PORTRAIT : “We didn’t do anything wrong, we just held our microphones and turned on our cameras”

Death threats, assaults and harassment have become the daily lot of journalists around the world.

Malian journalists have been experiencing this painful reality for several years now. Malick Konaté, a journalist for AFP and founder of the MAKcom communication agency, who was forced to leave Mali and find refuge in Dakar in September, then in France in January 2023. In an interview for the Maison des Journalistes, he looks back on his story.

Malick Konaté has more than a decade of experience under his belt, after being selected in 2012 to join the Jeunes Francophones du Monde web radio as a host.

A rising star in Bamako, he took part in a training course with RFI in Paris the same year. 

Thanks to the private Malian TV channel Wôklôni-TV, the young man trained with the journalism school of Lille, present in Bamako. 

It was in 2015 that he embarked on a career as a photojournalist, building on an already extensive track record. He quickly rose to the position of editor-in-chief for a private television channel, where he remained until 2018, when he became director of the Africom-TV channel.

Une photo de Magatte Gaye.

He then began his first productions for AFP, and now collaborates with BFMTV, TF1 and Al-Jazeera.

Ambitious, Malick also runs his own communication agency called MAKcom since 2018 and a TV channel has been broadcasting his programs for five years now.

The thirty-year-old has always covered sensitive subjects in Mali. Since the coup d’état in May 2020, he has been subjected to major smear campaigns and harassment on social networks.

2022, the beginning of the end 

In 2022, a dozen people were employed there: they endured the waves of harassment but held the line, before the fateful date of October 31, 2022, when the campaigns took on “out-of-this-world proportions”. 

In France, BFMTV broadcasted a documentary entitled “Wagner, les mercenaires de Poutine” (Wagner, Putin’s mercenaries), provoking ire on Malian social networks. Despite his efforts, the journalist emeritus had no choice but to downsize. 

According to many anonymous online voices calling for his head, Malick shot the footage of the mass grave at Gossi, a massacre that the French army attributes to Wagner. 

“Malick Konaté never shot this sequence. The images of the Gossi mass grave were shot by a French army drone, which transmitted them to the editorial offices”, explains BFM in an article.

The channel also points out that Malick “never participated in the writing of the report”, to no avail: the journalist is now the victim of hundreds of online threats and calls to “slaughter the enemy”.

Accused of trying to spy on and “sell” Mali to the West, Malick has since been the victim of grueling online harassment campaigns. “On social networks, it’s usually fake profiles that attack me and threaten me with death, but I don’t know who’s behind it all”, he explains over the phone in a measured, serious tone typical of radio journalists. Unperturbed, Malick doesn’t beat around the bush and answers each of our questions directly.

Une photo de Massihoud Barry.

Journalists, pawns in geopolitical conflicts

“I proved that they weren’t my images because I wasn’t in a position to shoot them myself. But people think we’re lying, me and the French media. They were looking for an alibi to attack France, but not head-on, which is why they attacked me”, he explains in a neutral voice. “We can’t touch France, so we’re going to shoot Malick”.

It was a dark period for the journalist, then hit hard by depression and isolated by everyone. 

“I was attacked at my office by two hooded people, and nothing was done despite my complaint. Another time, audio messages circulated on Facebook and WhatsApp, where my identity was revealed and there were calls to shoot me”. 

Although the authorities have the stalker’s personal details, the investigation is stalling.

“I was also receiving a lot of anonymous calls telling me I was going to be killed”, he also clarifies. As a result of all these security breaches, Malick left the country on September 1, 2022.

“I suspected the Malian authorities knew and approved of what was happening around me. I felt lost on the spot”. A journalist abandoned by his own country, whose constitution nevertheless guarantees freedom of the press.

“My complaints were going nowhere, until I contacted the group for the maintenance in order to secure my office”, where he received threatening letters and unfriendly visits. 

“The General Staff sent four agents to my office on July 1, 2022. When they arrived, they asked me for 60,000 CFA francs [around 90 euros], then 50,000 per agent per month for protection, which I accepted. But the agents only stayed for three hours before returning to the camp, without explaining why. They never came back, leaving him even more in the lurch. Malick realized he had to leave the country, and organized his departure. 

