Pegasus is listening: Q&A with Paul Rusesabagina’s daughter Carine Kanimba

Pegasus is listening: Q&A with Paul Rusesabagina’s daughter Carine Kanimba

You may not recognize the name Carine Kanimba, but you have probably heard of her dad: Paul Rusesabagina. He was the manager of Hôtel des Milles Collines and rather famously decided to shelter some 1,200 mostly Tutsi Rwandans in his hotel during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Don Cheadle played him in the movie Hotel Rwanda.

After, Rusesabagina became a superstar ambassador of human rights. He wrote an autobiography about his work during the genocide; President George W. Bush awarded him the Medal of Freedom; and he went on the speakers’ circuit not just talking about 1994 – but criticizing the current government of President Paul Kagame for trampling on human rights.

In August 2020, Rusesabagina boarded a private jet for what he thought would be a trip to Burundi, but instead he was rendered to Rwanda. He’s since been sentenced to 25-years in prison.

Carine Kanimba was on Capitol Hill last week to talk not just about her dad (who adopted sisters Carine and Anaïse shortly after the genocide), but also her recent discovery that she’s been targeted by a commercial spyware program called Pegasus. And she believes the Rwandan government was behind it.

Pegasus spyware is the brainchild of an Israeli company called NSO Group and it has been found on the phones of so many activists around the world it has become a kind of cautionary tale about the commercial spyware industry. It has been linked to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, discovered on the phones of Mexican opposition leadersCatalonian politicians, and journalists and lawyers around the world. (In a statement, NSO Group told Click Here that it “thoroughly investigates any claim for illegal use of its technology by customers, and terminates contracts when illegal use is found.”)

The Click Here podcast sat down with Kanimba shortly after her Congressional testimony to talk to her about her role as a human rights advocate, what it is like finding oneself on the receiving end of a spyware campaign, and why she is confident she will win her father’s release. The interview has been edited and shortened for clarity.

CLICK HERE: We wanted to start by saying we’re very sorry about what you’re going through with your father…

For complete interview – Pegasus is listening: Q&A with Paul Rusesabagina’s daughter Carine Kanimba

Pegasus: How a Spy in Your Pocket Threatens the End of Privacy, Dignity, and Democracy