Press Release on the Assassination of Mr. Chokri Belaid, a Tunisian Lawyer and Opposition Politician

    The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) has been closely monitoring the human rights situation in Tunisia since the January 2011 revolution.

    The Commission is deeply concerned by the assassination of Mr Chokri Belaïd, a lawyer and opposition politician, on 6 February 2013 as he was leaving his home.  

    The Commission strongly condemns this terrible act which is a violation of the right to life enshrined in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter) and other relevant regional and international instruments. The Commission also condemns the acts of violence carried out following his assassination and which continue to create further casualties.  

    The Commission strongly condemns acts of intimidation perpetrated against other opposition politicians and human rights activists in Tunisia. Such acts are inconsistent with the democratic values sought for by the entire Tunisian population.  

    The Commission urges the Government of Tunisia to take the necessary measures to investigate the assassination and bring the perpetrators to justice.

    The Commission reminds the Government of its responsibility to promote and protect human rights as stipulated in the African Charter and other international human rights legal instruments ratified by Tunisia.

    The Commission calls on the Government of Tunisia to take the necessary measures to put an end to these acts of violence and to ensure the effective protection of all persons living in its territory, including people with opposing political views.

    The Commission further calls on the Constituent Assembly and all the personalities involved in the drafting of the new Constitution to expedite the process, and calls on them to ensure that this fundamental law takes into account democratic principles and human rights protection in accordance with the regional and international instruments ratified by Tunisia.

    The Commission calls on the entire Tunisian population in general and all the stakeholders in particular to promote peace, national unity and social cohesion which are guarantees for the country’s stability and the peaceful outcome of the ongoing transition process.

      Banjul, The Gambia, 7 February 2012

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      Date: 11 February 2013

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