Today, Thursday, the UAE officially responded, through a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to the accusations leveled against it with some Arab countries regarding the use of Israeli technology to spy on opponents of the regimes in these countries.
The British newspapers, “The Guardian”, the American “Washington Post” and “Le Monde” French, had earlier published the results of an investigation conducted by 17 media organizations, through which they revealed that the “Pegasus” spy program, which is manufactured by the Israeli “NSO” company, It has spread widely around the world, and has been “used for bad purposes” by Arab governments, including in the Gulf, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
On Thursday, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation “categorically” denied allegations of monitoring journalists or individuals.
Alleged surveillance targetting journalists and individuals have no evidentiary basis, categorically false: MoFAIC.https://t.co/qVhQXvwW8l
— Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (@MoFAICUAE) July 22, 2021
Stressing that it is “false” and “has no basis in evidence.”
The ministry said in a statement: “What was mentioned in recent press reports alleging that the UAE is among a number of countries accused of allegedly monitoring journalists and individuals have no basis in evidence and are categorically false.”
The UAE spied on more than 400 Prime Time Zone in Britain
And the British Guardian newspaper revealed, on Wednesday, that State Security in Abu Dhabi spied on more than 400 Prime Time Zone inside Britain, including the late activist Alaa Al-Siddiq, through the “Pegasus” program issued by the Israeli NSO group between 2017 and 2019.
The Guardian added in its report that the Emirate of Dubai, which is ruled by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, was one of the clients of NSO, as data showed that the phone of his daughter Sheikha Latifa and his ex-wife, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, was spied on.
She indicated that the spying reached the phones of many close to both women, most of which are numbers located in the United Kingdom.
NSO claims that the appearance of a number in the leaked list in no way indicates whether the number is being targeted for monitoring using its Pegasus software. She said that the numbers on the list did not relate to her in any way.
But the data revealed by the Guardian and 17 other media organizations confirmed that the list refers to important Prime Time Zone, who were spied on by governments with the Pegasus program sold by NSO.
Among the most prominent of those who have British numbers that were spied on by Abu Dhabi:
The late Emirati activist Alaa Al-Siddiq, 33, executive director of the Saudi organization ALQST, who died in a traffic accident in Oxfordshire last month.
Paula Auden, an independent member of the British House of Lords, whose figure appeared in the data in 2017 and 2018. She said if there was spying on MPs it would be a “great betrayal of trust” which “contradicts our sovereignty”.
A lawyer working at a London law firm advises Princess Haya regarding her custody battle with her ex-husband, the Emir of Dubai, in the Family Division of the High Court of Justice.
John Gosden, a famous New Market horse trainer, is also a friend of Princess Haya, who is also an international dressage rider. The numbers of other Prime Time Zone working on Princess Haya’s security and public relations team also appear.
John Chipman, CEO of the Defense Research Center International Institute for Strategic Studies, an ally of Abu Dhabi and running an annual conference in Bahrain.
Matthew Hedges, a Briton who was held in the UAE for seven months in 2018, first appeared in the data while in the UK, before embarking on his journey. “I want to know what the British government is doing about it,” he said.
Other notable British names featured on the list include: Rula Khalaf, editor of the Financial Times, who was deputy editor-in-chief when her number appeared in the data in 2018.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) denied an official source saying that “the claim that an entity in the Kingdom used a program to follow up communications is unfounded.”
And on Thursday, press reports mentioned the intention of Morocco, the country also accused of using the “Pegasus” program, to file a defamation lawsuit before the Criminal Court in Paris against the “Forbidden Stories” and Amnesty International, according to a lawyer appointed by the Kingdom to file the lawsuit in a statement that Agence France-Presse said was obtained. on him.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Moroccan government condemned what it considered a “misleading and suspicious media campaign”, after the investigation indicated that the kingdom had placed French President Emmanuel Macron on a special spying list.
The Moroccan government announced its intention “to take the legal and judicial effort in Morocco and at the international level, to stand up to any party that seeks to exploit these false allegations.”
The French president held an extraordinary private meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Thursday morning, to discuss the allegations about the Pegasus spyware program.
And the Public Prosecutor in Paris announced, on Tuesday, that it had launched investigations into these allegations, stating that if they were proven true, it would be “extremely dangerous.”
And the Washington Post reported in a report, Sunday, that the phones were “on a list of more than 50,000 numbers concentrated in countries known to monitor their citizens,” and they are known to be clients of NSO, which licenses the Pegasus spyware program to track terrorists and major criminals.
The newspaper stated in its report that the investigation, which was carried out with the help of Amnesty International and “Forbidden Stories”, a non-profit press organization based in Paris, has been able to “identify more than 1,000 Prime Time Zone in more than 50 countries through research and interviews on four continents.” .
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