Denying Authoritarian Regimes INTERPOL Presidency Won't Stop Them From Using INTERPOL to Persecute Political Opponents; in Fact, it Won't Even Slow Them Down

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Friday, March 1, 2019
Yuriy L. Nemets

Following his mysterious disappearance and arrest in China, Meng Hongwei resigned as INTERPOL’s President in October 2018, leaving INTERPOL no option but to find a successor.  Among the top contenders for the post was Alexander Prokopchuk, a high-ranking official in the Russian Ministry of the Interior and already a vice president at INTERPOL.  The prospect of a Russian representative becoming the President of the world’s largest international police organization met strong opposition.  Some called the upcoming election the “Kremlin’s planned takeover of INTERPOL” and warned that Putin was about to gain control over the organization, making it an arm of the Russian mafia.  Human rights advocates once again pointed to Russia’s continuing abuse of INTERPOL’s resources to harass its regime’s political opponents.