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Report

30 Sep 2021

Author:
Access Now; Acción Constitucional; Advocacy Initiative for Development (AID); & over 90 other CSOs and experts

Coalition of civil society organisations & independent experts pen letter to 48th U.N. Human Rights Council on Pegasus

"Coalition Letter to the 48th U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) on Pegasus", 30 September 2021

We, the undersigned civil society organizations and independent experts, call on Member States of the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) to take urgent action at the ongoing 48th regular session of the HRC to denounce the unfolding and unprecedented scale of human rights violations by States facilitated by the use of the NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware and provide immediate, robust support for impartial and transparent inquiries into the abuses.

We are deeply alarmed by the Pegasus Project revelations, a major investigation conducted by Forbidden Stories, and a consortium of 16 media organizations, alongside Amnesty International who was a technical partner in the investigations. The investigation was based on a leak of 50,000 phone numbers of potential targets of NSO Group surveillance technology, a list which includes journalists, activists, human rights defenders, lawyers, world leaders, and civil society actors…

[…]

Further shocking evidence unearthed by the Pegasus Project shows that friends and family members of the slain and dismembered Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, were also targeted with Pegasus spyware before and after his murder despite the NSO Group’s continuous denial of involvement...

Media reports noted that at least 35 journalists were selected for potential targeting with Pegasus by the Moroccan authorities, three of whom were prosecuted under questionable circumstances, subjected to state-sanctioned campaigns of intimidation and harassment, and imprisoned…

…In 2016, Citizen Lab investigated one of the early uses of Pegasus by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to spy on prominent Emirati human rights defender Ahmed Mansoor, who is serving 10 years in prison in solitary confinement and under inhumane conditions

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