Mali Alert: State officials interfere with media’s work

On March 10, 2015, N’Diaye Ramatoulaye Diallo, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, and Karim Keita, a Member of Parliament and the son of Mali’s president, attempted to prevent the printing of the Reporternewspaper.

The MFWA’s correspondent reported that the two officials went to newspaper’s publishing company and requested that the newspaper remove two articles about them.

According to the correspondent, Diallo and Keita tried to prevent the newspaper from printing for about 6 hours.

“At first, they asked us to postpone the publication to Tuesday, March 10, 2015, and remove two articles about them. We told them that we cannot censor themselves,” said the newspaper in an article on March 11.

“We have embraced this profession because our duty is to safeguard democracy and its achievements such as freedom of expression. We risked our lives and some have sacrificed this for their democracy [and] freedom of the press. And … bullying opportunists of the Republic [will not] distract us from this mission,” the newspaper added.

Unless journalists can freely perform their watchdog function, they will be unable to make invaluable contributions to improving governance, democracy, and human rights in Mali. The MFWA thus urges Malian officials to respect press freedom and refrain from interfering with journalists’ enjoyment of this right.

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