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Tunisian Jew, Accused of Zionist Espionage, Faces Trial

A 25-year-old Tunisian Jew, Rene Marzouk, accused of Zionist espionage, spreading Zionist propaganda, and belonging to an illegal group, is to appear Sept. 16 before a special Tunisian court dealing with acts against the State. It is the first time in Tunisia that a Jew has been officially accused of espionage and Zionist activities.

The 8000 Jews presently living there view this new attitude with concern, especially since Marzouk, far from being a Zionist, belongs to the “Marxist Circle,” one of the four underground opposition groups operating against the government.

Marzouk, an English teacher in a southern Tunisian high school, was arrested on Feb. 12 during a protest movement which erupted in the school following the arrest for subversive activities and the subsequent expulsion to France of Mrs. Simone Lellouch, a Jewish woman married to Ben Othman, an Arab. An anti-Zionist campaign was begun and supported by certain government ministers including Communications Minister Mohamed Sayah.