Greek journalists and foreign correspondents in Greece have asked the EU’s Committee of Inquiry to investigate the use of Pegasus and equivalent surveillance spyware, PEGA, regarding protection of their devices. 

“After the revelation of the ‘Greek Watergate’ scandal, Greek democracy is in danger and the safety of journalists and any other critical voice is at stake,” their joint letter says. 

It adds that there is no trust in the Greek parliament’s in-house investigative committee, set up to investigate the state surveillance scandal, and asks PEGAs and the European Parliament to support them. 

The 24 journalists also call on the European Parliament to provide funding and facilities to check their smartphones and devices for wiretapping and any illegal or legal spyware, or use the existing EU cyber-security structures already available to MEPs.

According to the letter, the journalists who signed it are either directly related to the case, covering the scandal, or have suspicions that their phones may have been infected.  

The initiative was launched by Dutch journalist Ingeborg Beugel, a freelance correspondent who has lived in Greece for 41 years.

After a heated dialogue with PM Kyiriakos Mitstotakis at a press conference in November 2021, she experienced online and physical harassment, and had to leave Greece. 

“The whole letter is a statement. We journalists have grown tired of the Greek government’s words and promises. The rule of law is violated in Greece. We ask PEGA Committee to help us in practice,” Beugel told BIRN. 

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