Update, 4 June 2015: Despite the apparent dismissal of all charges against Rafael Marques following an agreement with the generals who had accused him of defamation, on 28 May Marques was convicted and given a six-month suspended jail sentence. Read more here.
On 21 May Rafael Marques de Morais, a fearless journalist and anti-corruption activist from Angola, walked out of an Angolan court a free man after all 24 charges of criminal defamation against him were dropped.
Transparency International joins the international and national organisations who advocated for the case to be dropped in congratulating Marques for his courage as he faced down these charges and refused to apologise for the reporting in his book Blood diamonds: corruption and torture in Angola.
The book describes how Angolan military officials and private security companies committed human rights abuses against Angolan villagers in the course of diamond mining operations.
In 2013 Transparency International awarded Marques its Integrity Award. By holding the government to account, Marques gives hope to a heavily oppressed media. In the face of extreme personal risk, his hard-hitting journalism and powerful advocacy have proven to be invaluable tools in the campaign for a more transparent Angola.
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