UK Citizen Arrested in Iraq and Facing Extradition to Qatar

British citizen Brian Glendinning was arrested in Iraq after Qatar issued an Interpol red notice.

He is now being held in prison in Baghdad, while waiting for an extradition hearing.

Glendinning took out a bank loan of $25,000 while working in Qatar in 2016. After falling ill he left Qatar without repaying the loan in full.

The Qatari bank then took him to court in 2017, demanding full repayment and accusing him of fraud. He claims to have been unaware of the court case and was found guilty in his absence. He was sentenced to 2 years in prison by the Qatari court.

Qatar added Glendinning to the Interpol red list in 2019. The red list obliges member states of Interpol to detain a suspect pending extradition. Some member states comply with this, while others do not.

Mr Glendinning was arrested when he travelled to Iraq for work in September 2022. The Iraqi judge ordered him to be held in prison there until the extradition papers arrive. He faces months of detention in Iraq before a hearing takes place.

Brian Glendinning’s family said that he had no idea there was an outstanding interpol red notice when he travelled to Iraq from his home in Scotland.

If he is extradited to Qatar he faces having to serve the prison sentence there. He will not be able to leave Qatar until he has repaid the bank loan in full together with interest and penalties.

Not all Interpol red notices are listed publicly. There is often a mistaken belief that they expire after 6 months. This case shows that extreme caution must be taken before travelling for anyone who suspects they may be subject to a red notice. Countries are able to issue Interpol red notices for any reason and they are often misused.