Chokri Belaid assassination: Launch a UN Commission of Inquiry

  • By: Abel Ashes
  • Target: United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

We, the undersigned, hereby call upon the United Nations Humans Rights Council to convene a UN International Commission of Inquiry into the assassination of Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid.

On February 6th 2013 Tunisian secular left opposition leader Chokri Belaid was shot and killed by an unknown assailant wielding a handgun, who then fled with an accomplice on a motorcycle. The assassination occurred the morning after Belaid appeared on the Tunisian TV channel Nessma and named ex-convict Ennahda supporters who had attacked his party's meeting the prior Saturday. He also blamed the “moderate Islamist” party for the beating death of the Lotfi Naguedh at the hands of Ennahda supporters in October and accused the ruling party of conspiring with more radical Islamists, known as “Salafists” to undermine the rights of Tunisians. 

Chokri Belaid's wife and brother have accused the ruling Islamist party Ennahda of being behind the Assassination. Ennahda denies responsibility for Belaid’s murder and calls the assassination “an act of terrorism” by "enemies of the Revolution". Unrest has swept across Tunisia, as have accusations regarding the assassination, blaming Islamists from Ennahda to Salafists to Ansar Sharia to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Some Tunisian Islamists, communists, and others are spreading rumors of a conspiracy involving "Zionists", "imperialists", and supporters of the former Ben Ali regime.

Due to the controversial nature of this crime it is likely that many Tunisians will not trust the impartiality of the Tunisian investigation and one or more international inquiries may be helpful in uncovering the truth of this crime in an unbiased manner and bringing the perpetrators to justice. The United Nations Human Rights Council is in a good position to conduct just such an investigation through an International Commission of Inquiry.

There are now fears of continuing unrest and violence in Tunisia and even worries that Belaid’s assassination could lead to civil war as distrust, violence, accusations, and threats multiply in an environment of long standing tensions between secularists and Islamists. It is imperative that the killers of Chokri Belaid be brought to justice, whoever they may be, if Tunisia's fragile new democracy and long standing tradition of being one of the more secular nations in the region is to continue. The lives and liberties of Tunisians may be at stake as well as the stability of the entire region.

Dear United Nations Human Rights Council,

We, the undersigned, hereby call upon the UNHRC to convene a UN International Commission of Inquiry into the assassination of Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid.

On February 6th 2013 Tunisian secular left opposition leader Chokri Belaid was shot and killed by an unknown assailant wielding a handgun, who then fled with an accomplice on a motorcycle. The assassination occurred the morning after Belaid appeared on the Tunisian TV channel Nessma and named ex-convict Ennahda supporters who had attacked his party's meeting the prior Saturday. He also blamed the “moderate Islamist” party for the beating death of the Lotfi Naguedh at the hands of Ennahda supporters in October and accused the ruling party of conspiring with more radical Islamists, known as “Salafists” to undermine the rights of Tunisians. 

Chokri Belaid's wife and brother have accused the ruling Islamist party Ennahda of being behind the Assassination. Ennahda denies responsibility for Belaid’s murder and calls the assassination “an act of terrorism” by "enemies of the Revolution". Unrest has swept across Tunisia, as have accusations regarding the assassination, blaming Islamists from Ennahda to Salafists to Ansar Sharia to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Some Tunisian Islamists, communists, and others are spreading rumors of a conspiracy involving "Zionists", "imperialists", and supporters of the former Ben Ali regime.


Due to the controversial nature of this crime it is likely that many Tunisians will not trust the impartiality of the Tunisian investigation and one or more international inquiries may be helpful in uncovering the truth of this crime in an unbiased manner and bringing the perpetrators to justice. The United Nations Human Rights Council is in a good position to conduct just such an investigation through an International Commission of Inquiry.


There are now fears of continuing unrest and violence in Tunisia and even worries that Belaid’s assassination could lead to civil war as distrust, violence, accusations, and threats multiply in an environment of long standing tensions between secularists and Islamists. It is imperative that the killers of Chokri Belaid be brought to justice, whoever they may be, if Tunisia's fragile new democracy and long standing tradition of being one of the more secular nations in the region is to continue. The lives and liberties of Tunisians may be at stake as well as the stability of the entire region.

Thank you. 

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