But even outside the country, the journalist continued to face pressure. On November 2, 2022, a judicial investigation brigade in Bamako called him and informed him that his presence was required for a meeting with the brigade’s commander, without any further details.

Cautious, Malick replies that he is not in Mali, but will drop by the office when he returns to Bamako.

“The brigadier called me back a little later to find out when I’d be back, I didn’t reply with any precision. That evening, our conversation was leaked during our lives on social networks by cyberactivists.”

“It said that I had fled justice and the country, that the head of the brigade was trying to arrest me. The same day, they sent soldiers dressed in civilian clothes to my house to arrest me. Who else but the brigade could have passed on the content of our exchange? They were in direct contact with the cyber activists.”

The people in favor of the media and journalists 

With over 120,000 followers on Facebook and 145,000 on Twitter, Malick loses neither hope nor faith in the Malian people’s solidarity with their press. 

“I regularly receive calls and voicemails of support, I’m sometimes recognized on the street in Paris where people salute my work. I also see a lot of Facebook posts defending me, and press organizations like the Press Association support me”.

This popular enthusiasm fuels his ambitions, making him “even more eager to inform. It’s a risky business, but it’s worth it. All the people interviewed for this report were informed and in agreement, even the well-known speakers in Mali. We didn’t do anything wrong, we just held out our microphones and turned on our cameras”.

For Malick, his detractors “are supporters of the transition”, known but few in number. “These people think we have to preach to the same tune as them, and would like us all to support the transition”. But journalists “are not supporters” of any political camp. 

“Our job is to report the facts and give the public the information it needs”, asserts Malick over the phone. 

“They denigrate us for everything, they haven’t understood and don’t know what journalism really is. We’re seen as enemies of the country, paid by the West to bring Mali down. Maybe they’re being paid to support the transition. After all, a thief always thinks that everyone steals like him”, concludes the journalist with one of his famous maxims.

But what to do now? There’s no stopping Malick, who is continuing his investigations from France. One day, however, he intends to “return to Bamako if the situation stabilizes and the State ensures my protection”.

He assures us that he will continue his work as a reporter until the end. “We are neither friends nor enemies of anyone, we are not communicators. We’re here to report the facts and inform public opinion. There can be no democracy without the press; one cannot live without the other. My fellow citizens and the Malian government need to realize this.”

By Maud Baheng Daizey. Translation by Andrea Petitjean.

“The persecution never stops” : in Cuba, journalists muzzled by power

Members of the House of Journalists since early January 2023, Cuban couple Laura Seco Pacheco and Wimar Verdecia Fuentes have lost none of their verve. They are determined to fight for freedom of the press and freedom of expression in Cuba, and have agreed to tell us all about the censorship they have faced on the island. 

Laura (29 years old) and Wimar (35 years old) had never visited France until their arrival on December 9, 2022. During our interview, Wimar didn’t hesitate to grab a marker to write down his thoughts on the whiteboard at his disposal. Laura, a journalist since 2018, worked for the governmental newspaper Vanguardia at first, and she wrote articles about diverse topics, mainly cultural. 

The time I spent at Vanguardia was due to my social service, which is compulsory in the state media after graduation,” she explains. She stayed there for three years. During this time, she developed a strong desire for independence. She ended up joining the media El Toque in January 2022, for the love of independent and free information.

Over 1,000 political prisoners in Cuba

According to the Cuban constitution, independent media is prohibited in the country. In September 2022, government pressure was such that El Toque experienced a wave of forced resignations. 

In an article from the same month, the media outlet explains that “scenarios of interrogation and blackmail, as well as the use of travel regulations to several of our colleagues residing in Cuba, meant that by September 9, 2022, the number of resignations of members of our team had risen to 16.” 

Faced with constant and serious threats, Laura eventually gave up “the possibility of working in any other independent journalism platform in Cuba.” Those who wish to continue working are forced to do so from abroad, at the risk of imprisonment, without access to government sources and information. 

