Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) said that the findings of the investigation of the “Pegasus Project” conducted by human rights and media organisations around the world should not go unnoticed, stressing that the international community and world decision-makers must open an urgent investigation to hold those involved in the espionage program accountable.
The investigation proved with evidence that many governments around the world, including the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, India and others, used the program to spy on dissidents, journalists, trade unionists and activists. The report highlighted that the number of victims of spying operations exceeds fifty thousand people.
The outcomes of the “Pegasus Project”, which came to light this week, confirmed that financial gains of the company that designed the program and those who protect it are above all ethical standards and principles of human rights and the privacy, security and safety of citizens.
The program of the Israeli company NSO was used in heinous crimes, including the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as the investigation revealed that it was used to spy on those close to him before and after his murder in 2018.
The nationality of the Israeli company and the headquarters of its operations have an important significance, as Israel is exercising all forms of oppression against the Palestinians and works on helping dictatorial regimes in suppressing opponents and journalists.
Countries that claim to be protecting privacy should prevent the activities of such companies, close their headquarters, and take a serious stance that protects their citizens. Until this moment, countries of the European Union, and the Union itself, have not taken any deterrent action against these heinous crimes.
The company’s justifications for designing and using this program in combatting terrorism and crime are undermined by the fact that the targets are activists, dissidents, and journalists, and not drug dealers or criminal gangs.
AOHR UK stressed that it is necessary to unite all efforts to prosecute those involved in this organized crime and stop them from escaping punishment.
AOHR UK called on all relevant countries and international bodies to stop this global mafia, which includes international companies, governments and senior officials in a number of regimes, whose sole objective is to spy on opponents in order to eliminate any voice critical of their oppressive and tyrannical policies or calling for freedom, the promotion of principles of democracy and respect for human rights.
AOHR UK also called for the need to impose sanctions on NSO and the governments of countries that used this program to spy on citizens, violate their privacy and pave the way for serious violations against many people, including arrest, torture and sometimes murder.