There are authoritarian governments and dictatorships that use the international police, Interpol, to pursue their enemies, whether they are dissidents or political rivals. Iran has done something like this by announcing this Monday that it has issued an arrest warrant, of which it has notified Interpol, against President Donald Trump and 35 other individuals for the assassination last January of the powerful Iranian general Qasem Soleimani. Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr explained that these 36 “political-military officials from the United States and also from other countries were involved in the assassination of General Soleimani.

An Interpol Red Notice, the highest level of alert, is a request to law enforcement agencies around the world to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender or similar legal action. But experts believe that such an order against the president of a democratic country cannot succeed, as Interpol itself has taken it upon itself to qualify.

The Council of Europe’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights issued a report in March 2017 alleging that Interpol’s “red notice” system has been abused “by some member states to pursue political opponents beyond their borders.

Interpol has said in a statement that its rules prohibit it from carrying out any intervention or activity of a political, military, religious or racial nature. Therefore, if any of these requests were sent to the General Secretariat, Interpol would not consider requests of this nature.

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