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Kurdish-German fights Iranian Interpol listing

Kristen Allen · 2 Feb 2010, 17:38

Published: 02 Feb 2010 17:38 GMT+01:00

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Mohammad Saleh Sardari, a Kurd who has been a German citizen for more than 10 years after seeking asylum in 1991, discovered that his name had been added to Interpol’s “Red Notice” list last November, he told The Local on Tuesday.

The 52-year-old Cologne resident stands accused of having ties to organised crime and being involved in "transnational crime" by public prosecutors in Iran along with ten other individuals in Sweden. According to Interpol, their status “requests (provisional) arrest of wanted persons, with a view to extradition,” which means the men are unable to travel outside the countries they live in without risking detainment.

All of the men deny the charges, and those in Sweden staged a protest outside the parliament in Stockholm last Thursday in hopes of gaining attention for their plight.

“We are together, they are my friends,” Sardari told The Local, explaining that he belongs to an opposition party in exile, the Worker-Communist Party of Iran, or Hekmatist.

“We have fought for 30 years against the Islamic Republic – fighting for freedom, human rights, women’s rights, and against executions, stonings and other injustices.”

Some 30 years ago he was shot in his right leg at a street protest during the Iranian revolution in the country’s Kurdistan province, and bullet fragments still pain him today, Sardari said.

“We are actually the victims of terrorism, but now unfortunately Interpol has added our names to their terrorist list,” he said. “I am afraid."

After receiving no response to letters he sent to Interpol, Cologne police and all of Germany's main political parties, Sardari sought the help of lawyer Franz Hess, who told The Local he has turned to the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and government data protection officials to help his client.

“Iran’s registry of their names is incomprehensible,” Hess said. “These are people from a Kurdish region in Iran where during the revolution in ‘79 there were strong Kurdish organisations and also conflicts – but this is still no reason to add their names to the an international authority like the Interpol system 30 years later.”

Because of the way Interpol functions, the likelihood of German intervention is low, he said.

However, the fact that Sardari has yet to be arrested by German officials makes clear that they “have no interest in acting as henchmen for the Iranian regime,” he added.

“The question is how reliable a system like Interpol can be when it serves such criminal regimes,” he concluded.

In an email response to The Local’s inquiry on the case, the Interpol press office said it could not comment directly on Sardari’s case, but explained that Red Notices are simply a way to inform member countries that an arrest warrant has been issued by a judicial authority.

“It is not an international arrest warrant, nor can Interpol demand that any member country arrest the subject of a Red Notice,” the statement said. Interpol’s job is to help national police in finding these individuals, but not to “assess the evidence in a case or a request for a Red Notice.”

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Member countries or individuals may challenge such notices, but the organisation said it does not intervene based on political concerns.

Sardari and his colleagues in Sweden continue to await response to their challenges registered with Interpol – in addition to any word from their respective government authorities on the matter.

“We have no idea when we’ll hear back,” Hess said.

The German Foreign Ministry did not respond to The Local’s requests for comment in time for this article’s publication.

Kristen Allen (kristen.allen@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:23 February 2, 2010 by Jibzy
So if a rouge nation terrorizes and murders another nation's citizens while it tells the rest of teh world to f*** off (e..g ISRAEL)..it shudnt be allowed to resort to interpol too.. Right?

oh no..they're not dirty brown muslim terrorists..so they can! nevermind!
17:45 February 2, 2010 by michael4096
Jibzy has a good general point. One man's freedom fighter... and all that

Should the EU accuse the US of murdering it's own citizens (in the words of Prufrock2010) because of the death penalty? (Example only for rhetorical reasons - you don't need to answer)

If the world has a standard list of known criminals it must first create a list of standard crimes; in which crime against the state is, by definition, unknown. However, how will you stop trumped up charges unless there is a international judiciary?
00:43 February 3, 2010 by Frenemy

@Mohammad Saleh Sardari: hmph...yeah, well good luck with that. and I wish you even more luck in being taken off the American DHS/TSA/State watch lists (on which you undoubtedly will currently find your name)

@lawyer Franz Hess: hey, know a guy named Rudolf (Uncle Rudi?)???

