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France - Mali

Murder of two RFI journalists met with anger and sadness

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius reacts with RFI chief Marie-Christine Saragosse
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius reacts with RFI chief Marie-Christine Saragosse Pierre René-Worms/RFI

France, the journalism world and many others have reacted in horror to yesterday’s killings of Radio France Internationale journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon. The veteran journalists were doing a special report two weeks ahead of the legislative elections Mali when they were abducted and murdered.

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French President François Hollande has expressed “outrage at this heinous act” and said a formal investigation is underway.

RFI managers will also travel to Mali to bring back the bodies of Dupont and Verlon.

We want to be very clear about this, we will carry on doing our work...Reporters take risks and that’s part of the job, but to be targeted as a journalist is simply not acceptable.

Nicolas Champeaux, RFI journalist

Mali’s President Ibrahim Boucabar Keita condemned the attack, calling it cowardly and barbaric, on a statement on his Facebook page.

Sidiki Kaba, Senegalese Minister of Justice and former President of The International Federation for Human Rights, said, “I'm sad and shocked and hope that the killers will be arrested and will report to justice."

The United Nations Security Council also issued a statement saying that journalists and media professionals working in dangerous terrains should be treated and protected as civilians.

The UN also called on Mali to not allow for impunity and that the perpetrators should be brought to justice.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) also said the execution of two RFI journalists was an “unspeakable and disgusting act.”

“Journalists that have the courage to cover a region like Kidal and are found killed in cold blood – it not only prompts outrage,” said RSF, “but also a deep disgust.”

Aurélie Filipetti, French Minister of Culture and Communication, also extended her thoughts to the families of our two colleagues and stressed how freedom of the press is part and parcel to any democracy.

“They did their job. And they did it well,” said Filipetti. “They did it to defend freedom around the world. This is really a great loss.”

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