Radha Stirling, CEO at IPEX (Interpol & Extradition) Reform
Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Radha Stirling: Since 2008, I have been asked by victims of wrongful Interpol reporting to assist them to clear their names and protect them from unfair extradition requests.
‘Interpol abuse’ became so prevalent that I found it necessary to open an organisation
dedicated to saving victims from human rights abuses. 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. It was a clear expansion of my human rights work to focus on lobbying for long term reform of the Interpol Red Notice and extradition procedures.
Countries like the UAE, Saudi, Qatar, Bahrain, Iran, Turkey, Venezuela, South
Korea, Russia, Egypt and China have been able to use the crime tool for their own
personal vendettas. IPEX seeks to eliminate this practice.
Great Companies: What are the various services provided by IPEX (Interpol & Extradition) Reform?
Radha Stirling: IPEX seeks to advise, lobby, and achieve urgently needed reforms in Interpol’s internal procedures for data collection and the issuance of diffusion Notices, as well as to improve Interpol’s overall transparency and accountability so that the
organisation’s crucial function in global law enforcement will no longer be compromised by abuse and manipulation; and so that no more innocent individuals will suffer the devastating consequences of being wrongfully included in Interpol’s database.
IPEX provides Interpol removal and prevention services, extradition defence,
reputation management and recovery from the damage such a wrongful abuse of the
system can cause.
Great Companies: What makes IPEX (Interpol & Extradition) Reform different from hundreds of other similar service providers?
Radha Stirling: CEO Radha Stirling has been a leading voice against Interpol abuse, having pursued the call for greater Interpol transparency and reforms to end abuse by an emerging “authoritarian nexus” which misuses the Interpol Red Notice system to circumvent
due process. With her 15 years experience, she is an expert witness in the field, who works with politicians, enforcement authorities, legislators and the media to ensure accountability within the organisation. Stirling is spearheading the first class action against the seemingly immune Lyon based agency.
Great Companies: What were the struggles and challenges you faced and how
did you overcome them?
Radha Stirling: When taking on an international enforcement agency with diplomatic immunity backed by powerful authoritarian states, and with zero incentive to comply with
United Nations principles in respect of human rights, it’s never going to be easy.
Interpol has lacked not only transparency but also accountability. They have seen
the abuse of their system and the suffering of individuals as ‘collateral damage’.
They haven’t wanted to rock the boat of any member states (donors) in case it
impacts their income. Campaigning for individuals and highlighting these ongoing
abuses to the point where reform becomes a priority has been more than a decade’s
work but with perseverance, change is inevitable. Highlighting case after case to the
media and working with influential think tanks and political figures to push the issue
with legislators is an ongoing project that has begun to bear fruit.
Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years
down the line look like for IPEX (Interpol & Extradition) Reform?
Radha Stirling: We’re working on some groundbreaking projects and lawsuits that will ultimately force Interpol to review protocols to protect individuals from abuse. As part of these endeavours, we are to recommend international protocols and procedures that
member countries should adhere to when considering extradition requests.
We anticipate such measures will reduce the prevalence of wrongful arrests,
wrongful extraditions and human rights abuses.
Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out,
what would it be?
Radha Stirling: Choose a business that you’re passionate about, that you’re naturally drawn to, that doesn’t feel like work to you and that builds your sense of self esteem. Write down
your goals regularly and practice self discipline. If you can imagine it, you can do it.