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1 Feb 2013

German companies’ surveillance technology allegedly used in connection with human rights abuses by authoritarian govts.

In February 2013, human rights groups filed complaints with the German and UK OECD National Contact Points (NCP) against Gamma International (part of Gamma Group) and Trovicor alleging that their surveillance technology has been used to oppress human rights defenders and political activists in Bahrain.  The complainants claim that information on activists obtained by the companies’ surveillance products have resulted in cases of arbitrary detention and torture.  

In June 2013, the UK NCP has accepted the complaint (see initial assessment here), while the German NCP is still considering the request.

In September 2013, Deutsche Welle reported further allegations of German surveillance technologý’s use in connection with human rights abuses in countries including Bahrain, Egypt and Syria.  The article raises concerns about activities by Atis, Elaman, Gamma Group, Trovicor and Utimaco.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the companies to respond to the concerns raised in the article.

Company responses:

Atis Systems [PDF]
- Gamma Group did not respond
- Elaman declined to respond
Trovicor response [DOC]
Utimaco response [DOC

Company Responses

Atis Systems View Response
Elaman

No Response

Gamma Group

No Response

Trovicor View Response
Utimaco View Response

Timeline