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TI joins call demanding the release of anti-corruption campaigner in Angola

NEWS UPDATE:

For the most current information regarding Dr. Wykes’ case please see: http://www.globalwitness.org/index.php

Berlin 21 February, 2007 – Dr. Sarah Wykes was granted bail of 180,000 Kwanzas (US$2000) and has been released from prison today.

No details on the charges alleged against her have been provided, according to her employer, Global Witness. Transparency International hopes that Dr. Wykes is well and that her case will be handled in a fair due process.

Berlin 20 February, 2007 –The anti-corruption organisation Transparency International (TI) today joined the call of Global Witness in condemning the detention of international anti-corruption campaigner Dr. Sarah Wykes by Angolan authorities over the weekend.

Dr. Wykes, who works with human rights and anti-corruption NGO Global Witness, was arrested by armed Angolan police while visiting the oil-rich nation to meet with civil society, firms and government representatives. Charges against Dr. Wykes remain unclear but seem to centre on an allegation of violating national security, which covers a very broad and unspecific set of issues under Angolan law, according to Global Witness.

TI Chief Executive David Nussbaum said, “Our movement supports Global Witness’ call for Dr. Wykes’ immediate release. We are concerned that while trying to keep natural resources from turning into a corruption curse, Dr. Wykes has been arrested, seemingly without justification.”

TI is also concerned about the long-term effects Dr. Wyke’s arrest may have on civil society’s ability to improve transparency and accountability in Angola, where oil accounts for most of the country’s revenues.

Transparency International was one of the initiators of the Publish What You Pay coalition and promotes revenue transparency to improve democratic accountability in natural resource-rich countries as part of its broader anti-corruption work.

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Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption.

For additional information please see: http://www.globalwitness.org/index.php


For any press enquiries please contact

Gypsy Guillén Kaiser
T: +49-30-3438 20662
E: ggkaiser@transparency.org