Congress to investigate Kagame’s spy actions against Americans with Pegasus

Carine Kanimba, Paul Rusesabagina’s daughter, will testify this week

Last year, the world was shocked to learn that Rwandan President Paul Kagame was using Israeli spy software, Pegasus to spy on his perceived enemies. They include Americans. One American citizen he targeted is Carine Kanimba. She found out the security on her phone had been compromised when she was in Belgium advocating for her father’s release.

Kanimba said, “It was bad enough that they kidnapped my father, tortured him, and robbed him of his legal rights. 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.”

Amnesty International reported that Kanimba is not the only person targeted:

The Pegasus Project is a ground-breaking collaboration by more than 80 journalists from 17 media organizations in 10 countries coordinated by Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based media non-profit, with the technical support of Amnesty International, who conducted cutting- edge forensic tests on mobile phones to identify traces of the spyware.

The investigation today revealed that the Rwandan authorities have selected more than 3,500 phone numbers of activists, journalists, political opponents, foreign politicians, and diplomats to target with NSO Pegasus spyware since 2016.

Amnesty International

As if it is needed, this underscores the overarching issues related to propping up a violent dictator like Kagame but also shows how dangerous his actions are to everyone. He demands Rwandans, inside and outside of that country, take a loyalty oath and he surveils them. If that was not bad enough, he does cross a line when he goes after citizens of other nations. As we have said many times, if he is allowed to kidnap citizens of other countries (Rusesabagina is a Belgian citizen and permanent resident of the United States), no one is safe.

Several weeks ago, the House of Representatives passed H. Res 892, calling on Kagame to release Rusesabagina and now the House Intelligence Committee has set a hearing into Kagame’s spy efforts.

What: Open hearing of the House Intelligence Committee on Commercial Cyber Surveillance

When: Wednesday, July 27 at 10:00 am EDT

The hearing will be live streamed here.

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