Opposition leader Kamla Persad Bissessar holds up what she says is a confidential TTPS memo as she addressed supporters at the Debe roundabout as they stage protest action over the increase in the cost of fuel at the pump. – Lincoln Holder
OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has accused Government of using spyware to hack into private electronic devices to access data on the UNC’s anti-fuel price hike protests held on Tuesday.
She said the hacking software Pegasus was used to get information about the planned action on Tuesday and showed a memo with a police logo about the protests.
An additional police document, Persad-Bissessar said, was received on Tuesday morning detailing the protest locations and identified a telephone number allegedly used to contact individuals to assemble at various points.
“Today I have even more disturbing evidence. I have a confidential memo, received hours ago, where the TTPS revealed they got information maccoing the UNC’s planned activities today, from intelligent sources.
“We are obeying the law. We have given instructions to not block the roadways and highways. We are peacefully protesting.
“They cannot catch the murderers, the thieves and the robbers, but what are they doing?
“It says in this (confidential) memo persons are being contacted by several numbers and actually gave a number. I want to know whose number is that – maccoing, spying. We don’t know this number, but they saying it is a UNC number, a UNC operative.”
The protesters after hearing her disclosure, chanted “We not taking that, we not taking that.”
Persad-Bissessar said she feared TT would be faced with sanctions based on the US Department of State 2021 Human Rights Report.
She said there were concerns about the costs of imports and exports of fuel after Petrotrin was shut down.
“We import more fuel than we use, and therefore it means that we are exporting the rest – to whom? Is it to a sanctioned country? And we should not be surprised because at the height of the pandemic and the lockdown, you (the Govenement) welcomed people on a sanctioned aeroplane.”
This was presumably a reference to a 2020 visit by Venezuelan vice president Delcy Rodriguez. The government said the visit was to discuss the covid19 pandemic, against which the borders had just been closed.
Part of the document noted the Government’s steps to identify, prosecute and punish officials who committed human rights abuses or corruption, but said impunity persisted because of “open-ended investigations,” and the slow pace of the criminal justice system.