11:00 February 3, 2010 by Prufrock2010
@ Jibzy:

"So if a rouge nation terrorizes and murders another nation's citizens while it tells the rest of teh world to f*** off (e..g ISRAEL)..it shudnt be allowed to resort to interpol too.. Right?"

I would agree with that.
12:02 February 3, 2010 by Alanm
The Iranian authorities do not have the legitimacy of charging people of terrorism, as they are the origin of terrorism in the Mideast and all over the world, since they took power in 1979, they executed and killed more than 100 000 people inside Iran, they are responsible of the continuation of 8 years of the Iran-Iraq war which caused more than 1.5 million deaths, they are responsible of hundreds of assassinations of the Iranian opposition in the north of Iraq, in Europe, in Germany, Austria.....etc.

Now those who opposed this kind of regime are sought by Interpol, this act reminds me of the ¦quot;Anger Management¦quot; movie…it is so funny..

Mamand, Bavaria
16:09 February 4, 2010 by lordwilliams629
Frenemy there you go, if you can't find a way to tie america into everything evil in this world, then you turn to a hypothetical statement to point the fingure when america has nothing to do with it. If a turd falls off a roof in berlin and hits somebody on the head, you america haters will still find some way to connect america to it. A person can't win with you america haters, if you guys can't find a legitimate reason for hating america then you turn to fantasy and falsehood. Oh and by the way frenemy I could tell very little by that passport. I still say your in the states.
19:07 February 4, 2010 by Frenemy

it wasn't a passport bud, it was (is) a scanned (and obviously redacted) copy of my PersonalAusweis (think something along the lines of a US drivers license without the legal authorization of vehicle operation....but yes, I have one of those too).

"America hater"?? Dude, seriously?? I work with Americans everyday (military and other) they watch my back and I theirs!! What kind of accusation is that????
19:29 February 4, 2010 by lordwilliams629
Well there you go frenemy your even saying for me it's not even a passport, the picture is so wishy washy I can hardly tell what it is. And yea you are an america hater I seen enough of what you posted in the past to only come to that conclusion. Look you might have a connection to germany, maybe your mother, maybe you where even born there while your father was stationed there. But from what I can tell you where raised as an american, let me tell you something frenemy and I've told you this before "words a person use's goes along way in saying who they are and what they are" and your words and in some cases thoughts say 100% american raised.
19:40 February 4, 2010 by Frenemy
"words a person use's goes along way in saying who they are and what they are" and your words and in some cases thoughts say 100% american raised"??!!!

If you believe that then your a fool. A persons "words" (morphology, vocab, syntax) actually only suggest where they were educated or raised, NOT where they were born or their nationality, or their ethnicity. That kind of presumptuous logic is fallacious (at best) ;-)
20:01 February 4, 2010 by lordwilliams629
Whell frenemy I'm no expert on words, but your wrong that logic is not fallacious, and I thank many would agree. And no even though I say 100%, no words are never 100% but sometime you can find little things in words that just make it hard to come to any other conclusion. And yes i'll give you this much and say it might be true, but for some reason something about you says american, and unless I know why that is, I can only come to one conclusion.
20:39 February 4, 2010 by Frenemy
Well, Sir Williams, I DO (no sarcasm) appreciate your gracious concession/peace-offering(?). In return, I will give you this:

1-Yes, there are many (even here on thelocal.de that would agree with you)

2-I DID get an A+ (and won an award) in AP US history! ;-)

3-I've never attended anything but American or British schools in my entire life.

21:09 February 4, 2010 by lordwilliams629
British? I spent many of my summers as a child at my grandparents house in the UK, where did you go to school in the UK?
23:28 February 4, 2010 by Frenemy
I didn't. What I SAID was "British schools"!! (and as u are internationally aware and multi-culturally cognizant, I am "100%" sure that you know that there are a bunch of left in what used to be an empire with a sun that just never seemed to set...."!! ;-) savvy, ol' chap?!
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