Mali ALERT: Kidal still a dangerous place for journalists

The MFWA’s monitoring in Mali shows that despite the general improvements in Freedom of Expression and Media freedom in the country, there exists a major challenge in the northern town of Kidal.

The political crisis that erupted in the once stable and peaceful West African country of Mali in early 2012, led to a significant deterioration of media and general human rights conditions in the country. Prior to the crisis, Mali was one of the few countries in Africa with a free media environment.

During the political crisis, several media organisations were vandalized or closed down mainly by rebel groups in the north of the country. Also, several journalists suffered various forms of harassment and physical attacks. These acts of human rights violations were particularly prevalent and serious in the northern parts of the country, mainly in the regions of Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu.

Whereas the situation had improved in Gao and Timbuktu over the months, Kidal remains a dangerous place for journalists and media organisations in the country.

For instance, the Mouvement National de Liberation de l’Azawad (MNLA) continues to control Voice Radio Anefif, the regional branch of state media Radio-Télévision du Mali (ORTM). The insurgents have renamed the station as Radio Azawad.

Again on November 2, 2013, two French journalists, Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, of Radio France Internationale (RFI) were kidnapped and killed in Kidal.

The two journalists were seized that day after they had interviewed Imbeyry ag Rhissa, a member of the MNLA.

The MFWA is saddened by the death of the two French journalists and concerned about the safety of journalists in northern Mali.  We call on the Malian security to ensure the safety of journalists and human rights defenders in the country, especially in Kidal.

For more information please contact

Kwame Karikari (Prof)
Executive Director
MFWA
Accra
Tel: 233-0302-24 24 70
Fax: 233-0302-22 10 84

Follow us on Twitter: @mfwaalerts
Visit our Facebook page: Media Foundation for West Africa

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