Transparency International created the Integrity Award to recognise the courage and determination of the many individuals and organisations confronting corruption, often at great personal risk. Since then, the awards have honoured activists, journalists, civil servants and many others from all around the world.
Their courage, conviction and integrity – pre-requisites in our battle against corruption – are examples to us all.
Opposition to entrenched elites and corrupt power networks can be dangerous in many parts of the world. This year’s two winners are a journalist from China and a human rights activist and journalist from Angola who are united by their brave commitment to reveal the truth and to push the boundaries of the fight against corruption. Their inspiring stories are proof of Transparency International’s belief that corruption can be challenged.
Luo Changping, China
Working in an environment of media censorship, Chinese journalist Luo Changping summoned the courage to expose corruption via his personal blog.
When the respected financial magazine Luo works for was reluctant to print the name of a high-ranking official accused of illegal financial dealings, he bravely decided to publish the full allegations, including the official’s name, himself. His naming of the official, Liu Tienan, eventually led to a government investigation resulting in Liu’s dismissal from the party and removal from public office in 2013.
The road to accountability was not an easy one. After the investigation was announced by Chinese authorities, Luo’s internet account was deleted before he could release further information on the story. But were it not for Luo’s courage and tenacity, the official’s conduct would have continued unchallenged. Luo’s success was a rare victory in the struggle for transparency in China. His actions have demonstrated the important role for investigative journalism and social media in the fight against corruption.
Rafael Marques de Morais, Angola
Exposing high-level corruption is a dangerous act in Angola. Journalist and human rights activist Rafael Marques de Morais is all too aware of the risks, having been imprisoned in 1999 after denouncing the Angolan government for corruption and embezzlement in a newspaper article.
In spite of his detention and ill-treatment, Marques continued with his efforts to reveal the corrupt practices of those in power. He has written extensively on the trade in conflict diamonds and corruption in the oil industry, as well as the brutality of the Angolan army. Through his blog Maka Angola he has become the authoritative voice on corruption in his country.
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.
Award ceremony in Berlin
Marques and Luo will receive their awards at a ceremony in Berlin on 8 November 2013, after a conference marking Transparency International’s 20th Anniversary.
As we look forward to the next 20 years of fighting corruption, we hope that our winners’ stories inspire us all to work tirelessly to rid the world of corruption and protect those who have the courage to confront it, no matter the consequences.
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