LONDON, United-Kingdom, February 7, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Alistair Burt condemns killing of Choki Belaid and appeals for calm. Choki Belaid, Secretary General of the Democratic Patriotic Party, was assassinated today in Tunis. Reacting to his death, Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt said:
“I condemn the murder of Choki Belaid in the strongest terms. This was a cowardly and barbaric act aimed at destabilising Tunisia’s democratic transition. I welcome the Tunisian Government’s continued condemnation of extremism and their commitment to holding those responsible to account in line with the democratic rights and justice demanded by the Tunisian people. It is essential that this tragic killing does not inflame more violence, and I call upon all Tunisians to engage in dialogue and work together for the greater good of Tunisia.
“Chokri Belaid was a lifelong defender of human rights and free speech. I would like to offer my deepest sympathies and condolences to his family and colleagues, and to the people of Tunisia. The UK will continue to work with Tunisia to build a stable and democratic future where violence is not used to silence free speech or to threaten the proper functioning of democracy.”