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Journalist Missing in Mali After Press Conference

A journalist has disappeared in junta-ruled Mali after a press conference he helped organise to call for the release of a detained colleague, his collective association said Friday.

Aliou Toure operated as a secretary for the Collective for the Development of the Republic (CDR) which said it was “without news of our administrative secretary” since Thursday evening.

Since the press conference “Aliou Toure has not been seen by his family nor by those close to him and even less by his colleagues,” the group said in a statement.

“All attempts to contact him through our usual channels have been in vain.”

The “Maison de la presse”, which defends media workers, also voiced “concern”, urging the authorities “to do everything to find him safe and sound”.

Aliou Toure helped set up the press conference to push for the release of Mohamed Youssouf Bathily, aka Ras Bath, a leading figure in the CDR.

He was placed in custody on March 13 after claiming former prime minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, who died in detention a year ago, had been “assassinated”.

Maiga was prime minister from 2017 to 2019 under president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Amid a wave of protests over his handling of the long-running jihadist insurgency, he was overthrown in August 2020 by army officers who today run the nation.

Aliou Toure had taken over Ras Bath’s radio programme on Renouveau FM.

“The state is the guarantor of the freedom and security of all citizens,” CDR said in the statement.

Dissident voices struggle to be heard in Mali.

Reporters without Borders (RSF) warned this week it was becoming increasingly difficult to work as a journalist in the Sahel nation, caught between armed groups, jihadist violence and pressure from the authorities and the military regime.

Source: vanguardngr