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9 Mar 2022

Amnesty International

Amnesty International uncovers use of NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware against human right activists from Morocco & Western Sahara

"Morocco/Western Sahara: Activist targeted with Pegasus spyware in recent months – new evidence", March 9 2022

... Analysis by Amnesty International’s Security Lab found that two phones belonging to Sahraoui human rights defender Aminatou Haidar were targeted and infected as recently as November 2021, just months after the Pegasus Project revelations shocked the world.

“The fact that Aminatou Haidar was targeted with Pegasus spyware mere months ago is further proof that companies like NSO Group will continue to facilitate human rights violations unless they are properly regulated,” said Danna Ingleton, Deputy Director of Amnesty Tech…

Amnesty International’s analysis showed that one of Haidar’s phones contained traces of Pegasus targeting dating back to September 2018, and further traces of infection as recently as October and November 2021 on the other... These attacks on human rights defenders are part of an intensifying clampdown of peaceful dissent in Morocco. The continued abuse of NSO Group’s tools in the country indicates Moroccan authorities are failing to respect and protect the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly…

The Moroccan authorities disputed the latest findings, citing a “lack of material evidence”. NSO Group did not respond by time of publication, but has previously refused to confirm or deny whether the Moroccan authorities use its technologies.