January 13, 2017

Paris demo demands truth about murders of two journalists in Mali

A demonstration was held outside the main law courts in central Paris at 9 a.m. today to urge the French and Malian judicial authorities to do much more to shed light on the murders of Radio France Internationale journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon in Mali more than three years ago. ​

With press photographers in attendance, more than 20 people took part in the protest organized by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Association of Friends of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, and RFI’s Society of Journalists.

Limited judicial cooperation between the French and Malian governments have blocked progress in the investigation into the double murder of the RFI journalists in Kidal, in northern Mali, on 2 November 2013.

The French government has classified many relevant documents as “defence secrets,” thereby preventing their use by the judicial authorities, while the security situation in northern Mali has prevented officials from ever visiting the crime scene. No witness as so far been questioned.

“This inertia is unacceptable,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “We demand answers and more transparency in the handling of this investigation. There are people who have information. It must be possible for them to be questioned by the judicial authorities so that we can finally learn the truth.”

RSF, which defends freedom of information, has registered as interested civil party in the case in order to be able to play an active role in support of the Association of Friends of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon.

Mali is ranked 122nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index. France is ranked 45th.