Europarliament rewards French platform that denounced use of Pegasus spyware

Daphne Caruana Galizia

638Views 0Comments Posted 14/10/2021

On Thursday, October 14, the European Parliament awarded the Daphne Caruana Galizia journalism award to the French platform Forbidden Stories, for its investigation into Israeli spyware Pegasus which was used in Panama during the Martinelli administration to intercept messages of at least 150 political opponents, journalists, businessmen’ union leaders, and lawyers.

The 20,000-euro (about $23,000) prize was created by the European Parliament in honor of the Maltese journalist, blogger, and anti-corruption activist, who was killed by a bomb blasting her car in Malta in 2017.

Forbidden Stories is a collaborative platform created in 2017 at the initiative of French documentary maker Laurent Richard, with the support of Reporters Without Borders, and which brings together more than 30 different media from around the world.

In July 2021, more than 80 reporters from 17 media organizations in 10 countries revealed that Israeli cyber intelligence company NSO Group Technologies had sold Pegasus spyware to governments, who used it against at least 50,000 people around the world.

The leaked data showed that at least 180 journalists, as well as human rights defenders, religious leaders, politicians, and the military had been targeted in countries such as India, Mexico, Hungary, Morocco, and France.

The annual award, created at the end of 2019, is awarded on the anniversary of Galizia's death "to reward outstanding journalism reflecting EU values", and the winner is chosen by an independent panel.

The first Forbidden Stories investigation, dubbed “Project Daphne,” was conducted in late 2017.

Over six months, 45 journalists from 18 different outlets had examined Galizia's huge archive of documents on Malta's controversial “golden passport” scheme.

The outcry over the conduct of those responsible for the Galizia murder investigation prompted the resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

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