Rights group, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) wants to participate in the French judicial investigation into the kidnapping of French journalist Olivier Dubois in Mali.
RSF has said that it will register as an interested civil party after learning through judicial sources that France has designated investigating judges.
Olivier Dubois, a Mali-based reporter for three French publications, Libération, Le Point and Jeune Afrique, has been held hostage for the past 21 months.
Dubois was kidnapped on April 8, 2021, when he visited the city of Gao in the northeast to speak with a local representative of the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (JNIM), an armed organization linked to Al Qaeda
In making the intention to be part of the probe, RSF Secretary General Christophe Deloire has stated on their website:
“The opening of a judicial investigation in France marks a new stage and unfortunately confirms that the efforts so far undertaken have not sufficed to obtain this French journalist’s release. RSF will register as an interested civil party in order to combine its efforts with those undertaken by the journalist’s family. We need the justice system to shed light on the circumstances in which he is being held hostage.”
A French court investigation was launched in October, according to two judicial sources that RSF contacted. It has been given to investigative judges Jean-Marc Herbaut and Bertrand Grain of the Paris court’s counterterrorism bureau.
Since his kidnapping, just two of Dubois’s captors’ tapes have been made public. In the most recent one, on March 14, 2022, he urged his fans to continue their efforts on his behalf and urged the French government to continue pushing for his release.
Out of 180 nations, Mali is placed 111th in RSF’s 2022 World Press Freedom Index.