The daughter of detained “Hotel Rwanda” hero and outspoken government critic Paul Rusesabagina lashes out after a media probe found indications she had been spied on using the Israeli malware Pegasus.
Governments used the NSO Group’s phone spyware to monitor journalists, lawyers and politicians in a number of countries, according to an investigation by The Washington Post, The Guardian, Le Monde and other outlets, based on a leaked list of 50,000 phone numbers.
Numbers of more than 3,500 Rwandans appeared on the leaked records, “indicating that they were potential targets of the software,” the inquiry said.
Among them was a cellphone belonging to Rusesabagina’s daughter, Carine Kanimba, “which was forensically confirmed to have been compromised multiple times,” it said.
Kanimba, a US-Belgian dual national, has been campaigning to free her father, who faces life in prison on a string of charges including terrorism.
The Guardian said forensic analysis by Amnesty International found that 28-year-old Kanimba’s phone had been infiltrated since at least January.
“It was bad enough that they kidnapped my father, tortured him and robbed him of his legal rights,” Kanimba says in a statement from the Paul Rusesabagina Foundation.
“Now we find out that they have listened to my conversations with the US State Department, Belgium Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes, and our attorneys. This adds insult to injury.”
The Rwandan government denied the allegations.