Al-Masarir v Saudi Arabia: A route to state accountability for spyware

Author: Viktor Seppälä
Published: 24.08.2022
Background On 19 August 2022, Knowles J denied Saudi Arabia’s claim to immunity in the case of Al Masarir v Kingdom of Saudi Arabia [2022] EWHC 2199. The claimant was a human rights activist and critic of the Saudi Arabian government who had been residing in the UK. The factual background to his claim was as follows: Mr Masarir claimed that malicious text messages had been sent to two of his iPhones, and spyware known as ‘Pegasus’ had infected his devices after Mr Masarir had clicked the link in those messages (Al Masarir, [14]). Mr Masarir alleged that Saudi Arabia…