Stephen Peel has stepped down as a member of the Global Witness Board. Stephen has made an enormous contribution to Global Witness.
Typically selfless, Mr Peel made his decision after his private equity firm announced it is supporting the acquisition of the technology company, NSO Group.
In response to the announcement, Global Witness’s board Chair, Mark Stephens said: “Stephen Peel has served on our Board since December of 2015 and has made a tremendous contribution to the development of Global Witness. He has been a key ally in our ongoing battle to investigate corruption and hold those responsible to account for human rights and environmental abuses. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude for the knowledge and insight he has brought. Given this technology exists I would prefer it is run by someone, such as Mr Peel, who is committed to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
“As an organisation we have concerns about the potential for the abuse of surveillance technology. The misuse of this kind of technology can have a damaging effect on the work of NGOs and individuals and in the hands of repressive regimes, it can be used to deadly effect.
“Global Witness is committed to doing everything it can to preserve a space for human rights, whistle-blowers, free expression and privacy.”
Stephen Peel said: "The work conducted by Global Witness is critical in holding governments, companies and individuals to account and protecting the public from corrupt behaviour. The core principles of Global Witness are close to my fundamental beliefs, and while I am stepping down from my role, I will continue to support the fight for justice. I thank all of the team at Global Witness for what we have achieved together over the past three years. Looking forward, I am committed to ensuring NSO adheres to the highest governance practices.”