CAFOD calls for release of British anti-corruption campaigner in Angola

 Sarah Wykes, a Senior Campaigner at Global Witness, has been charged with espionage in Angola, less than a month after civil society organisations from Africa, Asia and Latin America appealed for greater protection for those working to end corruption, A valued CAFOD colleague within the Publish What You Pay (PWYP) coalition, Dr Wykes was arrested by armed police on 18 February in the oil-rich enclave of Cabinda and held in prison. She was bailed on 21 February but so far has not been able to leave Cabinda. Nine days after her arrest, she had still not been given detailed information about the charges against her. Dr Wykes is a respected international campaigner working to reduce corruption in the oil and gas industries. She was visiting Angola to speak to civil society, companies and the government to assess progress made on improving the transparency of money generated by Angola's oil sector. With other members of the 300 strong international Publish What You Pay coalition, CAFOD is calling for the Angolan Government to drop all charges against Dr Wykes immediately and unconditionally and to allow her to leave Angola at once. The safety of those who speak out on issues of transparency and corruption is a growing concern for CAFOD. The arrest of Dr Wykes follows the detention and trial of two Publish What You Pay campaigners in the oil-rich state of Congo-Brazzaville last year. Christian Mounzeo is national Coordinator for PWYP and Brice Makosso is Secretary of the Justice and Peace Commission in Congo-Brazzaville. At the World Social Forum last month, groups working on human rights, environment, and transparency and accountability in the extractive industries stressed the importance of being able to continue their work free from harassment or intimidation.

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