Sleaze is hobbling the recovery of war-ravaged countries such as Iraq and Somalia, which have joined Burma among states perceived as the world's most corrupt, an anti-graft watchdog reported on Wednesday. Transparency International released its annual Corruption Perceptions Index, covering 180 countries.
Press-freedom groups agree that an increase in arrests, intimidation and harassment of journalists in Niger is impeding development in one of the poorest countries in the world. At least 14 journalists were arrested in Niger in 2007. Four of them are still in prison awaiting sentencing.
Zimbabwe's failing economy and collapsing services have provided an environment ripe for graft, with the impoverished country's woes facilitating an ever-worsening slide towards corruption. Despite setting up a local graft-busting body in 2004, Zimbabwe appears to be losing the battle against corruption, according to a leading watchdog.