CPJ welcomes release of Olivier Dubois from captivity in Mali

French journalist Olivier Dubois speaks to journalists as he arrives at the Diori Hamani International Airport in Niamey, Niger, on March 20, 2023. (AFP/Souleymane Ag Anara)

On March 20, French freelance journalist Olivier Dubois was freed nearly two years after he was abducted by a militant group in Mali.

“We are elated that journalist Olivier Dubois is finally free and able to return home to his family and his colleagues,” said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal, in New York. “Mali’s conflict and constitutional crisis have acutely increased risks for journalists. While Dubois’ release is a relief, journalist safety continues to be concerning. We urge all parties, including jihadists, to refrain from criminal actions to silence the press.”

Dubois went missing on April 8, 2021, in the Malian region of Gao while seeking an interview with the local leader of the Al-Qaeda affiliated group Jamaa Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin. His abduction was made public in a video posted online that May.

“It’s amazing for me to be here, to be free,” Dubois said while thanking Nigerien authorities for their role in his release, according to news reports.

A bitter freedom

Nicaraguan journalists Miguel Mendoza (left) and Juan Lorenzo Holmann
Miguel Mendoza (left) and Juan Lorenzo Holmann speak to CPJ in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Esha Sarai)

Nicaraguan journalists Juan Lorenzo Holmann and Miguel Mendoza were among 222 political prisoners unexpectedly released by Nicaraguan authorities and deported to the United States on February 9. 

Stripped of their citizenship and unable to return home, the journalists spoke to CPJ’s Dánae Vilchez about their harsh experiences in prison, their continuing commitment to freedom of expression, and why their release is so bittersweet. 

Read CPJ’s interview with Holmann
Read CPJ’s interview with Mendoza
Watch: ‘Their approach was to try and do you psychological harm’

More features and analysis from CPJ
* Chinese journalist held for reporting on Wuhan COVID outbreak wishes he’d done more
* Newly released from a Turkish prison, Kurdish journalist Nurdim Turfent reflects on sham prosecution
* Iran’s seizure of journalists’ devices raises fears of fresh arrests, prosecutions

Deaths in Ukraine
Killed in Ukraine (15)
Scroll to see complete list
Ihor Hudenko, killed on February 26, 2022
Yevhenii Sakun, killed on March 1, 2022
Zoreslav Zamoysky, killed around March 5-15, 2022
Roman Nezhyborets, killed around March 5-9, 2022 (Motive unconfirmed)
Viktor Dedov, killed on March 11, 2022
Oksana Haidar, killed around March 11 – April 7, 2022
Brent Renaud, killed on March 13, 2022
Maks Levin, body found April 1, 2022; dissapeared on March 13
Pierre Zakrzewski, killed on March 14, 2022
Oleksandra Kuvshynova, killed on March 14, 2022
Oksana Baulina, killed on March 23, 2022
Mantas Kvedaravicius, killed around March 28-April 2, 2022
Yevhenii Bal, killed on April 2, 2022 (Motive unconfirmed)
Vira Hyrych, killed on April 28, 2022
Frédéric Leclerc-Imhoff, killed on May 30, 2022

Safety Resources

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Journalists Attacked

Martinez Zogo


Martinez Zogo, the managing director of the privately owned Cameroonian radio broadcaster Amplitude FM, was found dead on January 22, 2023.

Five days earlier, unidentified attackers had abducted Zogo from his car in Yaoundé, the capital. The attackers chased Zogo, who had recently reported on alleged public embezzlement involving a prominent businessman, to the gate of the local gendarmerie office near the journalist’s home, where he had sought help.

Authorities have arrested several people in connection with the murder, including the businessman Zogo had reported on and prominent members of Cameroon’s security forces.

In nearly 8 out of 10 cases, the murderers of journalists go free. CPJ is waging a global campaign against impunity.

The Committee to Protect Journalists promotes press freedom worldwide.

We defend the right of journalists to report the news safely and without fear of reprisal.

journalists killed in 2023 (motive confirmed)
imprisoned in 2022
missing globally