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French-Palestinian lawyer sues Israel’s spyware maker in French courts

April 6, 2022 at 8:55 am

Salah Hamouri, Franco-Palestinian lawyer on October 1, 2020 [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images]

French-Palestinian human rights defender, Salah Hamouri, yesterday filed a complaint in France against notorious Israeli spyware maker Pegasus for spying on his mobile phone, Amnesty International revealed.

Hamouri filed the complaint together with the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Human Rights League (LDH).

In the complaint, Hamouri and the rights groups accuse Pegasus of “illegally infiltrating” Hamouri’s phone, stating that “the violation was initiated in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and continued on French soil, which constitutes a violation of the right to privacy under French law.”

Salah Hamouri behind Israei bars - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Salah Hamouri behind Israei bars – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

The human rights defender was one of several activists whose phones were hacked using the Pegasus malware, according to a report issued in November by human rights groups.

Hamouri worked at Addameer, one of six Palestinian NGOs Israel named “terrorist organisations” in October 2021.

“Obviously, this is an operation that is part of a largely political framework given the harassment Hamouri has been subjected to for years and the attacks on human rights defenders in Israel,” lawyer Patrick Baudouin, honorary president of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), told AFP.

Emmanuel Daoud, Clémence Bectarte and Patrick Baudouin, who filed the complaint on behalf of FIDH, LDH and Hammouri said: “We now urge the Paris Prosecutor to open a preliminary investigation into the violations denounced in our complaint.”

Hammouri, has been the subject of Israeli persecution since the age of 15 when he sustained a bullet injury in 2000, said.

The rights group added: “He was first arrested at the age of 16 and has since then been facing continuous harassment by Israeli authorities for his human rights activism, including six periods of imprisonment and arbitrary arrests, several travel bans, exorbitant bail and fines, house arrests, separation from his family and residency revocation.”

Hamouri is currently facing an imminent threat of deportation and on 7 March was issued another administrative detention order for a renewable period of three months.

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