AEJ President’s open letter on Pegasus scandal

Saia Tsaousidou‘s open letter to EU Commission President von der Leyen and Vice-President Vera Jourova

Athens, Greece
July 24, 2021

 Dear President von der Leyen and Vice-President Jourova,

This letter is to ask you to impose an immediate EU-wide ban on the importation or abuse of Pegasus and other similar forms of sinister software;

  • to order a thorough official investigation of EU Member States’ use of this and other forms of electronic spying, notably by Hungary; and
  • to make an effective ban on SLAPPs.

I must tell you that on top of the series of murders of our colleagues – the latest being the killing of the great Peter R. De Vries in Holland – the AEJ sees the exposure of the Pegasus scandal as the point at which Europe must get serious about protecting journalists and free media as essential to our democracies.

It is also time that the behavior of Poland and Hungary, in their shameless dismantling democracy, be properly sanctioned. It is not just a matter of stopping the flow of EU taxpayers’ money, but the democratic, opposition forces in both countries, which are essential in any democracy, must be strengthened.

I am not alone in fearing that Hungary’s elections next spring could really be a last chance for that country. If such flagrant abuses of basic freedoms are allowed to continue there and notably – but not only – in Poland. that it may be a crucial moment for us all, and for the kind of Europe most Europeans value and wish to live in.

With my best wishes for your great endeavors,

Isaia Tsaousidou

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