Press Release / Feb. 19, 2007

Angola: Immediate release of anti-corruption campaigner required

Human rights and anti-corruption campaign group Global Witness is demanding the immediate and unconditional release of their employee Dr Sarah Wykes, a highly respected international anti-corruption campaigner.

Dr Wykes was arrested by armed Angolan police on the morning of Sunday 18th February in Cabinda, whilst visiting the oil rich enclave to meet with local civil society representatives. She was arrested and taken from her hotel to a police station, not given food or water for at least 5 hours before being charged and taken to the local jail late last night.  

Global Witness understands that she has been charged with espionage and this morning was taken to court in Cabinda. Global Witness refutes any allegation of espionage by Dr Wykes and no evidence to support the charge has yet been presented. The Angolan authorities are denying Dr Wykes her own lawyers and are insisting on appointing a Government lawyer.  

Dr Wykes has been a tireless campaigner for transparency in the oil sector and her arrest and subsequent incarceration are an affront to her human rights. She should be immediately and unconditionally released. 

For more information contact: +44 (0)20 7561 6361, +44 (0)20 7561 6395 or +44 (0)7843 058 756. To view our fact sheet, click here.