Transparency International fully supports the important work of its partner in Montenegro, MANS which works to uncover corruption in both the public and private sectors, and condemns the latest shocking smear campaign directed at Vanja Calovic, the Executive Director of MANS. The perpetrators of this week’s latest public attack should be investigated and brought to justice.
"The work of an anti-corruption organisation is to make people aware of corruption and advocate change and justice. Governments should protect civil society space so organisations like MANS can work free from harassment. Unfortunately this is not the first time that MANS has been targeted," said Transparency International Vice Chair Elena Panfilova.
Transparency International and other international organisations condemned earlier attempts in June to damage the reputation of MANS and Calovic following the release of MANS report into election irregularities.
During the May elections observers, trained and organised by MANS, recorded 842 irregularities in capital Podgorica, including parallel voter registries, violations of secrecy during voting, abuse of the postal voting process and cases of multiple voting. Although these were submitted to the State Election Commission on time and in the proper format none was followed up. The final report on the May election was released 27 October.
The new attack may also be linked to the release of an investigation that highlights the links between organised crime and people in the public sector.
This latest effort to stamp out the voice of the people comes just two weeks after more than 100 Transparency International chapters called on governments to act now to safeguard the space for civil society in the fight against corruption and for basic rights to work free from fear, harassment and intimidation.
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