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Lawsuit

Amesys lawsuit (re Libya)

Status: ONGOING

Incident date
Sept. 1, 2011
Unknown
Location of Filing: France
Location of Incident: Libya
Type of Litigation: Transnational

Companies

Anglo American United Kingdom Mining
AT&T United States of America Technology, telecom & electronics
Orano (formerly Areva) France Mining, Nuclear energy
AOL United States of America Media & publishing: General
Anglo Platinum (part of Anglo American) South Africa Metals & steel
AngloGold Ashanti South Africa Mining
Accenture Ireland Auditing, consulting & accounting
Alstom France Diversified/Conglomerates
Amazon.com United States of America Clothing & textile, Retail, Internet & social media, Technology: General
African Rainbow Minerals South Africa Mining
Aramex United Arab Emirates
Alcatel (now Alcatel-Lucent) France Technology, telecom & electronics
adidas Germany Clothing & textile, Footwear, Retail, Sporting goods
Africa Israel Israel Construction, Property development, Property management
Ahava Israel Cosmetics
BP United Kingdom Oil, gas & coal
BAE Systems United Kingdom Arms/Weapons
Barrick Gold Canada Mining
Bull (part of Atos) France Technology, telecom & electronics
Blackwater United States of America Security companies
Cambior Canada Mining
Cisco Systems United States of America Technology, telecom & electronics
Citigroup United States of America Finance & banking
Chiquita United States of America Agriculture & livestock
Co-operative Group United Kingdom Retail
Carrefour France Supermarkets & grocery
CACI United States of America Military/defence
China Minmetals China Metals & steel, Mining
Correctional Services United States of America
Chevron United States of America Oil, gas & coal
Drummond United States of America Mining
Danzer Germany Logging & lumber
DLH (Dalhoff Larsen & Horneman) Denmark Logging & lumber
DynCorp United States of America Military/defence
Daimler AG Germany Automobile & other motor vehicles
ExxonMobil United States of America Oil, gas & coal
eBay United States of America Retail
Etisalat United Arab Emirates Technology, telecom & electronics
Ford United States of America Automobile & other motor vehicles
Facebook United States of America Internet & social media, Advertising & marketing
Gold Fields South Africa Metals & steel, Mining
Google (part of Alphabet) United States of America Internet & social media, Technology: General, Advertising & marketing
G4S United Kingdom Security companies
Halliburton United States of America Diversified/Conglomerates, Military/defence, Oil, gas & coal
HP Inc. (Hewlett-Packard) United States of America Technology, telecom & electronics
Harmony Gold South Africa Mining
Hudbay Minerals Canada Mining
Intel United States of America Technology, telecom & electronics
IBM United States of America Technology, telecom & electronics
Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) United States of America Engineering, Security companies
L-3 Communications United States of America Technology, telecom & electronics
L-3 Titan (part of L-3 Communications) United States of America Technology, telecom & electronics
Marks & Spencer United Kingdom Clothing & textile
Microsoft United States of America Internet & social media, Technology: General
ManpowerGroup United States of America
Millicom Luxembourg
McAfee (part of Intel) United States of America
Monterrico Metals (part of Zijin) United Kingdom Mining
Nestlé Switzerland Food & beverage
Nokia Finland Technology, telecom & electronics
Nokia Networks (part of Nokia) Finland Technology, telecom & electronics
Orascom Egypt Diversified/Conglomerates, Construction
PepsiCo United States of America Food & beverage
Paladin Energy Australia Energy
PayPal United States of America
Qatar Airways Qatar Aircraft/Airline
Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) Netherlands Oil, gas & coal
Siemens Germany Technology, telecom & electronics
Saudi Aramco Saudi Arabia Oil, gas & coal
Talisman (part of Repsol) Canada Oil, gas & coal
Tesco United Kingdom Supermarkets & grocery
Tate & Lyle United Kingdom Agriculture & livestock
TeliaSonera Sweden Technology, telecom & electronics
Texaco (part of Chevron) United States of America Oil, gas & coal
Twitter United States of America Internet & social media
Vodafone United Kingdom Technology, telecom & electronics
Veolia (formerly Vivendi Environnement) France Energy, Waste disposal, Water companies
Vale Brazil Metals & steel, Mining
Walmart United States of America Supermarkets & grocery
Yahoo! (part of Verizon) United States of America Internet & social media
YouTube (part of Alphabet) United States of America Internet & social media
ZTE China Technology, telecom & electronics
Zijin China Metals & steel, Mining
Zain Kuwait Technology, telecom & electronics
Transocean Switzerland Oil, gas & coal
Gamma Group United Kingdom Technology, telecom & electronics
Nexa Technologies (formerly Amesys) France Technology, telecom & electronics
Blue Coat United States of America
Memento Labs (formerly Hacking Team) Italy Technology, telecom & electronics
Neumann Gruppe Germany Agriculture & livestock
MTV Lebanon Lebanon Media & publishing: General
Al-Hamad United Arab Emirates Building materials & equipment
Qosmos (part of Enea) France Technology, telecom & electronics
Mekorot Israel Water companies
Spinneys Lebanon Supermarkets & grocery
Mondelēz International United States of America Food & beverage
Century Miracle Jordan Jordan Clothing & textile
Lebanese Family Club Iraq Restaurants & bars
Helwan Fertilizers Egypt Agriculture & livestock
Ooredoo Qatar Internet & social media, Technology, telecom & electronics
Suez Steel (part of Solb Misr) Egypt Metals & steel

