A prominent Catholic bishop and a priest in Togo are reported to have been targeted by spyware on their mobile phones – the first known cases that involve members of the clergy.
Last year, the messaging service WhatsApp said 1,400 people around the world – including human rights activists – were being listened to using a spyware made in Israel.
An investigation by the French newspaper Le Monde and the British Guardian revealed that Bishop Benoît Alowonou and five other critics of the Togolese government had been spied on via their mobile phones.
It is not known who carried out the cyber-attack but not surprisingly some of the victims are pointing straight at their own government.
The Israeli firm that produces the spying software admits it sells the product to governments around the world but says they are supposed to only use it to monitor criminals and terrorists.
Togo is one of the most oppressive nations on the continent. The same family has held the presidency since 1967 and dissent is not tolerated.