New York, April 28, 2022 – Malian authorities should reverse the suspensions of French broadcasters Radio France Internationale and France 24, and allow the foreign press to work freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday.
Mali’s Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization suspended both broadcasters on March 16, after accusing them of airing “false allegations” about abuses by the country’s military. On Wednesday, April 27, Mali’s High Authority for Communication (HAC) announced that those suspensions would be “definitive,” according to reports by RFI and France 24.
“Authorities in Mali should reverse their decision to make the suspensions of RFI and France 24 ‘definitive,’ and cease their efforts to prevent journalists from covering and distributing news,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator. “Malian authorities’ decision to solidify these suspensions indicates just how committed they are to denying those in their country access to information.”
The broadcasters’ state-owned parent company, France Media Monde, announced it would contest the suspensions, according to those reports. CPJ called the High Authority for Communication of Mali and sent questions via messaging app to Sambi Touré, the director of the government’s information center, and Harbert Traoré, a technical adviser for the Ministry of Communication, but did not receive any replies.