“As far as I know, journalist Lázaro Yuri Valle Roca is in prison today,” says Laura. “The prosecutor’s office has charged him with the alleged crimes of continuous enemy propaganda and resistance. But there are at least 1,000 political prisoners at the moment. Disappearances and detentions lasting several days are commonplace in Cuba.”

“Many are not politicians, most are accused of committing common crimes. They are considered political prisoners because of the charges brought against them: corruption or espionage, for example.” Whether political, social, economic or sporting, the El Toque team was keen to cover every event in Cuban society, much to the chagrin of the government.

Le caricaturiste Wimar avec sa nouvelle peinture.

With the sharp point of his pencil, cartoonist and illustrator Wimar Verdecia Fuentes has been denouncing and challenging the Cuban regime for years, notably for El Toque. 

Wimar, a member of the independent press since 2018, first began his career as an illustrator. Not without pride, he confided to MDJ’s microphone that he was one of the first to introduce political cartooning to Cuba’s new independent media: his cartoons were published in the Xel2 supplement, owned by El Toque. 

Since September 2022, he has been part of the “Cartoon Movement“, and has already drawn on international (the war in Ukraine), sporting (the European Cup) and societal (weapons in the USA) subjects. “Cartoon Movement” is an online platform for cartoonists from all over the world to publish their work and gain greater visibility.

Wimar was also managing editor of Xel2. His resignation prompted the editorial team to close the Xel2 site, much to his dismay.

Little by little, their work at el Toque aroused the ire of the Cuban government. The newspaper became the state’s main target, as the population became increasingly interested in Wimar’s drawings and the articles by journalists like Laura.

Faced with this disturbing popularity, the Cuban government tightened its grip on the press. Between 2020 and 2021, war is declared. 

The exchange rate, a weapon of Cuban freedom of expression 

The newspaper published the informal exchange rate between the dollar and the Cuban peso, leading many people to use this rate as a guide for their transactions, in a country where the economy is heavily dollarized,” Wimar tells us. 

After this publication, El Toque became very popular with the public, with the same rate being displayed all over the country. The government then estimated that 120 pesos equaled one US dollar (unlike our rate), which caused prices to soar with speculation. They then blamed journalists. But the people were not fooled; the government knew it had lost credibility with a large proportion of Cubans. It nevertheless maintained its official discourse for those who still had faith in its claims, but it lost the hegemony of communication thanks to the independent media.”

From there, Wimar and Laura’s lives were turned upside down. “The persecution never stops. Until September 2022, I had no problem being an independent journalist. But at the end of August 2022, the authorities targeted all el Toque contributors in Cuba and other independent journalists and political activists.

One morning, “they came to get Wimar by car and took him away for three hours to threaten him. They did the same to me the next day, with the same threats. They tried to dissuade us from continuing our work.”

After that, they broadcast the video on national television accusing us of being mercenaries in the pay of the United States, editing the video so that people would think we were working for a foreign government, in order to bring about regime change in Cuba and destabilize the country. This type of accusation is particularly used against journalists and political activists.” 

Fortunately, the newspaper is entirely digital and a large proportion of its journalists are based abroad, allowing it to keep rolling.

Because of my cartoons denouncing the abuses of power, I suffered persecution and interrogation,” confides Wimar. “They forced me to quit my job too, telling me I risked ten years in prison if I refused. With the Xel2 supplement, we were able to bypass the censorship through Xel2 to which graphic humor has been subjected for over 60 years, particularly in the official state media.” Simply publishing “articles that stepped outside the government agenda exposing the government, was a slap in the face to the censors,” says Laura with a valiant smile.

We rekindled a taste for this type of journalism and other media began to follow, opening up a place for cartooning in the independent media. The government couldn’t let such freedom grow.” 

“Some journalists can’t or don’t know how to leave the island”

For the cartoonist, “the Cuban government even pursues left-wing media that defend socialism. Even the simplest communication initiative from outside the Communist Party is considered suspect and can lead to persecution. There is no left-wing government in Cuba, it’s a bureaucratic oligarchy where power is in the hands of a few people close to the Castro family.”  

