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Transparency International board alarmed at crackdowns on civil society around the world

Transparency International's Board of Directors expressed today its serious concerns about the continuously shrinking space for civil society throughout the world, notably in countries where Transparency International chapters and its partners often take serious risks to develop anti-corruption programmes and aid victims of corruption.

In several countries including Ukraine, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Armenia, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and Russia the space for civil society is continuously shrinking.

"Around the world, we see common areas of concern: there is a growing conflict between state and non-state actors, growing corruption, and increasingly weaker democracy. We have severe concerns about the lack of access to information and the small number of sincere efforts at anti-corruption reforms," said Huguette Labelle, the Chair of Transparency International.

"People are exhausted and outraged by corruption and are challenging their governments to stop it. But we also see that as protests progress and the focus shifts to political reform, corruption worsens and the debate on corruption is now very diluted," said Akere Muna, the Vice-Chair of Transparency International. "The same goes with democracy, which is now summarised as being about multiparty elections. A new debate is emerging between legitimacy and legality. In most cases, state repression and civil violence allow for access to information to be challenged and for corruption to be unpunished."

"Transparency International's staff takes serious risks to challenge corruption in their country and around the world. We will always keep the personal safety of people working in Transparency International chapters as a top priority," Labelle said.


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