Transparency International chapter in Bosnia and Herzegovina forced to suspend operations due to safety concerns

International anti-corruption movement deplores the situation and hopes for a resolution

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat

Transparency International (TI) is deeply concerned about the safety of the staff of Transparency International Bosnia and Herzegovina (TI BiH), which was forced to temporarily close its office and suspend operations due to ongoing unwarranted and damaging attacks that have recently escalated with Prime Minister Dodik’s claims that staff of TI BiH are engaged in racketeering and organised crime.

“It is one of the few times in Transparency International’s history that a national chapter has been intimidated to the point of having to suspend operations. We are deeply concerned and saddened, and stand in solidarity with our colleagues in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Cobus de Swardt, Managing Director, Transparency International.

Following a meeting with the European Union Police Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Board of Directors of TI BiH, in an emergency meeting, decided to temporarily suspend the chapter’s operations and evacuate the staff from the office. The EUPM pledged to monitor developments, in the absence of any meaningful local police protection.

The ongoing public accusations against the only independent anti-corruption watchdog in the country and the leading NGO combating corruption provides an accurate landscape of Bosnia and Herzegovina today: a very dangerous place for voices of criticism calling for accountability and transparency in the work of the ruling powers. Despite progress made, it is still practically impossible for anti-corruption watchdogs to operate in the country.

TI hopes that the rule of law will prevail and that these accusations will be handled by an independent judiciary in the Republika Srpska in full accordance with principles of due process and impartiality; and we believe firmly that such intimidations, with their implicit threat of legal action, are unacceptable in any country or entity based on democracy and the rule of law.

On Wednesday 09 July, the Principal Deputy High Representative provided evidence to the BiH Chief Prosecutor suggesting that the Republika Srpska executive establishment was planning accusations against TI BiH late in 2007. It took some months until the action was put in motion and today, the staff of TI BiH lives in an extremely uncertain environment.


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

See also:

See TI’s previous statement here.

For any press enquiries please contact

Gypsy Guillén Kaiser
T: +49 30 343820662
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Support Transparency International

Everything you need to know about the 18th International Anti-Corruption Conference (#18IACC)

The #18IACC will take place from 22-24 October in Copenhagen, Denmark under the theme Together for Development, Peace and Security: Now is the Time to Act. Get the latest info and updates here!

Risky business: Europe’s golden visa programmes

Are EU Member States accepting too much risk in their investor migration schemes?

Future Against Corruption Award 2018

TI is calling on young people across the globe to join the anti-corruption movement. People between the age of 18 and 35 are invited to submit a short video clip presenting their idea on new ways to fight corruption. Three finalists will be invited to Berlin during the International Anti-Corruption Day festivities to be awarded with the Future Against Corruption Award. Apply today!

The Azerbaijani Laundromat one year on: has justice been served?

In September last year, a massive leak of bank records from 2012 to 2014 showed that the ruling elite of Azerbaijan ran a $3 billion slush fund and an international money laundering scheme. One year on, has enough been done to hold those involved to account?

Right to information: knowledge is power

The right to information is vital for preventing corruption. When citizens can access key facts and data from governments, it is more difficult to hide abuses of power and other illegal activities - governments can be held accountable.

Paradise lost among Maldives dodgy land deals

Should tourists run for cover as a storm of corruption allegations sweeps across the Maldives?

Foreign bribery rages unchecked in over half of global trade

There are many losers and few winners when companies bribe foreign public officials to win lucrative overseas contracts. In prioritising profits over principles, governments in most major exporting countries fail to prosecute companies flouting laws criminalising foreign bribery.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media