The African Editors Forum

16 July 2012

Mali: African Editors' Forum Statement On the Assault of Journalists/Editors in Mali

Photo: Makan Kone/Facebook
Journalists in Mali have observed a "news blackout" and marched in the capital, Bamako, to protest against kidnappings and beatings of journalists.

The African Editors' Forum have learnt with regret the assault of Saouti Haidara, editor of the newspaper "The Independent" of Mali.

Already on May 9 last, our colleague Birama Fall, editor of the "Praetorium," stopped by state security. Then came the turn of Chahana Takiou, editor of the "September 22" to be convened by the military security May 24, 2012 and Abdrahame Keita, managing editor of the newspaper "DAWN", abducted and assaulted the two July 2012.

Despite the outcry of indignation, it does not seem to have shaken the will of those who hold at all costs, come what may no longer control the Malian press but rather to silence it.

Yesterday July 12, 2012, at about 22H, Brother Saouti Labass Haider was taken to the headquarters of his newspaper by armed and masked men who carried out of Bamako and tortured and then abandoned him for dead.

While reaffirming our solidarity to the place of our colleague and all of the independent press Malian, we wish to warn the followers of medieval practices relating to the prehistory of the press we cannot allow gross abuses in court and we will fight at the national, sub regional and continental levels to win and secure the right to practice our profession.

We like to remind them that if they forgot where they came from, neither do we. And we will leave predators of freedom of expression continue to attack our colleagues cheerfully.

Today more than ever, we are all SAOUTI and fight those who want to confine ourselves to a unilateral treatment, pernicious and vicious information.

Freedom of the press is the first condition of democracy and, in the case of Mali, it is one of the conditions for recovery of the territorial integrity and the creation of strong institutions.

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