December 12 2018
INTERPOL Cancels Red Notices against Dr. Youssef Al Qaradawi and Deletes all Files and Data
By its decisions that have now been released to Dr. Al Qaradawi, the General Secretariat of
INTERPOL has certified that Dr. Al Qaradawi is no longer subject to any INTERPOL Red
Notices as of 30 November 2018.
In two detailed decisions INTERPOL has held that the Red Notices issued at the request of
Egypt and of Iraq are cancelled with immediate effect, and that all the files and data concerning
these cases held in the INTERPOL Information System have been deleted on 27 November
2018. All national databases are accordingly to be updated so that Dr. Al Qaradawi can travel
Following protracted proceedings before INTERPOL, which included hearing from the States
concerned and in camera deliberations, INTERPOL has directed that all Red Notices and
international arrest warrants against Dr. Al Qaradawi are now annulled.
These decisions are welcomed as they demonstrate, in particular, that the steps taken by the
Government of Egypt to seek to arrest and prosecute Dr. Al Qaradawi are politically motivated,
unjust, and in violation of international human rights standards.
Dr. Al Qaradawi had submitted through his lawyer that the Red Notices violated INTERPOL’s
Constitution, Statute and Rules in that they were of a political character and failed to respect
fundamental human rights, particularly those enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human
The national authorities of Egypt had obtained a Red Notice for Dr. Al Qaradawi’s arrest on
various charges of alleged subversion and terrorism during the period of January 2010 to
February 2011. After trying him in abstenia he was sentenced to death. INTERPOL has found
that these charges are predominately of a political character, and that the allegations and
evidence relied on by the Egyptian authorities did not establish Dr. Al Qaradawi’s participation
in the alleged offences and did not relate to any ordinary criminal offences. INTERPOL went
further to find that in light of all the relevant evidence about the nature of the trial proceedings in
Egypt, it had been convincingly demonstrated that there had been a flagrant denial of fair trial
and due process rights in Dr. Al Qaradawi’s in abstenia trial, and that these same violations
could occur if he was arrested and extradited to Egypt.
INTERPOL emphasised in its decision that in light of Dr. Al Qaradawi’s daughter and son-inlaw’s
ongoing detention in Egypt (Ms Ola Al Qaradawi and Mr Hosam Khalaf), “this raises
strong concern as to the likelihood that the Applicant [Dr. Al Qaradawi] may be subject to a
similar treatment of that of his relatives.” It therefore concluded that the risk of human rights
violations against Dr. Al Qaradawi meant that the data provided by the Egyptian authorities and
the consequent arrest warrant did not satisfy the requirements of INTERPOL’s Constitution,
Statute and Rules.
INTERPOL also considered the Red Notice issued at the request of the Iraqi authorities for
charges of alleged incitement of terrorism while giving an interview on Al Jazeera TV in March
2013. Given that Dr. Al Qaradawi faced the death sentence in Iraq if convicted of these charges,
INTERPOL found that it was convincingly demonstrated that Iraq’s charges against him did not
comply with Article 2 of INTERPOL’s Constitution. This article provides that INTERPOL’s
actions must be in conformity with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.