Transparency International, EITI protest arrest of Congolese activist Christian Mounzeo
Issued by Transparency International Secretariat
Leaders of the anti-corruption organisation Transparency International (TI), from over 65 countries, today condemned the arrest of Christian Mounzeo by Congolese authorities. Mounzeo, a Congolese anti-corruption activist, is a member of the international board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). The EITI is an international coalition of governments, industry and civil society that promotes transparency in resource extraction revenue.
The members of Transparency International passed a resolution today at their annual meeting in Guatemala City voicing grave concern over the detention. The resolution was proposed by Peter Eigen, Chairman of the TI Advisory Council, founder of TI, and Chairman of EITI.
“This is a violation of human rights and a travesty of justice,” said Eigen. “The international community needs to move quickly, decisively and in unison to ensure that Christian Mounzeo is released. He is a civil society leader of the utmost integrity who has championed clean government, a better business climate and greater justice for the people of the Congo. These issues may be unpopular in the eyes of the Congo’s government, but they are crucial to the country’s future.” Commenting on Mounzeou’s detention in Brazzaville, Eigen noted, “It is especially disturbing that he was detained after returning from speaking at the recent high level EITI conference in Oslo and at the Annual Meeting of the Club of Madrid.”
TI Chair Huguette Labelle said, “Our movement supports a concerted international effort to protect Mounzeou. He has been a leading campaigner against corruption in Congo Brazzaville and was already arrested once this year - with a colleague, Brice Mackosso – without justification. We understand that Mounzeo was denied access to his lawyer and that he was accused of defaming Congo’s president although no formal charges have been brought. TI’s global membership is outraged.”
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