol Criticized for Allowing Syria to Rejoin

Interpol has been criticized after it has allowed Syria to rejoin its communications network.

Damascus has greater rights to pursue refugees and dissidents living outside the country due to the move.

On Friday, the press office of Interpol told The New Arab that Damascus had been granted access to the organization’s secure global police communications network.

After the 2011 civil war, the Assad administration remained a member of the global police body but was subject to many corrective measures. It has previously been barred from Interpol databases and communication with the other Member States regarding international arrest requests. 

Legal experts and activists believe that relaxing the measures will hamper refugee petitions and international legal cases against Syrian officials.

Toby Cadman, a British lawyer working on the Syria-related war crimes prosecutions, said he was “deeply disappointed” with the decision.

“I am deeply disappointed and concerned that such a decision has been made,” he said.

“Interpol’s systems are opaque, without real oversight or accountability, and routinely abused by states like Syria that have little respect for human rights,” he added.

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