Tunisian father Chawki Boumallouga has been arrested 10 times over two years for being a recruiter for Isis despite a complete lack of evidence against him. But after the years of targeted harassment, Boumallouga may have finally found the culprit who he reports has caused severe anguish for him and his family.
“I have a job. I am married. I have two daughters,” said Boumallouga in January. “They destroyed my life.”
According to Buzzfeed News, Boumallouga is currently raising his two daughters with his wife and is the head of IT at a Tunisian business school, a job which he took on so that he could provide for his family. But in 2015, Boumallouga’s life took an unexpected and dark turn when he was called in for questioning by the police.
Upon arrival at the station, Boumallouga was immediately taken back to his house so police officers could search through his belongings. They found nothing, but that did not stop them from arresting Boumallouga for allegedly recruiting militants to fight for ISIS in Syria. Police said he had been radicalizing people when he preached at a local mosque, a job he had not had for more than a year.
After spending five days in prison, Boumallouga was finally released after a judge saw there was no evidence against him. Two weeks later, he received a document letting him know he had been completely cleared. But little did he know that his troubles were just beginning. Over the next two years, the police continued to try to frame his as a radical terrorist. Boumallouga would end up spending more than two months of his life behind bars.
Eventually, Boumallouga was able to discover that his consistent and unfounded targetting could be traced back to Tunisian interior ministry official Nabil Bin Othman. Boumallouga discovered that Othman had coerced several of the accusations against him in an attempt to frame him as an Isis recruiter. Fortunately, none of Othman’s tactics were able to get Boumallouga convicted and he has since filed a complaint against his accuser, who is now under investigation.
Boumallouga says he is grateful to the police and judges for always examining his cases fairly. He hopes that now that he has identified Othman, this horrific chapter in his life will finally come to an end and he can return to his normal life as a husband and a father.