The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have called on Malian authorities, as well as the foreign forces present in the country, to ensure that those responsible for the cold-blooded murders of two French journalists in north eastern Mali are brought to justice and answer for their crimes.
According to media reports, radio reporter Ghislaine Dupont and sound technician Claude Verlon, who were recording a special programme for Radio France Internationale (RFI ) in the run up to the Malian elections, were kidnapped in Kidal, on Saturday, 2 November, and found dead later that day. The identity and motives of the killers are yet to be fully established. The murders have occurred as Mali prepares for its general election due on 24 November.
"We mourn the loss of our colleagues and express our deepest sympathy and condolences to their families and colleagues," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "The perpetrators of this horrific and senseless act must not go unpunished. We call on the authorities in Mali to ensure that those responsible pay for their crimes and feel the full weight of justice."
IFJ/EFJ's French affiliates, the Syndicat National des Journalistes (SNJ), Syndicat National des Journalistes-CGT (SNJ-CGT) and the Union Syndicale des Journalistes CFDT (USJ-CFGT) have paid tribute to the journalists and offered their sincere condolences to their families and loved ones. They have called for those who those who carried out the cold blooded murders to be brought to swift justice.
The IFJ has welcomed the declaration by the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, who has stated that France will do its utmost to find the killers and punish them for their actions
"We send our deepest sympathies to the families of the two highly respected journalists who were murdered in cold blood simply for doing their jobs," said EFJ President Mogens Blicher Bjerregård.
"We call on media owners to protect the safety of their journalists covering the elections in Mali and we urge journalists to remain vigilant at all times and to avoid potentially dangerous situations. We also ask the authorities in Mali to strengthen security for both local and international journalists and ensure that there is no repeat of this atrocity."