July 26, 2021

In Bamako and Paris, rallies for the release of Olivier Dubois, hostage in Mali

A hundred people gathered on Tuesday, June 8 in Bamako – and an equivalent number in Paris – to demand the release of French journalist Olivier Dubois, two months to the day after his kidnapping in Mali by a jihadist group, noted journalists from AFP.

Tuesday morning, colleagues and friends of Olivier Dubois gathered at the Maison de la presse in Bamako, where a photo of the journalist had been hung, as well as a large black sign on which was written “#FreeOlivierDubois”. “I am very moved, I have confidence in Mali and in France, everyone has a common goal: that Olivier comes home to his children, whom he misses”, said the ex-companion and mother of her two children, Deborah Al Hawi Al Masri.

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It is necessary “Amplify the mobilization in Mali and in France” and “Do not let go, because without that, those who want to hide the truth will win”, former Malian Foreign Minister and former journalist Tiébilé Dramé, who was present, told AFP.

“Keeping quiet plays the kidnappers’ game”

Around a hundred people gathered at the same time in Paris, Place de la République, including representatives of Release, of Point and of Young Africa, the media for which Olivier Dubois works. “I believe a lot in mobilization and media coverage”, “To keep quiet plays the kidnappers’ game”, said the journalist from World Florence Aubenas, hostage in Iraq for five months in 2005.

“Let’s not forget Olivier”, this is “A message addressed to Olivier Dubois, who could receive it, a message for the French and Malian authorities which poses a requirement: we want and we expect that his release remains a priority”, said Christophe Deloire, secretary general of Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

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46-year-old freelance journalist living and working in Mali since 2015, Olivier Dubois is the only French hostage known in the world. He himself announced his kidnapping in a video posted on social networks on May 5, explaining that he was kidnapped on April 8 in Gao (north) by the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), the main alliance jihadist in the Sahel, linked to Al-Qaeda.

At the end of May, France confirmed that he was hostage to a jihadist group. In Paris, the National Antiterrorist Prosecutor’s Office (PNAT) opened a preliminary investigation for “kidnapping in an organized group”, “in connection with a terrorist enterprise”.

The World with AFP