Journalists still victims of violence
Attacks on journalists have declined but press freedom is still fragile. RSF continues to investigate the disappearance of a journalist in January 2016, in which the family and journalists who have investigated the case suspect that the president’s son, Karim Keita, may have played a role. Keita, the current chair of the national assembly defence committee, systematically harasses journalists and media who link him to this disappearance. The investigation into the shooting deaths of two French radio journalists in Kidal, in northern Mali, in November 2013 has still not concluded and has yet to clarify the circumstances surrounding this double murder. In 2019, an investigation by the colleagues of the murdered journalists contradicted the French army’s version of its role in the events. Northern and central Mali have continued to be dangerous for media personnel ever since the 2013 crisis. This was seen when a journalist was murdered in Timbuktu in 2015, and a journalist was taken hostage during a personal visit to the centre of the country in 2018. The authorities harass the media over their coverage of security issues, and any criticism of the army can lead to arrest on a charge of “contravening standards and undermining troop morale.” There is a significant degree of media pluralism, but the media are short of money and find it hard to resist the editorial dictates of those who fund them. In 2018, several journalists were attacked, some of the staff of Mali Actu were arrested and a radio station was illegally shut down during the presidential election. The six-month jail sentence imposed on a newspaper editor highlighted the urgency of passing a law decriminalizing press offences.
112 in 2019
35.23 in 2019