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12 Sep 2022

Saudi crime-reporting app downloadable on Google Play Store & Apple Store appears to have been used to jail a PhD student

Olaser, Getty Images Signature

On 17 August 2022, Salma al-Shehab, a PhD student at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom and a women's right advocate, was sentenced to 34 years in prison two months after a user of Kollona Amn, a Saudi government crime-reporting app, denounced her for a tweet. According to the human rights organization Citizen Lab, the use of such applications that can be downloaded via Google Play Store and Apple Store is opening the door to massive censorship and represents a new phase of digital authoritarianism.

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Google and Apple to respond to the concerns that their app stores allow the download of the crime reporting app Kollona Amn. The companies did not respond.

Company Responses

Google (part of Alphabet)

No Response

Apple

No Response

Timeline