Greek Courts Ruled to dismiss extradition from Qatar today after three month "herb grinder" ordeal.
4th of November 2020
Interpol and Extradition Expert Radha Stirling, who is representing Conor Howard, issued a statement on today's ruling.
“Conor Howard and his family are naturally relieved by today's ruling to dismiss Qatar's extradition request, but these are proceedings that Conor never should have had to endure in the first place.
“Conor was questioned in Doha for carrying an herb grinder in transit from Australia to the UK. The grinder was confiscated but he was allowed to continue on to the UK and thought nothing more of it until he was arrested in Greece on the basis of an Interpol Red Notice almost three months ago. Conor was detained in a foreign prison and forced to undergo extradition proceedings from a country with a dubious human rights record and a history of Interpol abuse.
“Greek authorities arrested and jailed Conor Howard because Qatar asked them to do so. It is far from acceptable that Middle Eastern countries are overreaching their powers of arrest through use of Interpol's Red Notice database. It is not Qatar that has earned respect, it is Interpol and it is on the basis of our trust for Interpol, that we are arresting European citizens. Interpol though, has been accused of corruption and Qatar is one of its biggest donors. This leads to people like Conor being arrested in European countries, in violation of human rights and is something in urgent need of reform.
“Countries like Greece need to consider the human impact of allowing countries like Qatar to cause the arrest of our citizens. Conor has been unfairly detained, his father suffered a heart attack as a result of the stress and the financial impact huge. Others have suffered PTSD and health issues following their arrests abroad. It is not something that can be taken lightly. Conor thought he faced years in a desert prison with a terrible human rights record. This is a family's worst nightmare and they should never have had to go through this.
“Conor should be compensated by Interpol for this ordeal. I will be making recommendations to Greece's government that will offer more protections to victims of Interpol abuse in the future.
“Qatar has shown itself to be unsafe as a tourist destination and transport hub in Conor Howard's case and in the recent treatment of women en route to Australia. Brits should avoid transport via Doha until the government of Qatar values the rights of travellers to Qatar.”
“I am very happy we were able to bring Conor home and privileged to have helped him and his lovely family.”
Stirling announced the good news in a live broadcast today: