Regional Campaigns and initiatives on Whistleblower Protection
Campaigns and initiatives are happening in southern and eastern Europe.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina there has been a successful campaign to end the retaliation against Tuzla Kvarc. The family-run mining company suffered serial reprisals for two years after exposing a government bribery scheme in 2015. In June 2017 company deputy director Zlatan Velagić won a defamation lawsuit against a government-run TV station that falsely accused him of being affiliated with an Islamic terrorist organization.
In Croatia three groups have launched new campaigns and initiatives to support whistleblowers and their rights. Efforts by GONG, Center for Peace Studies and Human Rights House Zagreb include advice and support services, a campaign for Croatia’s first whistleblower protection law, and a public awareness campaign on the value of whistleblowing in exposing and combating corruption.
In the Czech Republic campaign meetings in Prague in June 2017 included activists, journalists, political operatives, members of Parliament including Deputy House Speaker Radek Vondráček, and billionaire philanthropist Karel Janeček. The Czech government and its civil society partners have spent huge amounts of taxpayer money to advertise plans to pass a whistleblower law, with nothing to show for it.
In Kosovo letters were sent to Kosovo Prime Minister Isa Mustafa and other government officials on behalf of Murat Mehmeti, a public employee who in November 2016 exposed a massive tax evasion scheme within Kosovo’s Tax Administration. Backed by civil society and the public, Mehmeti has remained in his position as of November 2017.
In Macedonia the Center for Investigative Journalism-SCOOP and the Macedonia chapter of Transparency International are investigating whistleblower disclosures and retaliation complaints, while protecting their identity from would-be retaliators. They are now working to ensure that Macedonia’s first whistleblower protection law, passed in 2015, is being strongly and fairly enforced for the benefit of whistleblowers.
Moldova passed its first-ever provisions to protect whistleblowers in May 2017, backed by the efforts of three Coalition NGO members – Anticorruption Alliance, Center for Analysis and Prevention of Corruption, and Resource Center for Human Rights (CReDO). The campaign for whistleblower rights in Moldova is powerfully captured in the documentary “Whistleblowers on Their Own” and an expose on whistleblower cases.