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Pegasus row: Amnesty Intl rebuts claim by BJP

NEW DELHI, JUL 23 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 7/23/2021 1:37:51 PM IST

Amnesty International, the global human rights organisation, has issued a statement debunking the “false rumours” and “inaccurate media stories”.

The BJP on Thursday denounced the global Pegasus Project media investigation as “fake news” and “yellow journalism”, and claimed that Amnesty International had said that the list of phone numbers suspected to be under surveillance was not directly related to the Israeli company NSO Group. The global human rights organisation, however, debunked the “false rumours” and stressed that it “categorically stands by” the findings of the investigation.

At a press conference at the BJP headquarters on Thursday afternoon, Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi claimed that Amnesty had “denied that the list which is floating around is not the actual list”. Around the same time, Amnesty said: “Amnesty International categorically stands by the findings of the Pegasus Project, and that the data is irrefutably linked to potential targets of NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. The false rumours being pushed on social media are intended to distract from the widespread unlawful targeting of journalists, activists and others that the Pegasus Project has revealed.”

It’s treason, says Rahul Gandhi on snooping row  

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for using the Pegasus “weapon” against India, its institutions and its democracy, and claimed that “the only word for this is treason”. Gandhi, who also alleged that every phone he uses is tapped, demanded a Supreme Court monitored probe into the matter and also Shah’s resignation. 

BJP slams Rahul

Challenging Rahul Gandhi, BJP spokesperson Rajyavardhan Rathore said he should submit his phone for investigation if he believes it was tapped, and asserted that no one’s phone has been tapped illegally by the Modi government.

He also took a swipe at Gandhi, saying even a “junior copy writer” will not be interested in copying his phone’s content as the Congress leader has nothing “original” to offer. 

 

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