“As for the economy, it’s in the hands of a conglomerate of military companies called GAESA. There is no separation of powers in Cuba, everything is controlled by the Party. This generates a context with no legal guarantees for anyone considered a dissident.”

If the two journalists managed to escape, it was thanks to the international network Cartoon for Peace and RSF. “After our forced resignations, Wimar asked Cartoon Movement for help, and they put him in touch with Cartooning for Peace. They helped us get our visas and set up in Paris. France has a history of freedom of expression, and I think they helped us protect these values,” says Laura, who came to know France through its ideals of equality and freedom.

A very discreet power

Ideals to which the journalist couple and the Cuban people have aspired for years. “While Cuba remains very discreet about its actions and the way it silences its population, it has become increasingly complicated for the government to hide its human rights violations with the advent of the Internet. Five years ago, we didn’t know what was going on in terms of activism, even when Laura worked for a government newspaper. The Internet has been a real lever for press freedom.”

While they have managed to escape the dictatorship, this is not the case for the majority of their colleagues, from whom they try to get news. “Some journalists have decided to stay but are still under threat, but they don’t want to leave the country where they were born. There have to be journalists in Cuba, especially independent ones, and others don’t know how to leave the country. Or still others prefer to remain anonymous to protect themselves.” 

Cuba has now become too dangerous for them to work in peace, so they continue their fight from France and the Maison des Journalistes. For the time being, Laura collaborates from time to time with El Toque and Wimar for “La Joven Cuba”, where he draws a humorous column every Sunday. 

But they can’t receive support online, “the Cuban people are very afraid because many depend on their work with the government or fear reprisals. There’s a law in Cuba that allows you to fine or imprison someone for giving their opinion on social networks or making fun of the government, so no one dares say anything.” A phenomenon far from discouraging them in their fight, which they know is necessary and inescapable.

By Maud Baheng Daizey. Translation by Andrea Petitjean.

CHOKRI CHIHI, exiled journalist: “In Tunisia, it’s a nightmare”

Born in Tunis (Tunisia) on April 29, 1983, Chokri Chihi grew up with his four brothers in a modest family. Although he studied a master’s degree in international private law at the University of Tunis in 2006, journalism soon became an obvious choice for Chokri: “Ever since I was little, I’ve been a talker, I talk a lot, I take part in debates. I studied law, I could have been a lawyer, but journalism came naturally to me”.

He began his career as a journalist in 2007, working for Akhbar Joumhouria, a well-known weekly in Tunisia. Chokri publishes articles on police brutality and corruption in Tunisian soccer clubs, which he strongly condemns. Passionate about sports, documentaries and news, he trained in investigative journalism, sports journalism and war journalism.

Since 2012, Chokri has also been editor-in-chief of the electronic newspaper espacemanager.com (Arabic version). He also specialized in documentary writing and creation at Al Jazeera in 2014, where he worked as an investigative journalist and documentary production assistant until 2018.

A committed journalist in the crosshairs of the authorities

In 2011, the “Jasmine Revolution” exploded in Tunisia. While he took part in the demonstrations demanding the fall of the regime as a citizen, Chokri also covered the events as a journalist.

The police violently attack demonstrators and political opponents. Chokri condemns these acts, calling for democracy. He proudly affirms that he is, and always has been, a fervent defender of freedom of expression, democracy and human rights.

Chokri Chihi during a demonstration in favor of freedom of expression in front of the headquarters of the Tunisian union “No to attacks against journalists” in 2018.

But the police didn’t appreciate the journalist’s work. He became the target of threats, provocations, harassment, assaults and kidnappings by the Tunisian police.

This marked the start of a long series of relentless attacks that would last for years, until his departure in 2022.

In 2018, Chokri’s career took a new turn. The case of Omar Laabidi, a 19-year-old Tunisian who drowned after a soccer match, prompted him to flee his country, where he was no longer safe.

