Chile must investigate military spying on investigative journalist

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



Civilian authorities in Chile must urgently investigate the reported spying on investigative journalist Mauricio Weibel Barahona by the country’s military, Transparency International said today. According to reports, Weibel was followed and his phone was tapped in 2016 while he was investigating corruption in the armed forces.

At the time of the alleged spying, Weibel was working for investigative news platform The Clinic. In June, computers and other hardware were stolen from the offices of The Clinic and Chile Transparente, Transparency International’s official national chapter, which are located in the same building. Chile Transparente assured the public that any sensitive information related to reports and investigations of corruption were securely stored.

“Spying on journalists is an egregious abuse of power that cannot be tolerated in a democratic society,” said Alberto Precht, Executive Director of Chile Transparente. “It is vital that a full and thorough investigation is conducted not only into the reports of spying, but into all the recent suspicious incidents surrounding Weibel and The Clinic.”

Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International, said: “Investigative journalists uncovering corruption have every right to keep information about their sources private. Intrusions by the state into their professional and private lives is completely opposed to international anti-corruption conventions and principles of an open society.”

“Civilian oversight and institutional checks and balances on military authority are essential for ensuring that the resources at the armed forces’ disposal are not abused for corrupt and self-serving purposes, especially when they happen at the expense of human rights and civil liberties,” said Steve Francis, Director of Transparency International Defence & Security, a global initiative based in London. “The military should be acting in the interest of the national security of the country they serve, not covertly monitoring journalists working to expose corruption.”

Transparency International and Chile Transparente also call for the Chilean judiciary to investigate the reported authorisation of the phone tapping on Weibel by the Court of Appeals.


For any press enquiries please contact

Michael Hornsby
T: +49 30 34 38 20 666
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Latest

Support Transparency International

Support Us

Power for Nigeria’s people

Bribery in electricity supply ruins livelihoods, but Nigeria’s residents are speaking out.

The terrible consequences of police corruption in South Africa

What do we do when those mandated to protect us are serving other interests than public safety and security? In South Africa, police corruption leaves the public exposed to high rates of crime, and causes distrust of the police service while allowing crime to flourish.

Why do DRC citizens report such high levels of corruption?

People's experiences with corruption in the DRC are far worse than in most other African countries. Why is corruption so prevalent in the DRC, why is bribery so commonplace and why do two thirds of citizens feel powerless?

Three ways to stop money laundering through real estate

Around the world, buying property is a favourite method for the corrupt to launder their ill-gotten gains. However, there are concrete measures that make it significantly more difficult for the corrupt to stash their dirty money in real estate.

Announcing the theme for the 19th edition of the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC)

Designing 2030: Truth, Trust & Transparency

Protecting Africa’s wildlife from corruption

When they deliberate over amendments to the global wildlife trade regime, CoP18 must address impunity for illegal timber trafficking in Africa as a matter of high priority.

How the US can help Mongolia get to grips with corruption

A series of bi-lateral meetings and a proposed trade agreement present an opportunity for the US to promote rule of law and an independent judiciary in Mongolia.

Blood diamonds and land corruption in Sierra Leone

A community in Sierra Leone has created powerful short videos documenting their experiences of corruption, forced evictions and a botched resettlement programme at the hands of a multinational diamond mining company.

Countries must be more transparent when investigating transnational corruption

Supervisory and justice systems should be transparent and accountable so that the public can assess their performance.

Resilient institutions

Reducing corruption is an important component of the sustainable development agenda, and one that all state parties have an obligation to address. Although corruption is often thought of as a ‘third-world problem’, institutions in the Global North play an important role in the corruption cycle, and are therefore an essential part of the solutions.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media