Spy Cables: Greenpeace’s Kumi Naidoo ‘under surveillance’

Doha – A routine practice among intelligence agencies to seek co-operation with agencies in other countries to curb political dissent has been exposed in secret documents leaked to Al Jazeera.

Among the information leaked the now infamous Spy Cables highlight a request by South Korea for a security assessment of Greenpeace director Kumi Naidoo, a South African citizen.

Yesterday the news organisation announced that it was in possession of leaked documents from State Security Agency (SSA) operatives showing how South Africa became vulnerable to foreign espionage after the end of apartheid.

The cables, obtained by Al Jazeera, span a period from 2006 to the end of 2014, and include detailed briefings and analyses written by the operatives.

According to a report in 2010, nine months before the G20 Summit in Seoul, a request by South Korea was made to SSA to have specific security assessments on three men, one being Naidoo.

The other two were listed as dangerous persons, who were arrested in 2004 in Pakistan.

Naidoo told Al Jazeera that the assumption that they make, especially after the Edward Snowden leaks and the WikiLeaks information came out, is that Greenpeace is heavily monitored and under constant surveillance.

He said it is one thing assuming that it's happening; it's a little numbing and chilling to have it confirmed.

The news organisation said it was not recorded if SA complied the submitted request for South Korea.

Spy Cables have revealed other similar requested to SSA. These include:

  • Weeks ahead of the 2004 presidential elections, Cameroon requested SA to spy on an opposition leader.
  • A number of deals between SA and its allies were exposed, including an agreement of a “memorandum of understanding” with Zimbabwe.
  • Rwanda tried to persuade South Africa to spy on “genocide fugitives” and “negationists”.
  • The Spy Cables have also revealed that the Sri Lankan intelligence suggested that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elaam, also known as Tamil Tiger, had military training camps in SA in 2010. South Africa had denied the claim, saying that Sri Lanka could not confirm these allegations.
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