Justice for Iran has urged the UK government to investigate a British company for allegedly facilitating the Iranian regime’s interference in private communications of Iranian mobile users.
In a letter on the 23rd of January 2023, Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade, Kemi Badenoch, was informed about a report by Citizen Lab which documented a breach of human rights sanctions by Telinsol Ltd, a UK company in partnership with Iran’s telecommunication services to intercept private information and deny access to users.
Under Iranian law, the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) must have access to telecommunication systems for the purpose of retrieving user information. The CRA answers to Iranian authorities, who allow security forces, including the IRGC, Ministry of Interior and the police, to have access to this information.
As per UK-imposed human rights sanctions placed on Iran in 2019, companies registered in the UK are prohibited from the trade and provision of goods and technologies that used to monitor and intercept telecommunications in Iran.
Justice for Iran has urged MP Badenoch to investigate Telinsol Ltd and its directors, and implement UK human rights sanctions, including freezing the assets of the company and anyone related to illegal activities.
“The UK government is responsible for enforcing sanctions it has placed to ensure that perpetrators of human rights abuses and their aiders and abettors will not walk away with their actions against Iranian citizens,” says Shadi Sadr, Justice for Iran’s executive director.
Justice for Iran has documented cases from the beginning of protests in September 2022 and previous protests which show that human rights defenders and dissidents have been targeted, located, and prosecuted based on information given to intelligence and security forces by telecom companies.