“On April 1, 2018, I was covering a soccer match when a friend called to tell me that a young supporter had drowned in the river near the stadium. I went to the scene, where several police officers were present. They explained that the young man had drowned following a fight between supporters of rival clubs, and that they were looking for the missing body. I decided to investigate, and interviewed and recorded the account of a witness, only to discover that the police had chased the young man with truncheons before drowning him, as he pleaded for help. I sent the recording to a TV station, and the story became public. The police wanted me dead. I was assaulted, beaten, slapped and threatened with death by the police. I was kidnapped and severely beaten.

The Omar Laabidi case, which has become emblematic of police impunity, has shocked public opinion and prompted international reaction. The 12 police officers involved in the case were sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for manslaughter in November 2022, no less than four years after the young man’s murder.

In power since 2019, Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed leaves little room for press freedom. Under pressure from the government, many journalists censor themselves to avoid the wrath of the authorities.

On July 25, 2021, Kaïs Saïed orchestrated a coup d’état, which Chokri was quick to criticize. “There is no freedom of the press in Tunisia; arrests and imprisonment of journalists, political opponents and human rights activists have followed one another since 2021. Trials are held before military courts. Dissidents who criticize Kaïs Saïed are seen as traitors and conspirators. In Tunisia, it’s a nightmare”.

2022, one year too many

Since 2018, Chokri has suffered avalanches of threats and attacks. Yet he continues to express his opposition to the current government. His criticism has led to an intensification of police violence against him.

Chokri Chihi during a police assault in a press box at Radès stadium in 2022. ©Haikel Hamima

He filed several complaints of death threats and assaults, but to no avail, as the police formed a giant coalition against Chokri, who was at his wits’ end.

“On April 23, 2022, as I was leaving a gymnasium in which a championship handball final was taking place, four individuals in police uniforms kidnapped me and violently beat me into an armored truck. They hit me in the face and I screamed, but nobody could hear me. They tried to find excuses to take me to court and put me behind bars. They accused me of insulting the officers, then tried to plant drugs on me. When they released me, it was all too much. I’d gotten used to the threats, the provocations and the slaps. But the violence had gone up a notch, a notch I couldn’t take any more. I was living in fear, suffering from anxiety and sleep disorders, and I consulted psychiatrists. The police, for their part, were delighted to know that I was in a pitiful state. They sent me messages laughing: “Next time, we’ll rape you and shoot you in the head”. I resigned, sold my belongings and left my country for my own safety. I flew to France. After many long months of administrative procedures, I finally joined the Maison des Journalistes,” explains Chokri, with a look of sadness in his eyes.

A new beginning in France

Now a member of the House of Journalists since May 2023, Chokri is gradually regaining confidence in the future, having lost all hope in Tunisia. Now that he’s in France, Chokri continues his work as a journalist. Among other things, he publishes articles for espacemanager.com (Arabic version), takes part in demonstrations for democracy, and is a member of the Comité pour le respect des libertés et des droits de l’Homme en Tunisie (CRLDHT).

Chokri Chihi during a demonstration at Place de la République (Paris) in May 2023.

But even outside the country, he continues to receive threats: “I’m afraid to go back to Tunisia. The police know I’m in France, they’ve managed to contact me on my phone. They send me threatening messages, telling me they’re going to find me and bury me here in France. The police officers who were convicted in the Omar Laabidi case won’t leave me alone. I’m not the first journalist to have to flee Tunisia to avoid death”.

Far from giving up, Chokri has many projects in mind, including the creation of his own YouTube channel. He wishes to give a voice to North African exiles and political opponents who have found refuge in France.

By Andrea Petitjean

Brazil : does Lula’s re-election mark the return of the free press ?

For more than four years, former president Jair Bolsonaro fueled a witch hunt against the Brazilian press and its journalists. More than 150 days after the inauguration of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, what has become of the muzzled press? Can we now say that the press is free again in Brazil? L’Œil de la maison des journalistes takes stock. 

