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Malick Ali Maiga

Malick Ali Maiga was a presenter for Adar Koima (Joy of the Hill), the last of the six radio stations in the northern city of Gao to keep going after the rebel MUJAO and MNLA groups took the city in March 2012 and repeatedly threatened its journalists. He drove around at night and saw these self-styled men of God committing abuses and trafficking in drugs. In May 2012, MNLA members gave him a severe beating and “advised” him to refer to Azawad (“liberated” northern Mali) in more positive terms. After residents helped to free him, he continued to provide news coverage for the city he loves so much “Gao is home for me (...) everyone there is my family.” He was attacked again in August 2012, this time by MUJAO members, after reporting on the air that a protest had prevented the amputation of a youth’s hand for theft. He was beaten with rifle butts for two hours and left unconscious outside Gao’s hospital. After that, he finally fled to the safety of Bamako. But the Islamists did not weaken his resolve and he continues to work as a journalist in the capital.