France - Mali - United Nations

Remembering journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon - one year on

Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, July 30 2013 at a press conference in Mali.
Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, July 30 2013 at a press conference in Mali. RFI/Pierre René-Worms
7 min

Today marks the United Nations' first International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, a date chosen in remembrance of two French journalists assassinated in Mali.


On November 2, 2013, RFI's Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon were brutally murdered as they covered the run-up to legislative elections in Mali.

One year on, their killers are still free and unpunished.

Killing the messenger and getting away with it

This same scenario continues to occur around the world; the number of journalists targeted is increasing, as is impunity for those responsible, according to non governmental organisation Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

According to CPJ, 90 percent of journalists' murders remain unsolved.

RFI spoke with Elisabeth Witchel, impunity consultant at CPJ, who noted that powerful local individuals - even government officials - are often behind journalists' deaths.

While press status was once seen as protection in dangerous situations, it has turned journalists into targets, as working in conflict areas has become increasingly dangerous for media professionals.

The United Nations resolution which created this day not only condemns violence against journalists and media workers, but urges states to help bring killers to justice.

According to the UN, in the past decade over 700 journalists have been killed because of their work.

For more, RFI’s Christina Okello reports on why more journalists are being killed, and why their killers are getting away with it.

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