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West and Central Africa: Attacks against those who expose corruption

On the occasion of the African Day Against Corruption and the twentieth anniversary of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, Amnesty International has released a report titled “Endangered Fight Against Corruption: Repression of Human Rights Defenders Combating Corruption in West and Central Africa.” The report highlights how anti-corruption activists in 19 countries in West and Central Africa are at risk of being arrested, threatened, detained, heavily fined, and even killed for exposing corruption.

These individuals play a crucial role in the fight against corruption and, consequently, in the defense of human rights. However, they regularly face attacks, intimidation, harassment, and persecution solely for speaking out the truth, through defamation and “fake news” laws, disproportionate fines, trials, and convictions.

There are few laws that protect human rights defenders fighting corruption. Biased judicial institutions and a culture of impunity allow corrupt practices to go unpunished. Currently, only Ivory Coast, Mali, and Niger have adopted laws for the protection of human rights defenders, and only Ghana has specific legislation for the protection of whistleblowers.



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