Possible Election of Russian Interpol Chief Raises Concern
19 November, 2018

It seems likely that Russian official Alexander Prokopchuk will be elected as the new head of Interpol at the organization’s General Assembly in Dubai on November 21.

This possibility has raised concerns all over the world that placing Interpol under the control of one of President Putin’s allies may result in its abuse as an instrument of political persecution – something which Russia has been known to do in the past.

READ MORE: How Interpol Is Used As An Instrument Of Repression

These concerns were aired by Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov on Facebook. He stated that, “if Prokopchuk becomes Interpol president, it will allow the Russian regime to further expand the practice of using the ‘red notices’ to restrict freedom of movement and prosecution of undesirable persons in the interests of the odious regime.”

A number of non-governmental organizations in Ukraine have signed a petition against Prokopchuk’s candidacy and are calling Interpol delegates from around the world to prevent his election. Activists have also launched a social media campaign under the hashtag #InterpolNotForPutin.  

Prokopchuk has served as Interpol’s Vice President since 2016, and head of Russia’s National Central Bureau of Interpol in 2011.