In Mali, masked gunmen kidnap, beat journalist

Unidentified armed men wearing masks abducted Abdrahmane Keïta, editor of the private bi-weekly L’Aurore, in a public square in Bamako, the capital, at about 8:30 p.m. on July 2, 2012, according to local journalists and news reports. The gunmen dragged Keïta onto their vehicle while repeatedly kicking and beating him with truncheons, the reports said.

Keïta was at the square to meet a man who had offered to give him information about an area controlled by separatist rebels in the north of Mali, according to L’indépendant newspaper.

Keïta said his attackers covered his head and took him to a field near Bamako’s international airport, where they beat him. The journalist told Agence France-Presse that the men called him by name, accused him of disrupting the country, and stole his money. After the men left him in the field, Keïta said, he sought help at the airport.

In a press statement, Mali’s National Human Rights Commission condemned the attack.