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  • Writer's pictureDetained in Dubai

Brit arrested in Spain over Qatar Interpol warrant

A British woman on holiday in Spain with her friend was arrested after Qatar issued a red notice against her, alleging a cheap plane ticket was bought in her name with a stolen credit card several years ago.

The woman must now undergo legal proceedings in Spain to defend herself against an extradition request if it is forthcoming. This comes after Steven Williams’ arrest in Spain over a Qatar National Bank issued Interpol Red Notice over a debt he didn’t owe.

Last year, Scot Conor Howard was detained in Greece after a frivolous notice was issued against him for carrying a store bought herb grinder while transiting through Doha from Australia. Conor spent nearly a month in prison with his distraught family expecting the worst, that he would be extradited to a Middle Eastern prison.

Interpol & Extradition expert witness, Radha Stirling, has noticed a sharp increase in Qatar issued red notices. “Since Qatar’s commitment to financially invest in Interpol, it is clear they feel entitled to use Interpol as their personal debt collectors and harassment agents in a ‘pay to play’ agreement with the agency.”

British national and former police officer David Blackhouse was pulled over on the side of a road in Cornwall and dragged into custody. Stirling commented, “this case is absolutely appalling. British authorities should know better than to arrest first and ask questions later. The UK is well aware of the gulf nations tendency to abuse Interpol’s database. Mr Blackhouse should never have been treated this way and Interpol must be held to account. We are currently preparing a class action for victims of Interpol Abuse, which will include Conor Howard”.

After thirteen years of specialising in defending extradition requests and fighting against ‘Interpol Abuse’, Stirling founded organisation IPEX (Interpol and Extradition) Reform, 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.

“Interpol is complicit in numerous and serious human rights abuses and will soon be held to account. Interpol has become a pay to play organisation, open to manipulation and abuse by countries with poor human rights records. Countries like the UAE, Saudi, Qatar, Bahrain, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Egypt and China have been able to use the crime tool for their own personal vendettas. Countries like the Emirates have used Interpol’s reach to extend their jurisdiction beyond their borders, causing the arrest, detention and prosecution abroad of many innocent victims. Innocent individuals have been listed on Interpol, arrested, detained and tried for ‘crimes’ that don’t even meet Interpol’s minimum reporting criteria. Journalists, activists, businessmen and credit card debtors have been locked up in Western nations at the mere request of countries who repeatedly take advantage of their membership with Interpol.”


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