Lebanese journalist Ghada Oueiss is taking legal action against the crown princes of Saudi Arabia and the UAE for allegedly being involved in hacking her phone and sharing fabricated pictures of her on the Internet.
Oueiss announced on Thursday that she had filed a lawsuit against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and his Emirati counterpart Prince Mohammad bin Zayed Al-Nahyan in a U.S. court in the state of Florida.
The lawsuit accuses the princes and “their henchmen” of being responsible for hacking her phone and posting her private photos to social media 6 months ago, in what Oueiss said was an attempt to silence her.
“6 months ago the Crown princes of Saudi Arabia and the UAE believed they could silence me by hacking my phone, stealing my private pictures and spreading them with false misogynistic claims,” she said in the first of a series of tweets.
The Al-Jazeera journalist alleged that her phone was hacked using commercially sold Israeli spyware and that intimate photos and videos were leaked to stifle her critical reporting on Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
“The crown princes have ruled with the belief that with the right price or fear tactic they could buy or scare anyone from speaking up. They believed they were untouchable and could get a free pass for their authoritarian reigns,” she added.
“It is time the world showed them and all authoritarian leaders, they are not immune nor above international law,” she stressed after announcing that she was “joining the fight” against the Arab princes with her case, which targets nearly 20 other people.
Earlier this year, Oueiss detailed in a Washington Post article how she was targeted, and how the cyber-attack successfully stole pictures of her in a bikini, then fabricated them to make her appear to be nude before posting the fake photos on Twitter, where they quickly went viral.