Sources

In 2011, two NGOs filed a criminal complaint before a French court, accusing Amesys (now Nexa Technologies) of complicity in human rights abuses by the Gaddafi Government in Libya for providing it surveillance equipment. The complaint alleges the surveillance equipment was used to intercept private internet communications to identify, seek out, and torture opponents of Gaddafi. Amesys confirms it entered into an agreement with Libyan authorities, but claims the equipment provided does not enable the monitoring of telephone lines. 

Amesys (a subsidiary of Bull, and now Nexa Technologies) is accused in an ongoing criminal case of complicity with human rights abuses by the Gaddafi government in Libya by providing it surveillance equipment.  Two organizations – International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and la Ligue des droits de l’Homme (LDH) – filed a criminal complaint in the case on 19 October 2011 before a Paris court.   The complaint asserts that in 2007 Amesys contracted with the Libyan Government to provide communication surveillance equipment which the government used to intercept private internet communications.  The complaint further alleges that Amesys assisted in developing and monitoring a surveillance network that the authorities used to identify opponents of Gaddafi, whom the government then detained and tortured.  Amesys confirms that it entered into an agreement with Libyan authorities in 2007 but claims that the equipment provided does not enable the monitoring of telephone lines.  It contends that it entered into the agreement in a diplomatic context of rapprochement with Libya, which had stated that it wanted to fight terrorism.  The company states that its activities comply with international, European and French law.

On 21 May 2012, the Paris prosecutor opened an investigation against the company.  In January 2013 a French appeals court ruled that a judicial inquiry into the allegations of Amesys' complicity in acts of torture may proceed.  On 30 May 2017, Amesys was declared an "assisted witness".

In June 2021, Amesys and its former CEO, Philippe Vannier, who ran the company until 2010, were charged with "complicity in acts of torture” for selling equipment to Kadhafi's regime.

-French technology firm charged over Libya cyber-spying, AFP, 1 Jul 2021

-French executives of Amesys and Nexa Technologies face torture charges for selling spy gear to Libya, Egypt, Sarah Elzas, RFI, 22 Jun 2021

- [FR] "Libye de Kadhafi: un juge français va enquêter sur le rôle d'Amesys", AFP, 15 janvier 2013
- "Libyans file suit against French tech firm over torture", AFP, 15 Jan 2013
- [FR] "Torture en Libye : enquête sur la société française Amesys" ("Torture in Libya: investigation against French company Amesys"), Jim Jarrassé, Le Figaro, 21 mai 2012
- [FR] “Une société française poursuivie avoir vendu du materiel de surveillance à Kadhafi” (“A French company prosecuted for selling surveillance equipment to Gaddafi”), Le Monde, 19 octobre 2011
- “Doing Business With Gaddafi: Making Millions and Risking Lives”, Jean Marc Manach, owni.eu, 13 Oct 2011
- “French Firm Sold Gadhafi Stealth 4x4: Report”, AFP, 18 Sep 2011
- “French spy-tech firm confirms 2007 deal with Kadhafi”, AFP, 2 Sep 2011
- [FR] “Contrat avec la Libye : Amesys se défend” (“Contract with Libya: Amesys defends itself”), Le Monde Informatique, 2 septembre 2011
- [FR] “Libye – Une filiale de Bull fournissait à Kadhafi des équipements de surveillance du Web” (“Libya – A subsidiary of Bull supplied online surveillance equipment to Gaddafi”), blog "Big Browser", Le Monde, 30 août 2011
- “Firms Aided Libyan Spies: First Look Inside Security Unit Shows How Citizens Were Tracked”, Paul Sonne & Margaret Coker, Wall Street Journal, 30 Aug 2011

Amesys:
- Response re article alleging Amesys sold surveillance equipment to Libyan authorities, 22 Dec 2011
- Amesys press release, 1 Sep 2011

FIDH :

-Surveillance & torture in Egypt & Libya: Amesys and Nexa Technologies executives indicted, FIDH, 22 Jun 2021

- [FR] Affaire Amesys : la Chambre de l'instruction donne son feu vert á la poursuite de l'instruction, 15 janvier 2013
- FIDH and LDH file a complaint concerning the responsibility of the company AMESYS in relation to acts of torture,19 Oct 2011
- [FR] La FIDH et la LDH déposent une plainte mettant en cause la société Amesys pour complicité d'actes de torture, 19 octobre 2011

Case Timeline