France: Judicial investigation opened regarding Nexa Technologies' surveillance equipment sale to Egyptian regime
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France: Judicial investigation opened regarding Nexa technologies' surveillance equipment sale to Egyptian regime
" Sale of surveillance equipment to Egypt: Paris Prosecutor opens a judicial investigation ", 22 Dec 2017
Following a request by FIDH and the LDH, with the support of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), that an investigation be opened into the sale of surveillance equipment by a French company to Egypt, the Crimes Against Humanity Division of the Paris Prosecutor’s office...opened a formal judicial investigation [on 22 December 2017]. By shedding light on the contract concluded between the authoritarian Al Sissi regime and Nexa Technologies (ex Amesys), and its consequences, the investigation could lead to charges being brought for complicity to torture and enforced disappearances. A step which sends a powerful signal for surveillance and weapons companies, as well as for the French authorities.
...By opening a judicial investigation, the Paris Prosecutor acknowledges the gravity of the allegations, giving Egyptian victims the opportunity to become civil parties to the case and testify in France as well as enabling FIDH and the LDH to become civil parties.
...This new investigation should shed light on the nature of the contract signed between Nexa Technologies and the Al Sissi regime, its execution and its consequences for Egyptian human rights defenders and civil society activists. Today, the country counts tens of thousands of political prisoners in detention, who are habitually exposed to torture, inhumane detention conditions and unfair trials.
- Related stories: France: Judicial investigation opened regarding Nexa Technologies' surveillance equipment sale to Egyptian regime
- Related in-depth areas: Latest Legal News
- Related companies: AMESys (Advanced Middle East Systems, formerly Amesys (part of Bull))
Author: Associated Press, Business Insider
Egyptian and international rights groups have filed a criminal complaint with Paris prosecutors over the sale of French surveillance technology to Egypt.
The filing, announced late Thursday by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, relates to the potential role that the technology could play in widespread oppression in Egypt.
The French company, Nexa Technologies, was formerly called Amesys.
This request for a criminal investigation involves complicity to torture and carry out enforced disappearances. It supplements an investigation already underway on the sale of surveillance technology to Libya when it was run by longtime dictator Moammer Gadhafi before his 2011 overthrow and killing...
On 5 July 2017, Télérama revealed that Amesys had “changed its name and shareholder in order to sell its services to the new Egyptian authorities while the French state stands and looks on”.
...FIDH [and the Ligue des Droits de l’Homme (France), with the support of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies] filed a complaint with the specialised unit responsible for prosecuting crimes against humanity within the Paris Prosecutor’s office, requesting that a criminal investigation be opened for complicity to torture and enforced disappearances in Egypt.
...On 19 October 2011, our organisations first filed a complaint against Amesys...In May 2017, Amesys was formally placed under the status of assisted witness (“témoin assisté) for complicity to torture committed in Libya between 2007 and 2011.
...However, the opening of criminal proceedings alone would not mask the lack of political willingness on the part of the French authorities, who should have prevented the export of “dual-use” surveillance technologies by the former managers of Amesys to Egypt, where oppression has been in full swing since General Al Sissi’s coup d’état.