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NAVI PILLAY STRONGLY CONDEMNS KILLING OF TUNISIAN OPPOSITION LEADER
25 July 2013

GENEVA (25 July 2013) – The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today strongly condemned the assassination of a leading opposition politician in Tunisia and urged the country's people and politicians to form a united front against attempts to derail the country's democratic transition.

Mohamed Brahmi, a member of the National Constituent Assembly, was shot dead in front of his house in a Tunis suburb on Thursday morning, in the presence of his daughter.

“I am shocked and deeply saddened by the news of Mr. Brahmi’s assassination. I call upon the authorities to immediately launch a prompt and transparent investigation to ensure that the people who carried out this crime are held accountable,” Ms. Pillay said. “This is the third killing of this nature in the past ten months. Lotfi Naghdh was killed in October 2012, and just six months ago, another prominent political figure, Chokri Belaid, was assassinated in similar circumstances to Mr. Brahmi. The investigation into Mr. Belaid's assassination is still not concluded, and the circumstances surrounding it have not been clearly established.”

“The Tunisian authorities must take very serious measures to investigate these assassinations, identify the culprits and bring them to justice,” she said. “It is also crucial that they offer better protection to people who, like Mr. Brahmi, are clearly at risk. The Government must take strong measures to show it will enforce the rule of law, and do its utmost to deter these terrible acts which appear to be designed to inflame the situation and undermine the democratic transition in Tunisia.”
“The assassination of Mr. Brahmi, which coincides with the 56th anniversary of the Declaration of the Tunisian Republic, risks upsetting the vital constitution-making process that is in its final stages. I urge all actors in Tunisia -- government, opposition, the general public and civil society -- to stand firm and united in the face of political violence, and defend everyone’s freedom to hold and express diverse political views.”

For further information and media requests, please contact Rupert Colville (+41 22 917 9767 or + 41 79 506 10 88 / rcolville@ohchr.org ); Liz Throssell (+ 41 22 917 9434 or +41 79 201 01 15 / ethrossell@ohchr.org)  or Cécile Pouilly (+41 22 917 9310 or +41 79 618 34 30 /  cpouilly@ohchr.org)
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For use of the information media; not an official record

HC13/055E