Mexico: UN experts call for an independent and impartial investigation into the use of spyware against rights defenders and journalists

July 19, 2017

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A group of United Nations experts* today called on the Government of Mexico to carry out a transparent, independent and impartial investigation into allegations of monitoring and illegal surveillance against human rights defenders, social activists, and journalists.

The experts’ call comes a month after civil society organizations and the international media revealed allegations that the Mexican authorities deployed a spyware called ‘Pegasus’ to hack and monitor the mobile phones of people involved in the investigation and denunciation of cases of corruption and serious violations of human rights during 2015 and 2016.

“The allegations of surveillance, which represent a serious violation of the rights to privacy, freedom of opinion and expression, and freedom of association, are highly concerning and are evidence of the hostile and threatening environment that human rights defenders, social activists and journalists face in Mexico today,” the experts said.

The surveillance has reportedly targeted human rights defenders from the NGO Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez (Centro Prodh), as well as members of other civil society organizations such as Mexicanos Contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad and Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad.

The Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and some members of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI), appointed to take part in the investigation into the disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa, are also said to have been affected.

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21892&LangID=E

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