Transparency International has condemned threats the international organisation claims were allegedly made against its partner in Tunisia and calls on the authorities to investigate the smear campaign against IWatch Tunisia.
“An alleged plan to intimidate Transparency International’s partner in Tunisia IWatch has been made public that includes threats of violence against individuals and is clearly aimed at damaging the reputation of the organisation and its members,” according to TI press release. “Transparency International is calling on the authorities to fully investigate this information and show its support for IWatch and civil society as a whole.”
“These threats to intimidate IWatch and those associated with it are sickening and must be investigated fully. We fully support the work of IWatch in Tunisia. It has investigated and exposed corruption and is working with the authorities to introduce the kind of legal framework that will stop the corrupt. Its members are courageous and dedicated. They are working for a Tunisia that respects the rule of law and provides justice for all.
“The authorities should acknowledge this and pledge to protect its work and that of all civil society. International Civil Society Organizations will not tolerate threats against our members struggling against corruption and will not be intimidated by these attacks,” said José Ugaz, chair of Transparency International.
TI says IWatch was instrumental in drafting the ground-breaking whistleblower protection law that was passed unanimously by the Tunisian parliament in February. Also adding that IWatch has been the target of a defamation lawsuit following an investigation into alleged tax avoidance by the owners of Nessma TV in 2016.
“The plan to threaten IWatch appears to be part of the intimidation following that investigation,” TI states.