EULEX needs to support not intimidate whistleblowers
In light of the developments pertaining to Maria Bamieh, former prosecutor and whistleblower for alleged mismanagements in the EU Rule of Law Mission- EULEX, Transparency International Kosova requests that EULEX publishes the procedures for reporting fraud and protection of whistleblowers. This is so that cases of corruption or misuse of power within this Institution, or other Institutions where EULEX operates, are made public in order to combat and prevent such abuses.
In November 2014, Maria Bamieh publically alleged that some of her colleagues at EULEX had engaged in unlawful actions and that her requests for internal investigations were ignored by the Mission. Currently, Bamieh has filed a case at the London Employment Tribunal, against EULEX for victimisation and being forced from her job due to whistleblowing activities.
According to lawyers who represent Ms. Bamieh, EULEX has threatened criminal prosecution if she or her lawyer disclose any details of her claim to any non-parties pertaining to the court case and have requested complete secrecy throughout all stages of the proceedings.
EULEX is a mission that is funded by European taxpayers with the aim to fight corruption in Kosovo, thus there is a high public interest that the developments of this case are made public and easily accessible to the public and media.
The threat made to Bamieh by EULEX constitutes intimidation of anyone who could come forward to denounce corruption or mismanagement.
EULEX should set the example of how a whistleblower should be treated to improve the current situation rather than send a message that anyone speaking up about corruption faces the threat of prosecution.
EULEX’s attempts to enforce secrecy could stop other witnesses to abuses from coming forward.
EULEX should dedicate its energy to strengthening Kosovo’s institutions and set a good example of action and not intimidation of whistleblowers in Kosovo.
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