In addition to the attacks on the press, Brazil has also suffered attacks on democracy in the broadest sense. On January 8, 2023, just as millions of voters had made their choice for Brazil’s new president, riots broke out in Brasilia, the country’s federal capital, to contest the results.

More than 300 people were arrested that evening, as hundreds of pro-Bolsonaro supporters stormed administrative buildings. 

Traveling in Florida at the time of the riot, Jair Bolsonaro admitted having “accidentally” shared a video disputing the presidential results, galvanizing his supporters.

Numerous criticisms and accusations undermined the press, suspected of having fomented a rigged election with Lula. Since 2018, everything was done to muzzle journalists: online harassment campaigns, insults, denigration of their work…

Brazilian journalist, “enemy of the people”

Born in Rio in 1988, Artur Romeu lived most of his life in the capital, before moving to France between 2013 and 2015 for a master’s degree in humanitarian law. He has been working in the field for 15 years, mainly in Brazil but also throughout Latin America. Hired as an intern at RSF in 2015, Artur took over as head of the office in November 2022.

It’s difficult to have a concrete idea” of the most complicated subjects to cover according to him, as violence against the press existed long before Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency.

Since 2010, Brazil has been the country with the second highest number of journalists killed in Latin America behind Mexico” – 30 people. What did they have in common? They all worked in small and medium-sized towns, covering local and daily news. 

Journalists who are “invisible” in the Brazilian press and the major newsrooms of the southeast, but who remain the first victims of violence and prosecution.

Cyber-harassment has become commonplace for journalists, especially for those who are most popular and most present online.

Photo de Sam McGhee

“The Bolsonaro government has been able to attack the press and create this image of the journalist as the enemy of the people in the collective imagination, and the major networks are particularly targeted.”

In 2022, RSF carried out a survey of journalists facing hate networks: in 3 months, during the election period, the team noted over three million attacks on Twitter (offensive content, insults…). The Bolsonarian government operated a “coup de force to discredit the press and control public debate.” 

A situation that the Lula government is now trying to reverse, thanks in particular to the creation of a national observatory on violence against the press, under the aegis of President Lula.

“However, there are still ‘zones of silence’ for journalists in the country. If we talk about censorship in these areas, for example, people can sometimes find it hard to understand.”

Environment and agriculture, black sheeps of journalism in Brazil

Areas of silence” corroborated by journalist Pierre Le Duff. “In many rural regions of the country, such as the central-west, agriculture and large rural estates are the main sources of wealth and employment.” 

Currently freelancing for several television, radio and online media in Brazil for almost five years, Pierre Le Duff agreed to talk to MDJ. 

According to the journalist, “all the subjects linked to agribusiness, human rights and the environment” are very complicated to cover. Pesticides, water use, deforestation, fires, slave labor… remain mostly taboo.

One of her colleagues had a painful experience of this, “following a report on the historic fires that ravaged the Pantanal in 2020. My colleague received a message from the son of a farmer we had interviewed,” telling her that she and her team would “no longer be able to return to the region.” 

“His father had told us that he used slash-and-burn agriculture, a practice that had been singled out as the main cause of the fires, which had grown to gigantic proportions. It was simple intimidation, received after the publication of our report.” 

However, Pierre Le Duff points to “the murder last year of British journalist Dom Phillips in the Amazon, which reminds us that being a foreigner is no guarantee of protection” in Brazil.

“Anyone who closely investigates subjects as sensitive as criminal activity in the Amazon or other isolated regions of Brazil is potentially putting themselves at risk.”

Polarizing political debate to muzzle the press

Mistrust of the foreign media is also rife: “we are all the more suspected of being biased in our coverage. But those most likely to face hostility from far-right activists, or online harassment, remain journalists from Brazil’s mainstream media, who are also highly critical of Bolsonaro’s government.

Pierre Le Duff nonetheless temporizes, and points out that he has never been personally threatened because he has “rarely covered very sensitive subjects“, such as the elections or Amazonia. 

However, outside of these subjects, “Brazilians are pretty open when it comes to talking to journalists. They have a relaxed relationship with images, which makes things easier for television. But politics, since the 2018 presidential campaign, is a topic that some simply don’t want to talk about.

