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CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY URGES IMMEDIATE SENATE ACTION AGAINST INTERPOL

CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY URGES IMMEDIATE SENATE ACTION AGAINST INTERPOL
 WASHINGTON, March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The Church of Scientology issued the following:
 The Church of Scientology today formally urged the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee to follow the precedent set last week by the Council of Europe, which passed a resolution calling for oversight and access to Interpol's (International Criminal Police Organization) files throughout Europe.
 Interpol is a private police organization based in France, which was granted complete immunity by the French government, and was additionally given immunity in the United States under the Reagan administration in 1983 by Presidential Executive Order. U.S. tax money provided Interpol with nearly $7 million in funding last year.
 Interpol has recently come under heavy fire internationally for allowing international terrorist George Habash into France. In an attempt to defend this, President of Interpol Ivan Barbot claimed in the International Herald Tribune that Interpol had no file on Habash. Ironically, terrorism is alleged to be a top priority concern of Interpol.
 Interpol's current history of its officials convicted for drug trafficking, and its support of international criminals has been an additional point of international concern. The group in 1987 presented an award to since-ousted Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega for allegedly combating drug trafficking, just months before he was indicted in the United States on drug charges.
 The request for investigation and action was made in an open letter from the Rev. Heber C. Jentzsch, president of the Church of Scientology International, to Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Narcotics, Terrorism and International Operations.
 "Interpol's known protection of terrorists and its praise of drug runners has incensed Europe and law enforcement officers in the United States," wrote Jentzsch.
 "I believe Europe's lead in the international concern to stop such atrocities is incentive for the United States to take action and force this private organization to be open for scrutiny. To effect this, its immunity in the United States must be revoked and the U.S. office of Interpol must be subject to the Freedom of Information and Privacy acts, which the attorney general currently exempts them from," Jentzsch wrote.
 "The United States, by Presidential Executive Order 12425, signed by former President Reagan in 1983, granted Interpol immunity within U.S. borders. Certainly, this immunity must at the very least be reviewed and ultimately revoked by Congress," Jentzsch urged.
 -0- 3/24/92
 /CONTACT: Rev. Heber C. Jentzsch, president, Church of Scientology International, 213-960-3500/ CO: Church of Scientology International ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


MH -- DC021 -- 1190 03/24/92 15:13 EST
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Date:Mar 24, 1992
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