A year after the kidnapping of Olivier Dubois in Mali, his family released a video to increase mobilization

The family of journalist Olivier Dubois, the world’s last French hostage, is calling for further mobilization for his release, 12 months after his kidnapping in Gao, Mali. 42 journalist companies, including that of France Inter, challenge the future tenant of the Elysée directly.

For RSF, the video broadcast by the living journalist in March 2022 gives hope
The video broadcast by the living journalist in March 2022 gives hope for RSF © AFP / LUCAS BARIOULET

Those close to Olivier Dubois want “Make this sad April 8th a day of hope for our son and brother“. A year ago, on April 8, 2021, the French journalist was kidnapped by a jihadist group in Gao, Mali. In a video aired this Thursday on the eve of the first anniversary of his kidnapping, his family called for the mobilization to continue to demand his release.

Join the family“, we can read in this video, before seeing in a video the names and faces of the supporters of the hostage: many personalities such as the journalists Elise Lucet, Florence Aubenas and Samuel Etienne, the artists Yvan Attal, IAM, Omar Sy or the athletes Wendy Renard and Sidney Govou The aim is to achieve a major mobilization of citizens, through massive distribution of the petition (which now exceeds 82,000 signatures) and call for the release of the world’s last French hostage.

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Last proof of life on March 13th

Olivier Dubois has been in captivity for 12 months in the hands of an al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group in the Sahel. The 47-year-old freelance journalist, contributor to Liberation and Le Point, settled in Bamako in 2015 and covered the region’s security crisis. He then announced that he had been kidnapped through a video posted to social media on May 5, 2021. His family mobilized and called out with the help of a petitionto mobilize the French and Malian governments. The Paris anti-terror prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation.

There followed a long period of unbearable silence for his family, until March 13, 2022, when new video evidence of life will be released. Olivier Dubois appears in the picture, his features drawn but in good health. He speaks to his relatives, from whom he claims to get messages, but also to the government.to keep doing his best to work for (his) liberation“.”This is a very positive element that gives hope“, explained France Inter Christophe Deloire, Secretary General of the NGO Reporters Without Borders.

An open channel of communication?

With this video, his family writes, the journalist is obvious “listens to our news on RFI every month (…). That seems obvious now his captors also hear the voices of our petitioners, the noise we make here in France and thus to comply with our renewed request for proof of life.”

From there, thinking that a channel is open is just one step!”

Today, like France 24, RFI will no longer be broadcast in Mali until further notice, following a March 17 decision by the incumbent junta, accusing the French-language media of spreading false accusations against the army. The anniversary of the kidnapping of Olivier Dubois also falls when the political world thinks about the presidential elections. In January, Emmanuel Macron assured: ” tireless work” was led “by our diplomatic teams, our military and the relevant services” to obtain his release. “Do we have to wait and bow to the foreign minister’s pace? ‘ asks the family.

A priority of the mandate

To accompany the message of the family, For their part, 42 associations of journalists, including those of France Inter and other branches of Radio France, are launching an appeal passed on by liberationin the form of a letter to the future tenant of the Elysée.The kidnapping of Olivier Dubois is not only that of a French citizen, but also that of a journalist. Sequestration also means depriving us collectively of the ability to understand a country where free speech and independently verified information are too rare today. write the SDJ, who are demanding that the next person to lead France at the end of the presidential elections makes the release of Olivier Dubois “a priority of (his) mandate”.

However, you cannot ignore the fate of the only French hostage in the world. (…) The imprisonment of Olivier Dubois is not inevitable: _Madam sir, future President of the Republic, you can and must put an end to this_.

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