• When translating news lands you in prison
    To suppress freedom of the press, some regimes arrest, prosecute and imprison translators
  • When staying incognito is paramount to staying alive
    Interpreters in war zones must wear masks to avoid being kidnapped, tortured and killed
  • When interpreting for journalists puts you in the cross hairs
    Targeted by state and non-state actors, interpreters face the fallout from controversial stories

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Translator-terrorist: A mad leap

POSTED ON October 16 th, 2018

Ahmed Al-Halabi worked as a translator at the Guantánamo detention camp. Called an Al-Qaeda sympathizer and considered a threat to US national security, he was charged with a total of 30 counts in 2003 and potentially faced the death penalty. But all these charges fizzled down to a guilty plea of taking pictures of guard towers as souvenirs and improperly transporting classified information (he took his assignment sheet to his living quarters without placing it in a special folder). The witch-hunt nature of this prosecution went so far as to include an untrue accusation of sharing pastries with inmates!