EITI Board Member prevented from travelling

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Gabon has barred transparency campaigner Marc Ona from leaving the national territory.

Marc Ona was detained on the tarmac of Libreville airport on Thursday 6 June while en route to an international meeting on revenue transparency in New York. A Gabonese national, Mr. Ona is the Coordinator of Publish What You Pay Gabon and a member of the multi-stakeholder committee implementing Gabon’s Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global initiative for disclosure of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas and mining.

Mr. Ona, who had been granted a US visa to attend the New York event, was prevented by police from boarding the airplane after he had already cleared security and passport control. There is no legal basis or justification for this travel ban nor has Mr. Ona been notified in writing by the authorities.

Gabon is also a member of the EITI International Board.

Like many others around the world I join in the call to the Gabonese government that it must respect the rights of civil society campaigners to engage in a constructive dialogue on issues of public interest. It is only ion this way that democratic, accountable communities free of corruption can be built.