For many of the country’s citizens, the refusal to speak out is explained “by the fear that their words will be hijacked to serve a left-wing discourse or the interests of the opposing camp.” 

After four years of a mortifying policy against the media, pro-Bolsonaro are “convinced that journalists are all left-wing and anti-Bolsonaro, to the point of abandoning all ethics with the sole aim of damning him. This has been a reality since 2018, and has become even more pronounced during the 2022 presidential campaign.

Woman, journalist and Brazilian: the triple whammy

Franco-Brazilian Bruno Meyerfeld, a freelancer working for Le Monde since 2019, points out that “it’s always more difficult to work on local subjects when you’re Brazilian rather than foreign.” 

In his view, the most complicated topics to cover remain corruption and embezzlement at local level.

Talking about a member of parliament, a councillor or a mayor who embezzles funds or takes part in illegal activity represents a very great risk” for Brazilians, “as does talking about gold mining.” 

But attacking paramilitary organizations and militias proves to be the most dangerous: “the police and military enjoy great impunity in Brazil, especially in Rio“, testifies Bruno Meyerfeld.

Although he has not personally received any threats or pressure, “I have been taken to task by pro-Bolsonaro supporters. Foreign journalists can then be physically threatened.”

In 2019, reporting from the Amazon shortly before the diplomatic crisis between Macron and Bolsonaro, Bruno felt “real hostility from local communities involved in deforestation.” 

Attempts at intimidation and espionage were the order of the day, “but there were no direct threats, just “dangerous” attitudes. In this kind of situation,if you stay, we can’t guarantee what will happen.” 

Bruno Meyerfeld takes the example of an interview with a Bolsonarist elected official in the northeast of the country, who had the slogan “if you move, I’ll shoot“, and stored rifles in his office. His assistant himself carried a Kalashnikov, and a mannequin in bulletproof vest stood in the room. 

Interviewees sometimes put their pistols on the table or display them prominently, especially in Brasilia where there are a lot of weapons,” making the interview that much more anxiety-inducing.

A tension that can lead to the death of foreign journalists, such as Dom Philips on June 5, 2022, but the risk falls particularly on Brazilian journalists, “whose murder can go unnoticed. They don’t have the same protection; we have the status, the nationality and the media to back us up.

An even more terrible situation for the country’s female journalists, in a “very misogynistic” society, where intimidation and marginalization of women are ingrained in the culture. Brazil is one of the countries with the highest number of feminicides, leading to much domestic violence. Journalism is no exception to the rule, where Bruno Meyerfeld observes “a huge difference in treatment.” 

Threatened publicly and physically, they will have lived through hell under the Bolsonaro presidency. The former president and his sons tried to “destroy the lives of two Brazilian journalists“, in particular Patricia Campos Mello, author of an extensive investigation into the Bolsonaro party

Major campaigns of intimidation and online harassment punctuated their daily lives throughout the presidency.

All the obstacles that the Brazilian media players have to overcome do not prevent them from following through on their investigations, nor from helping foreign journalists if need be. For Bruno, the “great generosity” of Brazilian journalists is a reality. 

“They take considerable risks because they are passionate about their profession, and they are aware of the weight of truth in a country with a fragile democracy. They have a much stronger investigative culture than in France, and sometimes they even offer us subjects to help us. There’s no animosity or rancor on their part towards other journalists,” he testifies.

But with the inauguration of President Lula, our interviewee describes “a country that is generally calmer, at the end of a very tough political cycle.” With the hundreds of arrests following the riots of January 8, pro-Bolsonaro “have understood that they risk ending up in prison and that justice can crack down“, leading to less violence in the streets.

However, Brazil still has a long way to go to proclaim the return of a free and independent press: the country still ranks 110th in RSF’s press freedom index, and continues to attack the lives of journalists. It remains to be seen whether the Observatory of Violence against the Press will soon be able to protect reporters and consolidate press freedom.

Maud Baheng Daizey. Translation by Andrea Petitjean.


