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Tunisia translation company questioned after 'producing anti-normalisation content'

September 14, 2021 at 10:18 am

Former Palestinian senior Fatah official Mohammed Dahlan on 16 September 2015 [STR/AFP/Getty Images]

A Tunisian digital content production company has had its offices raided by undercover security officers, its computers confiscated, and seen its staff forced to attend security offices for three days in a row without recourse to their lawyers, a statement has said.

Instalingo said it was investigated for one week and its staff was ordered to attend security agencies for ten hours, three days in a row, but “the research ended with nothing”.

“They did not find anything that would condemn the company or any of its employees as stated in the indictment, which was not filed until Friday evening to accused a number of the company’s employees on charges such as money laundering, conspiracy against state security, and other ready-made templates,” a statement by Haythem Kehili, who founded the agency, said.

READ: PA issues ‘strict’ directions for West Bank Dahlan supporters

“For more than a week, more than 60 current and former employees of the company were summoned and interrogated, without submitting any official summons and without allowing the attendance of any lawyer, despite the company providing qualified lawyers,” he explained.

“The real shock comes when we find questions being asked to company employees, journalists, and others, about Mr Mohammed Dahlan, and about the presence of content produced by our company for Arab media organisations that includes an attack on one person, the Emirati adviser. Mohammed Dahlan is known as the godfather of the normalisation project with the Israeli entity.”

I am talking here clearly about foreign parties using the Tunisian state apparatus, outside the framework of the law, to take revenge on a Tunisian media organisation that produced content against the normalisation project and its owner, Mohammed Dahlan.

“What is more dangerous is that it did what it did under the guise of defending the President of the Tunisian Republic.”

The company employs more than 90 people who work with international media organisations, the statement continued, adding: “Our company works with a high level of transparency and discipline related to the rules of good practice.”

“More than 3 months of wiretapping, secret pursuits, raids, and investigations outside the framework of the law, have not led to anything at all.”

Instalingo said it held “the Presidency of the Republic of Tunisia fully responsible for the physical safety of all the company’s employees and all its collaborators and their families.”

A growing number of countries in the MENA region are normalising ties with Israel - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

A growing number of countries in the MENA region are normalising ties with Israel – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]