Asylum applications are difficult at the best of times. But what happens when there is an Interpol Red Notice active or a trumped up criminal charge in another country? A country will be deterred from offering asylum and may even consider deportation. For people in this situation, deportation could literally mean life in prison, torture or death. US and Canadian authorities may see a life or death claim as far-fetched, after all, we are not talking about Syria or Afghanistan here but often our strongest allies. The burden rests with the applicant to persuade a government to grant asylum, even where they have criminal charges or an active Interpol warrant.
INTERPOL RED NOTICES & ASYLUM APPLICATIONS
The US and Canada will generally err on the side of deportation where a Red Notice is active and it will be the job of the immigration attorney to persuade them otherwise. Expert Witness Radha Stirling has supported dozens of immigration and asylum cases over the past decade, providing expert testimony and evidence to prove that the applicant would be ‘at risk’ in the event of their deportation.
INDIA AND PAKISTAN
“Some clients have been prevented from returning to their homeland where they would face extradition to third nations like Saudi Arabia or the UAE”, explains Ms Stirling. “This has been particularly problematic for Indian and Pakistani expat workers, many of whom were born in Gulf nations and have never lived in the country of their citizenship.
“India and Pakistan have strengthened relations with their Gulf allies and increased the number, speed and ease of extraditions. Extraditions are politically charged and are agreed on a quid pro quo basis rather than through a judicial process like we would expect in the West.”
Ms Stirling is an expert witness in extradition cases where clients face unfair trials, political persecution and human rights violations in Gulf nations. This same expertise prevents the deportation of asylum seekers and migrants who would face similar treatment.
UAE AND QATAR
The United Arab Emirates and Qatar are noted for using Interpol as debt collection agencies with banks listing customers to pressure them into paying loans, mortgages or credit card debts with extortionate legal fees and interest added, but it doesn’t end there. Business partners, corporations and Sheikhs have listed people to enable them to loot assets, shares and properties as well as for personal vendettas.
ROK has listed foreigners with little due process or evidence of crimes. Victims face Interpol Red Notices for simply being acquainted with a company or individual who is wanted. The Kingdom has redacted substantial segments of documentation when Interpol has sought evidence of wrongdoing. Their Notices have led to lengthy detentions for victims of Interpol abuse.
China, Russia, Bahrain, Saudi, UAE, Qatar, Venezuela, Egypt, Morocco and Turkey have all been repeatedly ridiculed for the persecution of political rivals, activists and journalists. It’s no secret that targets have been locked away for life, tortured and even executed by these regimes, but each individual asylum case needs to be carefully considered by the host country so as to prevent abuse.
In some surprising cases, asylum seekers have needed to flee superpowers like the USA who have tried to universally apply domestic laws to non US citizens (Julian Assange, Kim Dotcom, Christopher Emms) and equally require supportive testimony to assist their defence against extradition or deportation.
SUCCESSFUL ASYLUM APPEALS
With the right lawyer and supportive expert testimony, the chance of success is high. If an Interpol Red Notice is active at the time of the asylum application, it’s important to prepare submissions to have the Notice deleted. This documentation can also be included with an appeal, increasing the chance of success.
“I have never had an asylum application denied and I don’t intend to”, says Stirling, “Host countries need to understand the real risks posed in the event of deportation. They do not want blood on their hands”.
IPEX: A comprehensive initiative to address the widespread and multilayered problems with the current framework of the extradition process, including the many flaws in Interpol itself as an organisation.