Forbidden Stories

EU: Pegasus project prize win highlights importance of media freedom

Spokespeople available 

Responding to the news that the European Parliament’s Daphne Caruana Prize for Journalism has been awarded to the Forbidden Stories Consortium, of which Amnesty International was the technical partner, for the Pegasus Project which exposed the systematic targeting of human rights activists, journalists and lawyers with surveillance software, Eve Geddie, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office said:

“The Pegasus Project revealed that journalists, activists, and lawyers around the world are being targeted by governments who want to silence and intimidate them. This prize provides important recognition for those whose work is under attack, and those journalists and technologists who brought the shady practices of surveillance companies and their tools to light.”

Eve Geddie

Harassment, intimidation and attacks on journalists, especially those reporting on sensitive topics such as corruption, rights violations and management of the pandemic, have become more commonplace globally. Across the EU, surveillance, defamation lawsuits, and other provisions restricting, or criminalising speech are increasingly used to intimidate critical voices into silence.

“It’s vital that EU countries address these abuses, protect journalists and rights defenders, and ensure robust and meaningful regulation over the cybersurveillance industry both at home and abroad. Victims of unlawful targeted surveillance must be provided with effective remedy and perpetrators for the violations – including Governments using Pegasus spyware – should be held to account,” said Eve Geddie.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:     

Alison Abrahams on [email protected] or +32 483 680 812     

Out of hours contact details     

+44 20 7413 5566     

email: [email protected]      

twitter: @amnestypress    

The award ceremony will be held 12.00 CET on Thursday, 14 October 2021 in the Press Center of the European Parliament prize and hosted by the President of the European Parliament.

Amnesty International’s recommendations to the European Union on ending unlawful targeted surveillance

Daphne Caruana prize

Uncovering the Iceberg: The Digital Surveillance Crisis Wrought by States and the Private Sector