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Interpol General Assembly Begins in Dubai

The main theme of the congress is the choice of the head of the organization. One of the main candidates is the Vice-President of Interpol, Major General of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, Alexander Prokopchuk.

Jürgen Stock, Interpol Secretary General and Chief of the Dubai Police Abdullah Al-Marri arrive at a press conference in honor of the opening of the 87th General Assembly of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) in Dubai. Photo: AP Photo / Kamran Jabraley

The 87th General Assembly of Interpol opened in Dubai, for which the heads of the Ministry of Internal Affairs from all over the world arrived. The four-day conference, which will be attended by about 1,000 representatives from 173 countries, including 85 police chiefs and about 40 ministers, will consider how technologies will change future threats and how they can be used by law enforcement agencies to solve these problems. The key points will be discussions on expanding the use of artificial intelligence and robotics, as well as innovations in the field of forensic science.

Photo: AP Photo / Kamran Jabraley

One of the main topics of the congress is the selection of a new head of the organization. The head of the National Central Bureau (NCB) of Interpol of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, Alexander Prokopchuk, is the main favorite in the fight for the post of Interpol head. British officials expect Prokopchuk to be selected by vote on Wednesday, November 21. Another approved candidate is Kim Jong Yang, the interim head of Interpol. It is also expected that South Africa will put forward its candidacy.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The head of Interpol is elected for a term of 4 years. Also, the head of the organization has 3 deputies, vice-presidents, who are elected for a term of 3 years. All 4 representatives must represent different continents.[/perfectpullquote]
Alexander Prokopchuk
Alexander Prokopchuk

Critics of Prokopchuk’s candidacy believe that Russia will start abusing the system of “red notifications”. Red notice requires law enforcement agencies of states, members of Interpol, the arrest of the wanted person with a view to a subsequent decision by the judicial authorities on his extradition to the country – the initiator of the search. In simple terms – arresting a citizen before the trial. Russia has often been criticized for using this type of notification (international arrest warrant) against political opponents.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]We all know well how the Russian Federation is abusing the possibilities of Interpol to fight and persecute political opponents. I can’t admit that we can return to the tragic history of 1938-1945, when Heinrich Himmler and Ernst Kaltenbrunner led the international police organization and transferred the headquarters after the Anschluss of Austria to Berlin. Perspective for the Russian aggressor to lead Interpol – a hybrid threat to the whole world, quote from the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs[/perfectpullquote]
Arsen Avakov
Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine

The early elections of the head of Interpol were appointed after a scandal with the former head of the organization, Meng Hongwei. In late September 2018, he disappeared after a trip to his homeland, in China. Some time later, the Chinese authorities reported that an investigation was being conducted regarding Hongwei on suspicion of bribery and violation of other laws of China. Interpol submitted a letter of resignation , which allegedly was written by him. His wife said that the last text message he sent to her was a knife photo. She accusedInterpol of complicity with the Chinese government, as the organization did nothing to defend it.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]November 10, 2016 at the 85th General Assembly (GA) of Interpol, Head of the National Central Bureau (NCB) of Interpol of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, Police Major-General Alexander Prokopchuk was elected by majority of votes to the post of Interpol. Prokopchuk became the first citizen of the Russian Federation to occupy a high leading position in Interpol since joining this organization.[/perfectpullquote]

Also, during the congress, the status of Kosovo as a full member of the organization will be decided. In the event of a positive outcome, Kosovo will also be able to file red notices regarding the criminals that Kosovo is investigating. Interpol has repeatedly criticized the fact that governments are abusing the system of red notifications. Instead of searching for criminals, many are trying to prosecute unwanted individuals and dissidents, although the organization’s charter prohibits the use of Interpol for political reasons. Also, Interpol does not deal with operational activities for war crimes.

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