Interpol arrest warrant for El-Qaradawi still in place: Egypt's interior ministry

Ahram Online , Tuesday 12 Sep 2017

Sheikh Qaradawi
A file photo of Sheikh Qaradawi (Photo:Reuters)

Egypt's Ministry of Interior denied on Tuesday reports that Interpol has cancelled its arrest warrant, or red notice, for influential Egyptian Qatar-based Islamic cleric Sheikh Youssef El-Qaradawi.

The ministry said that an internal meeting was held at Interpol headquarters in France where it was decided that the warrant on El-Qaradawi would not be lifted despite appeals made by the cleric to human rights organisations.

The ministry added that El-Qaradawi had another international arrest warrant issued upon a request by Iraq, which is accusing him of inciting to kill former Iraqi PM Nouri Al-Maliki.

On Sunday, media outlets in the region reported that Interpol had cancelled its arrest warrant for the 91-year-old and 40 others who the Egyptian government says are members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Although El-Qaradawi is not named on the red notice section of the Interpol website, most red notices are only available to law enforcement agencies, according to a disclaimer on the website.

Interpol issued an arrest warrant for El-Qaradawi in December 2014, as he has been convicted in Egypt on several terrorism-related charges.

Red notices are used by Interpol to inform its 190 member states that an arrest warrant has been issued for an individual by a judicial authority in a concerned country.

The notice calls for the arrest of the wanted person, after which formal extradition procedures follow.

El-Qaradawi had for years hosted a religious programme that broadcast to millions in the Arab world on the Qatari-owned TV channel Al-Jazeera.

El-Qaradawi, who is the chief of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, is currently in self-exile in Qatar. The cleric holds the Qatari nationality.

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