Transparency International condemns conviction of Rafael Marques de Morais

Transparency International condemns conviction of Rafael Marques de Morais

On May 28 Rafael Marques de Morais, a courageous investigative journalist and anti-corruption activist from Angola, was convicted and given a six-month suspended jail sentence following a trial for criminal defamation.

The conviction is a huge blow to freedom of expression and the fight against graft in Angola.

Marques’ crime: He exposed corruption and human rights abuses in his country. His book, “Blood Diamonds: Corruption and Torture in Angola,” describes how Angolan military officials and private security companies committed human rights abuses against Angolan villagers in the course of diamond mining operations. The book can be read online for free .

In 2013 Transparency International awarded Marques its Integrity Award for his continued efforts to expose the corrupt practices of those in power.

Transparency International along with more than 70 individuals and organisations has signed calling for the conviction to be overturned.

We, the undersigned, call on Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos to drop the prosecution of journalist Rafael Marques de Morais.

Marques’ vital investigations into human rights abuses should not be impeded by the threat of jail, which is set to loom over him for two years under the court’s terms.

His conviction and six-month suspended sentence are a clear violation of the rights to free expression, to a free press and to a fair trial. 

Marques’ reporting is fundamental not only to Angola, but to the world at large. 

We call on you to ensure standards of international law are applied during the appeal process.

The conviction and sentencing came a week after an apparent dismissal of all the charges against Marques following an agreement with the generals who had accused him of defamation. Marques has since described this agreement as “.” It meant that his witnesses, including a mother who says that her two sons were , did not get a chance to testify.  

Corruption can only be fought successfully in countries where the media is free to report on it without fear of retaliation. Transparency International is concerned Angola is making an example of Marques in order to deter others from undertaking investigations into corruption and rights violations.

Angola scored just 19 out of 100 in Transparency International’s 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index, a fall of four points from its 2013 score of 23. Out of 175 countries, only one fell by more.

For any press enquiries please contact [email protected]

Solicitude

Support Transparency International

La Justicia española debe investigar el lavado de imagen de Azerbaiyán en Europa

Tres políticos españoles —Pedro Agramunt, Agustín Conde Bajén y Jordi Xuclá— se encuentran entre los delegados ante la Asamblea Parlamentaria del Consejo de Europa (APCE) sobre los que pesan sospechas de haberse beneficiado con la maniobra del “Laundromat”.

International Anti-Corruption Day 2018: The power of people’s pressure

Across the world, Transparency International chapters work hard to help the public become involved and engaged in the fight against corruption.

Clean up Spain – Justice for Azerbaijan’s reputation laundering in Europe

In Azerbaijan, critical voices are routinely suppressed. Meanwhile in Europe, politicians suspected of helping whitewash Azerbaijan’s record on human rights enjoy impunity. Join our campaign to urge authorities in Spain to investigate.

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.

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?

Why rather

Follow us on Why rather