Alyaksandr Lukashenka was named 2021’s Person of the Year in Organized Crime and Corruption by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP). The recognition was given to the Belarussian dictator for “all he has done to advance organised crime and corruption,” the OCCPR stated in a press release.
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“It was a banner year for corruption, but Lukashenka stood out from the crowd,” Drew Sullivan, co-founder of OCCRP said.
As indicated in the organisation’s press release “a panel of six journalists and scholars who study and report on corruption had no trouble selecting the post-Soviet autocrat, despite a record field of 1,167 nominees. It is the first time in a decade of handing out the Person of the Year global awards that the decision was unanimous.”
Among the actions of the Belarusian dictator referenced in the press release the organisation lists the financing of oligarchs close to the Lukashenka family, the forced landing of a Ryanair plane to put an opposition activist who was on board in jail, causing a border crisis with the EU by luring thousands of refugees to the country, promoting disinformation and fake news about COVID-19.
By playing politics with vulnerable people whom he lured to Belarus under false pretenses, Mr Lukashenka broke new ground in cynicism and cruelty, panel judge Louise Shelley of George Mason University said.
The Belarusian dictator “used the criminal and corrupt networks of the Belarussian state to foster a mass migration, leading to desperation, violence and endless cruelty,” Louise Shelley added.
🏆 We have a winner 🏆
The 2021 Corrupt Person of the Year is…
🇧🇾 Aleksandr Lukashenko 🇧🇾
Learn why our judges selected the President of Belarus over the other four finalists.https://t.co/5dZxwMfgPw
— Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (@OCCRP) December 27, 2021
Among the candidates for this year’s title of the Person of the Year in Organized Crime and Corruption award were Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, Syrian dictator Bashar Hafez al-Assad, Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdoğan, and former Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, has been awarding the Person of the Year in Organized Crime and Corruption award since 2012. Past “winners” include presidents of: Azerbaijan – Ilham Aliyev, Russia – Vladimir Putin, Venezuela – Nicolás Maduro and Brazil – Jair Bolsonaro.
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