Protests have erupted across Tunisia, following the assassination of Chokri Belaid, a leading member of the secular opposition, and a staunch opponent of the Islamist-led coalition government. His supporters and his mourners are either directly or indirectly accusing the Islamists for his murder.
Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali condemned the murder and described it as an “act of terrorism”, while President Moncef Marzouki cancelled his trip to Cairo where he was supposed to participate at the summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
France24 Observers published a video shot by Bel Fekih Amine, Belaid's neighbor on its YouTube page. The video shows the crime scene a few minutes after Belaid was shot dead outside his home in the early hours of February 6, 2013.
Family Accuses Islamists:
The police is still investigating, but Belaid's family is pointing fingers at the Islamist party Ennahdha. @simonsayzzzzz, a journalist working for Agence France Presse tweeted [fr]:
Frère de #ChokriBelaïd: “(…)j'accuse Rached Ghannouchi d'avoir fait assassiner mon frère” #AFP #Tunisie
Chokri Belaid's brother: I accuse Rached Ghannouchi [President of Ennahdha] of assassinating my brother” #AFP #Tunisie
La sœur de #chokribelaid sur l'avenue accuse ennahdha le MI et leurs milices de l'assassinat de son frère. #Tunisie
the sister of Chokri Belaid at the avenue [of Habib Bourguiba] has accused Ennahdha, the ministry of interior and their militias for killing her brother
#Tunisia ruling Islamist Ennahda party denies responsibility in killing of prominent secular opp leader #ChokriBelaid, despite differences
“Assassinated for his ideas”:
Belaid was known for being a vocal critic of the government and Tunisian Islamists. Though, it is still not known who was behind his murder, Tunisian netizens seem to be confident that his anti-Islamist ideas cost him his life.
On a pu tuer #ChokriBelaid mais ses idées éterniseront
They were able to kill Chokri Belaid, but his ideas will live forever
RIP #ChokriBelaïd. Un grand homme tué pour ses idées, qu'il ne soit pas mort en vain.
RIP Chokri Belaid. A great man murdered for his ideas. May he not die in vain
As the news of Belaid's murder spread like fire, protests have erupted in several regions of the country. AFP has also reported that the offices of Ennahdha and the government in several provinces of the country were attacked and vandalized.
The collective blog Nawaat reports:
@nawaat:Des milliers de manifestants a #Gafsa. Le local d'Ennahdha saccagé et ses meubles et documents brulés. #chokribelaid
@nawaat: thousands of protesers in Gafsa [south west of Tunisia]. Ennahdha office was ransacked, furniture and documents were burned
@nawaat:A #Redayef le syndicat enseignant décréte la grève générale. Le local d'Ennahdha saccagé et ses meubles brûlés dans la rue #chokribelaid
@nawaat: in Rdeyef [a town in Gafsa, south west of Tunisia], the teachers’ syndicate declared a general strike. Ennahdha's office was ransacked and its furniture burned in the street.
@nawaat: a Sidi Bouzid, des centaines de manifestants tentent de forcer la porte du bâtiment du district de police. #sidibouzid #chokribelaid
@nawaat: In Sidi Bouzid, hundreds of protesers try to break into the police district office
Sasa Petricic tweeted:
Offices of #Tunisia governing party Ennahda attacked after opp’n leader #ChokriBelaid assassinated. Thousands protest in Tunis, SidiBouzid
At Habib Bourguiba Avenue [Tunis], police used tear gas to disperse protesters, who gathered outside the headquarters of the Interior Ministry, chanting anti-government slogans and calling upon the Interior Minister to leave office. France 24 correspondent David Thomson tweeted [fr]:
Tirs de gaz lacrymogène sur l'Avenue Bourguiba, dispersion des manifestants #Tunisie
tear gas at Habib Bourguiba avenue, protesters dispersed
He added in another tweet [fr]:
La situation dégénère en heurts manifestants/police sur #Bourguiba
the situation degenerates into clashes between protesters and police
Privately-owned radio station Shems FM shared the following video showing the chaotic situation at Habib Bourguiba avenue.
The clashes led to the death of a police officer, announced the Interior Ministry on its official facebook page.