Malian authorities must ensure journalists are free to cover election

first_img Reporters Without Borders rallies former hostages in Paris, following the kidnapping of journalist Olivier Dubois. MaliAfrica Protecting journalists ViolenceFreedom of expression News After three journalists from the French TV channel TV5 Monde were briefly arrested shortly after landing in the Malian capital, Bamako, on 22 July to cover Mali’s presidential election on 29 July, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the authorities to guarantee the safety of media personnel and not obstruct election coverage. Kiosque à journaux de Bamako le 28 mai 2018 © Michele CATTANI / AFP A dozen journalists were chased away by police when they tried to cover a civil society and opposition march in Bamako on 2 June that had been banned. The Mali Maison de la Presse (House of the Press) issued a statement afterwards condemning the police use of “physical violence” and the “attempts to take cameras and other journalistic equipment.” Help by sharing this information RSF helps coordinate support for French journalist kidnapped in Mali June 8, 2021 Find out more News RSF_en “They asked us what we had come to do in Mali and whether we had done our military service, without our being able to understand what exactly we were accused of,” Ndiaye told RSF. The police used force to take Coquet’s mobile phone from him and did not return it until the end of the interrogation. Asked about the possibility of Internet cuts like those that occurred in August 2016, during protests against the arrest of an anti-government activist, Touré said there was “no plan to cut social networks during the election.” Mali is ranked 115th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index. Organisation center_img When reached by RSF, communication and digital economy minister Arouna Modibo Touré said: “No journalists will be blocked in the course of their work covering the election.” Asked about the arrest of the TV5 Monde journalists, he said he regretted “this unfortunate event” and that “security agents should not behave like this with journalists.” May 5, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Mali to go further Receive email alerts French reporter says he has been kidnapped in northeastern Mali MaliAfrica Protecting journalists ViolenceFreedom of expression “Arresting journalists for no reason after they have just landed in Mali constitutes intimidation and obstruction,” said Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk. “The security forces have a duty to protect journalists while the authorities have a duty to ensure that journalists are free to cover next Sunday’s presidential election.” TV5 Monde editor in chief Ousmane Ndiaye, producer François Coquet and editor Christophe Harnoy began their week-long stay in Mali with a 90-minute interrogation by state security at the Bamako airport police station after being detained as they were about to leave the airport. May 17, 2021 Find out more News News July 25, 2018 Malian authorities must ensure journalists are free to cover election last_img read more