8 February 2013

Tunisia: Political Violence Must Not Derail Tunisia's Transition, Bans Says Following Assassination

Secretary-General strongly condemned the assassination earlier this week of Tunisian political leader Chokri Belaid, while also encouraging the North African nation to move forward with its democratic transition.

"Tunisia's democratic transition should not be derailed by acts of political violence," said a statement issued last night by Mr. Ban's spokesperson.

Mr. Belaid was the Secretary General of the Democratic Patriots Movement and one of the leaders of the Popular Front in Tunisia. He was shot Wednesday morning while leaving his home in the capital, Tunis. Sporadic protests and clashes have been reported arounThere has been important progress in Tunisia's transition. Yet, much remains to be done in terms of the constitutional process and with regard to meeting the social and economic demands of the Tunisian people.d the country following the killing.

The Secretary-General encouraged authorities to move forward with the reform process that has been under way since the toppling of the long-standing regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali two years ago.

"There has been important progress in Tunisia's transition," the statement noted. "Yet, much remains to be done in terms of the constitutional process and with regard to meeting the social and economic demands of the Tunisian people."

The killing was also condemned earlier this week by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, who called on the authorities to take serious measures to investigate the assassination and other apparently politically-motivated crimes, as well as to provide better protection to people who are political targets.

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