UNESCO Director-General condemns murder of French journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon in Mali

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A man holding up a sign which says “Stop killing journalists”.

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova has expressed her shock and sorrow over the brutal murder of French radio journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, who were kidnapped and executed by an armed group near the northern city of Kidal, in Mali on Saturday, 2 November.

Mrs Bokova firmly condemned the killings and welcomed the determined response by the authorities to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

She said "The kidnap and murder of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon is a heinous crime that stands condemned by the whole world," adding, "My heartfelt condolences go out to the families and colleagues of these two journalists, who devoted their lives to their profession, often in very dangerous circumstances. They have paid the highest possible price for doing their job; for defending freedom of expression and people's right to information; for contributing – through their reporting – to Mali's struggle against violence and extremism, and its efforts to rebuild.”

Ghislaine Dupont, 57, and Claude Verlon, 55, worked for Radio France International (RFI).  Dupont had 25 years of experience as an investigative reporter and analyst of African affairs. Verlon was a senior radio technician, with over 30 years of experience reporting in some of the world's most difficult regions, including Afghanistan and Libya. Their bullet-riddled bodies were found by French military forces about 12 kilometres outside of Kidal, shortly after they had been kidnapped by unidentified commandoes in the centre of the city.

Dupont and Verlon are the first journalists killed in Mali this year.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’29″

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