17 December 2012

Mali: In Mali, Journalist Briefly Jailed for Reporting On Gao

press release

Police Detained Freelance Reporter Moctar Barry On November 15 — 2012, in the central town of Sévaré, after he returned from reporting on events in Gao, an Islamist-occupied city in the northern half of Mali, local journalists said.

Barry, contributor to news site Droit Libre TV (DLTV) and Radio Netherlands Worldwide, said in an interview with a local news outlet that police told him his passport and a document licensing him for journalistic work were not valid. Barry said he told police he had cleared eight security checkpoints with the same documents while traveling in the area days before his arrest.

While Barry was in police custody, officers searched his emails, photos, and video recordings on his laptop and confiscated his memory cards, he told CPJ. During the interrogation, officers accused him of first being a recruit of the Jihadi militants, and then a spy, he said.

Barry was released without charge five days later on November 20, news reports said.

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