A reader points me to this Reuters dispatch reporting that Sudan will issue arrest warrants for six French aid workers who were released from custody in Chad after being pardoned by Chadian President Idris Deby for abducting 103 children. (In case you missed the story when it came out, the short version is that a French humanitarian group tried to “rescue” Darfuri orphans from refugee camps in Chad and deliver them to adopting families in France. It turned out that many of the children were not orphans, nor from Darfur.) The Reuters article notes that Sudan will ask interpol to issue the warrants, so the exasperated reader remarks, “It would be laughable if it weren’t so infuriating. The idea of Interpol arresting “criminal” aid workers at the behest of the Sudanese regime boggles the mind.”
Just one point of fact. Presumably, Sudan is asking Interpol–the international criminal police organization–to issue what it calls a “Red Notice” for the six aid workers. In many cases, the Red Notice is a functional equivalent to an international arrest warrant because many countries have bi-lateral extradition treaties with each other. But in this case, I sincerely doubt that Interpol will issue a Red Notice at all because the organization’s charter prohibits it from issuing Red Notices for people targeted for arrest for anything that smells like political reasons. It would be one thing if these were car thieves, but becausel’affair Zoe’s Arkis so wrapped in political controversy, it’s hard to imagine any red notices being issued on these aid workers.