Rwanda used NSO spyware against activists

New evidence from Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories shows the Rwandan government used NSO Group spyware to monitor more than 3,500 activists, journalists and politicians. The phone of Paul Rusebagina’s daughter Karine Kanimba was also infected. Rusabagina has gained a lot of fame through the film Hotel Rwanda.

NSO Group’s spyware plays a role in massive human rights violations around the world, according to a major investigation into the leak of 50,000 phone numbers that are potential targets of surveillance. These include the head of state, activists and journalists and the family of Jamal Khashoggi.

forbidden stories

The Pegasus Project is a leading partnership of over 80 journalists from 17 media organizations in ten countries. The project is being coordinated by Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based media NGO. Forbidden Stories will receive technical support from Amnesty International, which has tested mobile phones with advanced equipment to detect traces of spyware.

surveillance in belgium

It was announced yesterday that since 2016, Rwandan authorities have hacked the phones of more than 3,500 activists, journalists, political opponents, foreign politicians and diplomats using NSO’s Pegasus software. Some of the calls were from Paul Rusebagina’s daughter Karine Kanimba and people close to her. Kanimba lives in Belgium.

Paul Rusesabagina

Rusebagina became famous through the film Hotel Rwanda, which is based on events from his own life during the Rwandan genocide. He is currently in custody in the Rwandan capital Kigali and is facing a life sentence for terrorism charges.

Pension funds also earn from

Israeli surveillance technology company NSO Group is funded by leading private equity firms Novalpina Capital and Francisco Partners, with a number of investors behind it. In the United Kingdom and the United States, pension funds have interests in a company that violates human rights.

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Amnesty’s Standpunt

“Due to the heavy burden of evidence, NSO Group cannot maintain that its products are only used against criminals,” said Amnesty Secretary General Agnes Callamard. The company must immediately stop selling its equipment to human rights defenders and countries that illegally spy on journalists. The surveillance area is going far beyond its limits. States should impose a worldwide ban on the sale, transport and use of surveillance equipment until rules that respect human rights are in place.

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About the Author: Rusty Kemp

Tv ninja. Lifelong analyst. Award-winning music evangelist. Professional beer buff. Incurable zombie specialist.

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