Tunisian opposition parties have planned a march today in memory of politician Chokri Belaid, marking the six months that have passed since his assassination.
The event, which had long been planned by the Popular Front opposition coalition, is entitled “Who Killed Belaid?” Its slogan: “after half a year, why are you hiding the truth?”
The Popular Front is organizing the march along with other members of the National Salvation Front, a coalition of parties and civil society organizations formed after the July 25 assassination of opposition National Constituent Assembly (NCA) member Mohamed Brahmi.
The National Salvation Front has led demands for the dissolution of the NCA and the transitional government.
Both the Popular Front and the National Salvation Front are collaborating with the organizing committee of the recent Bardo sit-in, which has also called for dissolution.
In a statement posted on the Popular Front’s Facebook page, the National Salvation Front invited people to participate in the event and called for peaceful demonstrations. It also asserted its commitment to dissolving the NCA and the government.
“Tuesday will mark the passing of six months from the assassination of Chokri Belaid without reaching any answers,” Ammar Amroussia, general secretary of the Workers’ Party, told Tunisia Live. “This day will also signal the delay in revealing the information concerning his assassination. Not only was there a delay but a second assassination happened.”
The event will start with a march from the Baab Saadoun entrance of the Tunis medina to the nearby suburb of Bardo at 9 p.m., with Tunisians planning to come from different regions of the country. There, the march will combine with the tenth night of the Bardo sit-in, with speeches given by political figures of the Popular Front, the Nidaa Tounes party, and civil society organizations like the Association of Democratic Women and Tunisia’s largest labor union, the UGTT. Mbarka Brahmi and Basma Khalfaoui, the widows of the slain political leaders, will also participate at the event.
The sit-in will also host artistic workshops, concerts, and poetry readings.
”August 6 will also be an opportunity to denounce the terrorism which is spreading across the country,” Amroussia said. ”Weapons are smuggled and soldiers were massacred at Chaambi.” He called today’s events “an attempt to send a message to the government that we do not tolerate its failure.”
The Popular Front released a video invitation to the event. It consists of a collage of Belaid’s statements combined to make Belaid sound as if he himself is inviting people to participate. In the video, his voice reads phrases like “unity is our fate and not a choice,” and “violence will lead us backwards, peaceful resistance is the way.”
The message “half a year since his death, we have to bring him justice,” follows Belaid’s quotes.
“This government is unable to find out who killed Belaid and now it is also required to reveal the identity of the killer of Brahmi, too,” Khalfaoui said.
She added, “we feel the investigations are not serious, and will not lead anywhere.”
On July 26, the day after Brahmi’s assassination, the Ministry of Interior presented findings from its investigations into the deaths of Brahmi and Belaid. It asserted that the same weapon was used to kill both politicians, and identified a group of 14 suspects it alleged were involved in the murders.