top of page

Kazakhstan: Four activists’ mobile devices infected with Pegasus Spyware

All of the victims belong to the civic youth movement “Oyan, Qazaqstan” (Wake Up, Kazakhstan). The victims are friends of Temirlan Ensebek, whose satirical blogging on Instagram is under criminal investigation.


Kazakhstan: Four activists’ mobile devices infected with Pegasus Spyware
NSO Group photo, Credit- Amnesty International

Amnesty International’s Security Lab has confirmed that at least four Kazakhstani civil society activists have had their mobile devices infected with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. Forensic analysis shows that all four activists had been targeted and their devices infected from as early as June 2021, Amnesty International said.



“This case adds to an already mounting pile of evidence that NSO’s spyware is the weapon of choice for governments seeking to silence social movements and crush dissent. States across the globe must immediately implement a moratorium on the export, sale and use of surveillance equipment until a human rights-compliant regulatory framework is in place,” Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said.


Amnesty International’s Security Lab conducted forensic analysis on the phones of nine Kazakhstani human rights activists. Amnesty International was able to confirm that four individuals’ devices were infected with the Pegasus spyware. Three of the victims, Tamina Ospanova, Dimash Alzhanov and Aizat Abilseit, had previously received a “state-sponsored attacker” warning from Apple on 24 November. Apple sent these notifications to individuals they believed may have been targeted by NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. The fourth victim, Darkhan Sharipov, did not receive this notification, which suggests that the notified individuals represent only a fraction of the human rights activists targeted with the Pegasus spyware in Kazakhstan.



All of the victims belong to the civic youth movement “Oyan, Qazaqstan” (Wake Up, Kazakhstan). The victims are friends of Temirlan Ensebek, whose satirical blogging on Instagram is under criminal investigation.


The mobile devices of all four activists were infected with the spyware between 3 and 5 June 2021. On 5 June, “Oyan, Qazaqstan” was hosting one of their public #Seruen events where activists could meet face-to-face in public spaces. The surveillance campaign continued until at least July 2021.


“The unlawful hacking of these activists not only violates their right to privacy but also their right to freedom of expression and association. The Kazakhstani authorities must immediately conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into this intrusion and bring those responsible for unlawful surveillance of activists to account,” said Marie Struthers.



Background

NSO Group’s spyware has been used to facilitate human rights violations around the world on a massive scale, according to a major investigation into the leak of 50,000 phone numbers of potential surveillance targets. These include heads of state, activists and journalists. According to media reports, nearly 2,000 phone numbers are from Kazakhstan.


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.


“Oyan, Qazaqstan” (Wake up, Kazakhstan) is a grassroots civil society movement formed in June 2019 in response to the arrest of local activists Beybarys Tolymbekov and Asiya Tolesova. They were arrested for putting up a poster on Al-Farabi Avenue in Almaty during the 2019 marathon, which stated “You can’t escape the truth,” and included a call for fair presidential elections. “Oyan, Qazaqstan” demands greater civil rights and a parliamentary republic, and voices socially progressive positions in support of LGBTQI rights and gender equality.


Read more from the below TAGS

People also reading-

8 views0 comments

Comments


Planner 5D- Interior design app

Planner 5D- Interior design app

Flipkart Online Shopping App

Flipkart Online Shopping App

World population to reach 8 billion this year, as the growth rate slows

July 12, 2022 at 6:57:56 AM

15 November 2022 is predicted to be the day that the global population reaches eight billion. The projection is revealed in the UN’s World Population Prospects 2022 report, which also shows that India is on course to surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2023.

World population to reach 8 billion this year, as the growth rate slows

WHO: Nearly one billion people have a mental disorder

June 22, 2022 at 7:20:50 AM

Nearly one billion people worldwide suffer from some form of mental disorder, according to the latest UN data – a staggering figure that is even more worrying if you consider that it includes around one in seven teenagers.

WHO: Nearly one billion people have a mental disorder

What can the UN do? Check the top 5 questions answered

April 6, 2022 at 10:51:48 AM

The current war in Ukraine, following the Russian invasion, has sparked all sorts of questions about the United Nations, particularly the role of the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Secretary-General.

What can the UN do? Check the top 5 questions answered

Ukraine: UN’s Guterres joins call for Bucha war crimes probe

April 6, 2022 at 8:22:29 AM

UN chief António Guterres on Tuesday added his voice to the growing international calls for a war crimes investigation into the killing of civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.

Ukraine: UN’s Guterres joins call for Bucha war crimes probe

Recent terrorist attacks in Israel undermine ‘prospects for peace’: Guterres

March 31, 2022 at 8:29:57 AM

Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday night condemned recent terrorist attacks in Israel that have claimed the lives of at least 11 Israeli citizens.

Recent terrorist attacks in Israel undermine ‘prospects for peace’: Guterres

China's BYD ceases to produce gasoline-powered vehicles

4/4/22, 7:00 AM

Chinese auto manufacturer BYD announced Sunday that it has already ceased the production of traditional gasoline-powered vehicles starting from March.

China's BYD ceases to produce gasoline-powered vehicles

Performance-oriented all-new ŠKODA SLAVIA 1.5 TSI Launched creates a segment of its own

3/27/22, 10:42 AM

All new ŠKODA SLAVIA 1.5 TSI starts at ₹ 16.19 lacs

Performance-oriented all-new ŠKODA SLAVIA 1.5 TSI Launched creates a segment of its own

CARS24 Raises $450 Million, Nearly Doubles Its Valuation To $1.84 Billion

9/25/21, 6:16 AM

CARS24, India’s leading e-commerce platform for pre-owned vehicles, announced today the closing of a $450M round of funding including a $340M Series F equity round alongside $110M debt from diversified financial institutions.

CARS24 Raises $450 Million, Nearly Doubles Its Valuation To $1.84 Billion

Tata Motors launches the ‘XPRES’ brand for fleet customers

7/18/21, 6:13 PM

Tata Motors, one of India’s leading automobile manufacturers, today announced the launch of a new brand ‘XPRES,’ exclusively for fleet customers.

Tata Motors launches the ‘XPRES’ brand for fleet customers

Audi India announces curated ownership plans for Audi e-tron and Audi e-tron Sportback customers

7/18/21, 5:56 PM

Special Service Plans, Extended Warranty and Buyback for a hassle-free ownership experience

Audi India announces curated ownership plans for Audi e-tron and Audi e-tron Sportback customers

TikTok hits 1 billion global active users

9/28/21, 8:56 AM

TikTok mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy.

TikTok hits 1 billion global active users

FACT CHECK: Crypto is increasingly being used for criminal activity and is a haven for illicit finance

6/23/21, 6:11 AM

Because cryptocurrency is still new, we are often asked about the biggest myths surrounding it. It’s common for a new market or product to confuse people until they get familiar with it. Think about Airbnb: the idea of staying in a stranger’s home seemed crazy until it didn’t.

FACT CHECK: Crypto is increasingly being used for criminal activity and is a haven for illicit finance

PUBG: NEW STATE surpasses 17 Million Google play store PRE-REGISTRATIONS following its recent ALPHA TEST

6/19/21, 4:40 AM

KRAFTON, Inc. to open pre-registration for the game on Apple’s App Store in Q3 2021

PUBG: NEW STATE surpasses 17 Million Google play store PRE-REGISTRATIONS following its recent ALPHA TEST
bottom of page