Former UK Labour Party Leader: Indicting Bahrain for Spying on Activists is Crucial Step towards Justice
2023-02-08 - 9:51 p
Bahrain Mirror: Former leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, considered that there "is a crucial step towards justice" after the UK High Court indicted the Bahrain government for hacking the computers of British-Bahraini activists.
"It is also a reminder of the brutality of Bahrain's security services that the UK government continues to fund and support," Corbyn said in a tweet.
"Bahrain cannot claim state immunity to block a lawsuit brought in Britain by two dissidents who say its government hacked their laptops with spyware," the High Court in London ruled on Wednesday (February 8, 2023).
Saeed Shehabi and Moosa Mohammed say Bahrain infected their computers with surveillance software called FinSpy, which allowed agents to take control of their laptops, access their files and monitor their communications.
Shehabi welcomed the ruling, saying it was a recognition of "the psychological torture that authoritarian regimes exercise transnationally", and called for clearer consensus over the criminality of these acts in international law.
Mohammed called the judgement "a huge victory", particularly since, he said, he and his family continue to face persecution in Bahrain.
Last month, a Bahrain court sentenced his brother, Hasan Abdali Mohammed, to seven years in a case of alleged terrorism.
"This decision demonstrates that we can prevail in our fight for justice and that our voices will not be muzzled by the Bahraini regime's reprisals or intimidation," Mohammed said.
"This is not the only time my privacy gets violated, I am also a victim of the Pegasus spyware hack and I will ensure that Bahrain is held accountable."
Sayed Ahmed Al-Wadaei, director of the UK-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), said the ruling ensures that Bahrain will face accountability and that the activists have an opportunity to seek justice, but questioned whether the UK government could do more.
"While the UK court has delivered a damning ruling overturning Bahrain's immunity, it is the UK government that is failing to send a signal to the Al-Khalifa regime that they cannot continue to pursue and intimidate dissidents on British soil with impunity."
Ida Aduwa, solicitor at the London-based Leigh Day, said she was pleased that the case will now move forward to trial.
"This judgement comes as a huge relief to our clients who are determined to hold the Kingdom of Bahrain to account for what they believe was a gross invasion of their privacy which caused personal harm and put their friends and family at risk," she said.