Whistleblower Stefánsson scoops WIN WIN award.
21 April 2021 | Justice
The prize of 1 million SEK will be presented to him at an award ceremony in Gothenburg in October.
This year the WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award recognises individuals and organisations that fight corruption, since successful anti-corruption initiatives are crucial for sustainable development all over the world.
Stefánsson had a leading position in the Icelandic fishing company Samherji from 2011 and 2016. After some time, it became clear to Stefánsson that the company was involved in widespread corruption connected to fishing quotas in Namibia. With thousands of data files on his computer, he left his position in protest.
WikiLeaks published the beginning of “the Fishrot Files” – a revelation that came to shake business leaders and the political elite in 2019.
Despite being harassed, threatened and poisoned, Stefánsson demonstrated that individuals in the corporate world can join the fight against corruption.
“I first started working on the revelation in July 2016, and it has been at a great cost. When I left Samherji, it took me a while to understand what I had been through. But when I realised the magnitude of the financial crimes and corruption – how serious the consequences for the Namibian people were – I never hesitated about what I had to do. Therefore, it is a great honour to receive such recognition and to be awarded the WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award 2021. It also means important financial support that enables us to continue this ongoing fight that is far from over,” Stefánsson said.
“Unfortunately, those with the courage to fight corruption and misuse of power most often have to pay a steep price, and there’s no exception for Jóhannes Stefánsson,” said jury chairperson Emma Dalväg. “With an unfaltering determination, Stefánsson defied reoccurring harassment, threats and attempts on his life to keep up his fight. This is an individual who has overthrown an entire industry and strengthened justice for the people; a real hero, in other words, who we are proud to present as this year's winner.” – The Swedish Anti-Corruption Institute, IMM