Gabonese activist, Russian lawyer, and Sri Lankan journalist win Transparency International Integrity Award

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



Three courageous individuals are honoured today as the winners of the prestigious Transparency International (TI) Integrity Awards 2009-2010, given to people for outstanding contributions to the fight against corruption.

Sergei Magnitsky’s commitment to integrity ultimately cost him his life. A Moscow-based lawyer, Magnitsky agreed to testify against senior Russian officials, who were accused of using assets to fraudulently reclaim US $230 million in taxes. In November 2008, Magnitsky was imprisoned on charges of conspiracy. Even when his health failed he refused to withdraw his testimony. When medical treatment was allegedly withheld, he died in custody.

“Sergei Magnitsky did what to most people seems impossible: he battled as a lone individual against the power of an entire state. He believed in the rule of law and integrity, and died for his belief. Magnitsky, his heroic fight, and the ideals he stood for must never be forgotten”, said Sion Assidon, Chair of the Integrity Awards Committee.

In 2008,Grégory Ngbwa Mintsa agreed to join TI France and civil society group Sherpa in a lawsuit to investigate how three African leaders were able to acquire luxury properties and goods in France. Despite threats, imprisonment and a freeze on his salary, Mintsa refused to drop the case. On 9 November 2010, a ruling by the criminal chamber of the French Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation) allowed for an investigation to go forward.

”TI welcomes the ruling by the Cour de Cassation. Mintsa’s bravery in joining the case, and continuing to support it despite imprisonment and intimidation, has inspired people around the globe and sets a true precedent for challenging impunity,“ said Assidon.

Better known by his pen name Poddala, Attotage Prema Jayantha, was chosen for his dedication to exposing injustice in Sri Lanka’s health, education and transport sectors over a period of two decades. One of his reports uncovered what some officials have called Sri Lanka’s biggest ever tax scam, involving the alleged misappropriation of RS 3.6 billion (US $37 million) in Value Added Tax.

“Poddala effectively used his pen to fight corruption and promote good governance in Sri Lanka. Despite making powerful enemies, the activist in Poddala did not allow stories to be simply printed and then be forgotten”, said Assidon.

Natalia Nikolaeva Magnitskaya will accept the award on behalf of her son at a ceremony at the 14th International Anti-Corruption Conference. Accepting on behalf of Jayantha will be J.C. Weliamuna, member of the TI Board of Directors and Executive Director of TI Sri Lanka. Mintsa is in Bangkok to accept his award. The ceremony will be open to the press.

Now in its tenth edition, the Integrity Awards were created to recognise the courage and determination of the many individuals and organisations confronting corruption around the world, often at great personal risk. Previous winners include journalists, public prosecutors, government officials and civil society leaders.

The TI Integrity Awards Committee consists of 11 individuals from across the world who have been active in the anti-corruption movement. They select the winners from nominations made for individuals and organisations.


For any press enquiries please contact

Transparency International
T: +49(0)30343820662
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Latest

Support Transparency International

No hay cambios en las percepciones pese a los avances en América

En los últimos años, América Latina y el Caribe lograron adelantos significativos en la lucha contra la corrupción. En muchos países de la región existen ahora leyes y mecanismos para contrarrestar este fenómeno, las investigaciones legales están avanzando y los movimientos ciudadanos anticorrupción han incrementado. Sin embargo, de acuerdo con el Índice de Percepción de la Corrupción (IPC) 2017, la región continúa con bajos puntajes.

A redefining moment for Africa

The newly released Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) provides a good baseline for the African Union (AU) anti-corruption efforts in 2018. This year’s theme for the AU is “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.” As the AU rolls out its plan, this is an important moment for Africa to take stock of the current situation.

Perceptions remain unchanged despite progress in the Americas

In the last few years, Latin America and the Carribbean made great strides in the fight against corruption. Laws and mechanisms exist to curb corruption, while legal investigations are advancing and citizen anti-corruption movements are growing in many countries across the region. However, according to the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2017, the region continues to score poorly for corruption. How can we explain this contradiction?

Slow, Imperfect Progress across Asia Pacific

While no country in the Asia Pacific region scores a perfect 100, not even New Zealand or Singapore, which both experienced their share of scandals in the last year, our analysis reveals little progress across the region.

Europe and Central Asia: more civil engagement needed

In 2017, authoritarianism rose across Eastern and South East Europe, hindering anti-corruption efforts and threatening civil liberties. Across the region, civil society organisations and independent media experienced challenges in their ability to monitor and criticise decision-makers

Rampant Corruption in Arab States

In a region stricken by violent conflicts and dictatorships, corruption remains endemic in the Arab states while assaults on freedom of expression, press freedoms and civil society continue to escalate.

Digging deeper into corruption, violence against journalists and active civil society

To mark the release of the Corruption Perceptions Index 2017, we analysed corruption levels around the world and looked at how they relate to civil liberties – specifically, the ability of citizens to speak out in defence of their interests and the wider public good.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media

Would you like to know more?

Sign up to stay informed about corruption news and our work around the world