Rights groups file case over French spy tech sales to Egypt

Egyptian and international rights groups have filed a criminal complaint with Paris prosecutors over the sale of French surveillance technology to Egypt.

The filing, announced late Thursday by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, relates to the potential role that the technology could play in widespread oppression in Egypt.

The French company, Nexa Technologies, was formerly called Amesys.

This request for a criminal investigation involves complicity to torture and carry out enforced disappearances. It supplements an investigation already underway on the sale of surveillance technology to Libya when it was run by longtime dictator Moammer Gadhafi before his 2011 overthrow and killing.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has overseen a $10 billion military buildup in recent years, including French-made Rafale fighter jets and helicopter carriers.