Bahrainís Intíl Corruption Index Ranking Drops Sharply: Worst among Gulf States
2018-02-23 - 8:25 p
Bahrain Mirror: Bahrain's Corruption Perceptions Index for 2017 deteriorated sharply to 36%, ranking the worst among Gulf States and 103rd globally.
Transparency International issued on Wednesday (February 21, 2018) the Corruption Perceptions Index for 2017, which captures levels of corruption in the public sector.
The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople, uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. This year, the index found that more than two-thirds of countries score below 50, with an average score of 43.
Bahrain recorded 43% in 2016 and 51% in 2015, but sharply dropped to 36% in 2017.
The report stated that Bahrain, which experienced the sharpest drop in the index since last year, is one example of environments where speaking truth to power is a risky and daunting task, noting that dictatorships in the Arab region have intensified their crackdown on political dissent, free speech, independent media and civil society organisations since the Arab revolutions in 2011.
The report added that over the past two years, the Bahraini authorities escalated their attacks and restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of association and assembly. In mid-2016, the government dissolved the main political opposition group and imprisoned Bahraini human rights defenders. It also revoked the citizenship of those who criticised the government, and subjugated civil society and anti-corruption activists to arbitrary travel bans and interrogations. This, in conjunction with the absence of a national strategy to fight corruption and an independent corruption agency, resulted in the country sliding swiftly down the index.
Transparency International stressed that this year's Corruption Perceptions Index highlights that the majority of countries are making little or no progress in ending corruption, while further analysis shows journalists and activists in corrupt countries risking their lives every day in an effort to speak out.
For his part, the Bahraini politician and the former Secretary-General of Wa'ad Society (dissolved by the authorities), Ebrahim Sharif, said that the Corruption Perceptions Index placed Bahrain "in the last ranking among the Arab Gulf countries after it was at the top, in 103rd place with a total score of only 36% alongside African countries where corruption is rampant."
"The international report says that the worst countries in the corruption index are the worst in the freedoms index," he further stated in a tweet on his official Twitter account.
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