The phones of two leading activists for human rights in the Arab world were found to have been infected by Israeli Pegasus spyware, according to Israeli media.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Monday the findings of a digital forensics investigation conducted by Dublin-based human rights group Front Line, which examined the mobile phones of Bahraini human rights activist Ebtisam Al-Saegh and Jordanian human rights lawyer Hala Ahed Deeb.
An investigation by human rights group Front Line Defenders and the digital rights non-profit Access Now found the mobile phones of Ebtisam al-Saegh, Bahraini human rights defender, and Hala Ahed Deeb, who works with human rights and feminist groups in Jordan, had been hacked. pic.twitter.com/kxx0FpWE9C
— RiverRising (@The12fthOfNever) January 17, 2022
According to Front Line Defenders, the mobile phone of Al Saegh, who was arrested in Bahrain for her activism in the past, has been hacked at least eight times between August and November 2019 by a client using NSO’s Pegasus spyware.
The phone of Deeb, who represents Jordan’s biggest union and served as the head of the legal committee of the Jordanian Women’s Union, “was also found to have been infected with Pegasus since March 2021,” according to Haaretz.
“Tens of thousands of people around the world, many of whom are prominent activists, journalists, officials, business leaders and alike, have fallen victim to this operation,” Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud wrote in a recent article.
The investigation led by @FrontLineHRD found that the phone of Bahraini human rights defender, Ebtisam Al-Saegh, was hacked EIGHT times in the span of four months in 2019 using #NSO's notorious spyware #Pegasus pic.twitter.com/KhfuXI9IIR
— Marwa Fatafta مروة فطافطة (@marwasf) January 17, 2022
“Unsurprisingly, Pegasus is produced by the Israeli technology firm, the NSO Group, whose products are heavily involved in the monitoring of and spying on Palestinians,” Baroud continued.
“Covering up Israel’s unlawful and inhuman practices against the Palestinians has proven a liability on the very people who justified Israeli actions in the name of security, including Washington.”
(The Palestine Chronicle)