The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today has backed the Day without press that journalists in Mali have started until Boukary Daou is released. Daou who is the managing editor of the daily “Le Républicain” was arrested on March 6 after the publication of an open letter written by soldiers against Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo, former coup leader.
“We are in solidarity with journalists in Mali in this difficult period and call on authorities to release Boukary Daou and start dialogue with the journalists’ fraternity,” said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa Director. “The numerous arrests and intimidations by the military coup makers have shown that the situation of press freedom in Mali is deteriorating and that must stop”.
Boukary Daou was arrested in the premises of his newspaper by officers of the State security because of the March 6 issue of the newspaper’s headlines carrying an open letter written by Malian soldiers at the frontline in the North of the country. The soldiers have declared in the open letter being upset by the 6000 Euros monthly salary granted to Captain Sanogo in his new appointment as President of the Military Follow-Up Committee for the Reform of the Defense and Security forces.
The IFJ believes that Boukary Daou has only been arrested because the open letter his newspaper published was embarrassing for Captain Sanogo and the coup makers in Bamako. “The publication of the letter cannot be the reason to arrest a journalist who has done nothing but disclosed the opinion of the military on the battle field. We don’t see how this letter cause soldiers to abandon the operations in the frontline as expressed by some authorities in Mali”, Baglo added.
“The entire journalist fraternity in Mali has called for the immediate release of Boukary Daou and the respect by security forces of national media laws. Journalists are subjected to a specific law which guarantees the free exercise of their work, including protecting their sources”, said Makan Koné, President of “The Press House”
For having recently documented several cases of harassments and intimidations against journalists in Mali, the IFJ joins its affiliate Union Nationale des Journalistes du Mali (UNAJOM) and its partner The Press House to state that the war and the imposition of a state of emergency cannot justify intimidation of journalists, as the citizens deserve a minimum of information on the operations and the stakeholders.
For more information, please contact IFJ on +221- 33 867 95 87
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries