On May19, 2015, Interpol spokepersons announced major reforms in its process of handling Red Notices and how they were applied to Refugees:
This announcement took place at a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly for the Council of Europe or “PACE.” FAIR (a European human rights organization) is largely responsible for these reforms. The prior system caused many people to be denied refugee status because a Red Notice had been issued for their detention. Many asylum countries were treating these notices as a basis to deny refugee status.
FAIR summarized the reforms on its website as follows:
We need written confirmation of the policy, but this is what we learned: INTERPOL has notified the policy to the National Central Bureaus, the national police contact points for INTERPOL, but has not disseminated it further. In substance, the policy is that INTERPOL will remove a Red Notice if it can verify that the person has been recognised as refugee under the 1951 Convention. It does not matter whether the criminal prosecution in question was the ground for the asylum or not; the grant of asylum suffices. INTERPOL will not reveal to the country behind the Red Notice which country granted asylum, to address confidentiality concerns. There are, however, important caveats: (A) INTERPOL must be able to verify the asylum grant, which asylum-granting countries may be slow to do for confidentiality reasons, and (B) the country issuing the Red Notice can revert to INTERPOL with further material asking it to revisit the decision.
This point was also covered in a prior Interpol resolution, AGN/53/RES/7 in 1984 and before that in AGN/20/RES/11 in 1951. The problem is that political offenses are difficult to define. As Interpol started scrutinizing the most overtly political notices, demanding countries started disguising the nature of the charges as public corruption offenses or other non-political offenses.
Congratulations to FAIR.