Moroccan activists who claim to have been targeted by Pegasus announced Wednesday (March 1st) their intention to join the legal action led in the United States by Meta against the Israeli company NSO, owner of the spyware.
According to a statement received by AFP, six "
Moroccan victims of illegal intrusion into their phones
" have decided to intervene in the ongoing proceedings in California through a
This collective specifies that it has "
received a formal letter from the company WhatsApp, owned by the Meta group, warning them that their personal telephones had been the subject of a criminal intrusion by the spyware Pegasus, via the WhatsApp application"
The criminal intrusion has caused the victims serious harm, due to their activities as human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and politicians
," the statement said.
Among the members of the collective are three human rights activists: Fouad Abdelmoumni, Abdellatif El Hamamouchi and Hicham Mansouri, as well as Khouloud Mokhtari, wife of imprisoned journalist Soulaimane Raïssouni, Ali Reda Ziane, son of lawyer Mohamed Ziane, also detained, and journalist and academic Omar Brouksy.
Read alsoAfter the eavesdropping scandal, NSO, the maker of Pegasus spyware, is cleaning up
These practices must stop immediately.
Pegasus has been used to crush human rights activists, political opponents, journalists, lawyers.
This is unacceptable and it is obvious that we must take advantage of this trial in the United States so that justice is done
,” Fouad Abdelmoumni told AFP.
On January 9, the US Supreme Court authorized Meta's lawsuit against NSO, following an initial request by NSO to drop this lawsuit dating back to October 2019 before a federal court in California.
The parent company of WhatsApp accused NSO of having penetrated the servers of its messaging application and of having, through this, installed Pegasus on the mobile phones of 1,400 users, without their knowledge.
Morocco is one of a dozen countries accused in July 2021 by Amnesty International of using Pegasus to hack into the phones of Moroccan and foreign journalists, politicians and human rights activists.
The Moroccan authorities categorically refute these accusations, which they describe as "
unfair and fanciful
If Morocco denies being a client of NSO, the Israeli government claims to have provided this software to the Moroccan regime (...) If this is indeed the case, NSO is an integral part of Morocco's repressive apparatus with regard to those who resist him
,” argued Ali Reda Ziane.