Transparency International and its chapter in Ukraine call on Ukrainian authorities to abolish controversial amendments to the Law on Prevention of Corruption that appear designed to intimidate and target anti-corruption activists.
The amendments would make it mandatory for leaders of anti-corruption groups to submit e-declarations of their assets, similar to those that are now mandatory for civil servants, judges, senior government employees and members of parliament.
The e-declaration law was introduced to inhibit corruption and allow for public scrutiny of the wealth of those in power to ensure people did not abuse their official positions to increase their assets beyond their salaries. It has no relevance to anti-corruption activists who are not paid by the state.
José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International, said:
“These new provisions must be abolished immediately. Lawmakers are trying to intimidate civil society and in particular anti-corruption activists. If these amendments come into force, it will be clear that Ukrainian top officials are not serious about fighting corruption. It will show that they have chosen to side with those who want to quash the anti-corruption movement.
“These amendments are a vindictive retaliation by lawmakers who are angry that they are required to declare their wealth. There is no justification for singling out anti-corruption groups.”
Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, the Executive Director of Transparency International Ukraine, said:
“Non-governmental organisations are overseen by the public and their donors. The relevant authorities review tax and financial reports. Our annual reports are available online. These new amendments which extend to organisations that work with us, if introduced, will complicate not only anti-corruption activity but the life of individuals indirectly assisting and supporting our work.”