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Africa

Widow of Tunisian opposition leader tells of 'daily' threats

© Photo: France 24 / Mehdi Chebil

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-02-08

Basma Khalfaoui, the widow of the slain Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid, has told FRANCE 24 that her late husband received many death threats before his assassination on February 6. She holds the ruling Islamist party responsible.

The death threats against Chokri Belaid – the Tunisian opposition leader whose assassination on Wednesday has plunged Tunisia back into a political crisis – had become ever more frequent before his death, according to family members.

“[The death threats] in no way deterred him from continuing his political activity and defend the principles to which he was deeply attached,” Belaid’s widow, Basma Khalfaoui, told FRANCE 24 on Thursday.

Belaid, a left-wing and secular leader, was a fierce critic of Tunisia's ruling Islamist Ennahda party, which has been in power since the October 2011 elections.

At her late husband's wake, Khalfaoui accused Salafists and people with links to Ennahda of murdering her husband.

“When we were out walking with our children, people approached to greet my husband and thank him for his courage and commitment to the country. But also to warn us of danger,” the widow said.

Thousands of people were expected to gather in the Tunisian capital of Tunis and across the country on Friday in protests set to coincide with Belaid’s funeral.

Date created : 2013-02-08

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