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Responding to the news that four executives of French surveillance companies Amesys and Nexa Technologies have been indicted for complicity in torture over the sale of surveillance technology to governments in Libya and Egypt, Amnesty Tech Director, Rasha Abdul Rahim, said:

“The indictments are unprecedented. When left unchecked, the activities of surveillance companies can facilitate grave human rights violations and repression, including the crimes of torture and enforced disappearance.

“These indictments send a clear message to surveillance companies that they are not above the law, and could face criminal accountability for their actions.

“This case also shows the urgent need for states to implement a human rights regulatory framework that governs the sale and transfer of surveillance equipment.

“Until such a framework is put in place, a moratorium on the purchase, sale, transfer, and use of surveillance equipment to governments linked to human rights violations should be enforced.”

Background

On June 22, it was announced that four executives of French surveillance companies Amesys and Nexa Technologies were indicted last week by investigating judges of the crimes against humanity and war crimes unit of the Paris Judicial Court.

The companies are accused of providing surveillance technology to governments in Libya and Egypt that was then used to track down opponents, who were then arrested and tortured in jail.

The executives have now been indicted for complicity in torture in Libya and Egypt, and complicity in enforced disappearance in Egypt.

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