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Paris square named for RFI journalists killed in Mali

In homage to murdered journalists, this plaza  in Paris has been renamed after Ghislaine Dupont, Claude Verlon and Camille Lepage, inaugurated on 3 May, 2019.
In homage to murdered journalists, this plaza in Paris has been renamed after Ghislaine Dupont, Claude Verlon and Camille Lepage, inaugurated on 3 May, 2019. RFI/Simon Rozé

A square in central Paris was named on Friday, 3 May, World Press Freedom Day, after journalists killed in Mali and Central African Republic.

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'Place Ghislaine Dupont, Claude Verlon et Camille Lepage' is located in the second district of Paris, at the intersection of rue Aboukir, rue du Louvre and rue Montmartre.

The plaque was unveiled by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, alongside the families of the victims.

RFI journalist Ghislaine Dupont and sound engineer Claude Verlon were abducted and killed in Kidal, in the north of Mali, on 2 November 2013, while they were reporting. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or Aqmi, claimed responsibility for their deaths, but the details are still unclear as investigations are ongoing.

2013年在马里北部基达尔遇难的法广两名记者吉丝莱娜•杜邦 (Ghislaine Dupont)  和克洛德•维尔隆 (Claude Verlon)
2013年在马里北部基达尔遇难的法广两名记者吉丝莱娜•杜邦 (Ghislaine Dupont) 和克洛德•维尔隆 (Claude Verlon) RFI

The square also bears the name of Camille Lepage, a photojournalist who was killed in unclear circumstances in the west of the Central African Republic on 12 May 2014.

"We won't forget your sacrifice," said Jacques Boutault, mayor of Paris' 2nd District where the square is located. It will remind all who pass the square "how fragile freedom of information is, and that it must be staunchly defended every day."

The National journalist union proposed the square’s name, which was approved unanimously by Paris city hall in April.

"It's moving and painful because she is not here," Maryvonne Lepage, mother of Camille, told AFP.  Marie-Pierre Ritleng, sister of Claude Verlon added that "it is important not to forget them and also to know why they are no longer there." Laurence Lacour, a friend of Ghislaine Dupont expressed frustration about the fact that up till now, no one has been brought to justice in relation to the murders.

RFI has also set up an annual grant, awarded to a journalist and a sound technician.They are given the opportunity to come to Paris for a training course.

The winners from the 2018 edition, announced in Abidjan, were 30 year-old journalist Taby Badjo Marina Djava and 32 year-old technician Aman Baptiste Ado.

According to this year's analysis by Reporters without Borders (RSF) less than 10 percent of the world's population are now living in countries where journalists enjoy a favourable environment and are able to practice their profession freely and independently.

France is at number 32 in the press freedom list for 2019.

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