“Kazakhstan is using Interpol, the joint police body based in Lyon, France, to wage a political vendetta in the heart of the EU,” begins the EUobserver in a special investigation into the alleged mistreatment of political dissidents in the Central Asian nation based on the findings of the Open Dialog Foundation. According to the Warsaw-based non-governmental organisation, in recent months Astana —
has used Interpol to pursue dissidents in European Union countries. To some extent, the Interpol requests are a form of PR: they try to give credibility to Kazakhstan's claims that opposition activists are criminals.
The article recounts the case of Kazakh opposition member Muratbek Ketebayev, who was arrested in Poland following an Interpol alert on charges of inciting social hatred, but was released after 24 hours before Interpol “deleted his files from its database saying the case is politically motivated.”
In a separate case, the wife and 6-year-old daughter of a prominent dissident, Mukhtar Ablyazov, currently detained in France, were arrested in Italy on charges of carrying forged documents and controversially rushed back to Kazakhstan on a privately chartered plane before they were allowed to challenge the deportation order. EUobserver adds –
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Before giving its stamp of approval to Kazakh, Russian or Ukrainian alerts, Interpol should exercise extreme caution. Before extraditing anyone to these countries, European courts and interior ministries should think twice about the potential consequences.
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