What kind of signal would appointing a member of Russia’s current security apparatus send about Interpol’s values?
This week, the 192 member countries of Interpol are due to appoint a new president of the organisation. Remarkably, the favourite is Alexander Prokopchuk, a representative of Russia’s law enforcement agencies, which have a long track record of abusing the Interpol system.
Prokopchuk holds the rank of major general in the Russian police, and worked in the Russian bureau of Interpol for 10 years from 2006, first as deputy head and later as head. During this time, Russian abuses of the Interpol “red notice” system became epidemic as the Putin system clamped down on its enemies. Political activists, business people, human rights defenders and others found themselves at risk of detention abroad and potential extradition to Russia because the Russian authorities claimed that there were justifiable grounds to detain them in Russia. These practices continue to this day.
In a country such as Russia, the police do not fight organised crime. They cooperate with it