Journalist, TV host, producer and director of institutional documentaries and fiction, Alhussein Sano is a Guinean intellectual. He entered the media world with the creation of his production agency MAXI PLUS in 1995, and can look back on 28 years of journalistic experience. Now a member of the Maison des Journalistes, Alhussein discusses the weakening of press freedom in Guinea through his trials and tribulations.

In 2007, his CLAP arts and culture program became part of the national television network (RTG1) and is his proudest achievement. Satisfied with the ratings, the channel asked him to perfect the program schedule from 2009 onwards. Despite the promising career ahead of him, Alhussein nevertheless notes that replacements at RTG are based on ethnicity: “RTG’s administration was very Malinkinized from 2010 onwards (editor’s note: the Malinké ethnic group has become the majority among administrators), and it was impressive: the new editorial line was now based on praise for the new president at the time, Alpha Condé”, with no regard for journalistic neutrality. 

Despite the chaotic political situation, Alhussein was appointed program director in 2013, “at the suggestion of the director at the time.” He then pursued his projects for RTG and for MAXI PLUS, “one of the best-equipped production companies in the country.

Ethnicity, central to the life of a Guinean journalist

But in February 2019, just as President Alpha Condé had reached the end of his second term, the country went up in flames. President since 2010, Alpha Condé was attempting to amend the constitution to maintain his grip on power, triggering violently repressed demonstrations and the anger of the opposition. Alpha Condé’s rival political party, the FNDC, held elections despite dozens of deaths, reaffirming its position for a third term in 2020. A coup d’état by the military junta on September 5, 2021 finally led to his removal from office. 

A dark period for Alhussein, starting in 2019: invited by RTG’s managing director to a meeting of his political party, the RPG, Alhussein understands that he is expected to fall in line. “He decided that this was a good opportunity for me, because I belong to the Malinké ethnic group like him“, one of the country’s main ethnic groups, from which Alpha Condé is descended. “I was shocked by what he said,” explains our JRI in a relentless tone. “I told him that my profession as a journalist demanded impartiality in my work.” This resistance cost him his home and he paid for it with exile. He affirms that “I never accepted his proposal, because this community divide played no part in my decision, especially as I didn’t support their plan for a third mandate. Over time, the divorce between us became definitive.”

Little by little, Alhussein saw his responsibilities and his work trampled underfoot: the simple refusal to take part in a political meeting was enough to destroy his career in Guinea. “I was excluded from all the channel’s activities. Our relationship really soured because of my cousin Abdourahamane Sano, National Coordinator of the FNDC (Front National pour la Défense de la Constitution), a civilian group opposed to the military junta.”

The high price of press resistance

A social opposition movement, the FNDC is behind a series of demonstrations against the modification of the Constitution in February 2019 against Alpha Condé. The CNRD offered his cousin Abdourahamane Sano a seat in the transitional government, which he refused. He had aroused the ire of the regime, which therefore focused on Alhussein.

“I was then replaced by an RPG party activist in my post, to break my career plan.” As if that wasn’t enough, Alhussein was demoted to head of the Production and Directing Section at RTG 2, a non-broadcasting channel. 

Still with a fierce desire to do his job and a production company of his own, the Guinean journalist concentrated on his projects, in particular making a documentary on the activities of the FNDC, for which his cousin worked. Unfortunately for him, the difficulties didn’t stop there.

He explains to our microphone that “following the coup d’état of September 5, 2021, perpetrated by the military group CNRD (Comité National du Rassemblement pour le Développement), Guineans thought they had lost an executioner (Alpha Condé) and thought they had found themselves a hero, the head of the military junta Colonel Mamady Doumbouya.” Yet, as Alhussein so aptly recalls, Mamady Doumbouya “had witnessed and participated in the exactions of Alpha’s regime.” 

Skeptical, Alhussein observes the vise tightening around Guinean journalists, including himself. “Military regimes often show little respect for human rights, and use every means to silence political leaders who do not share their ideals,” he laments.

In January 2022, Alhussein was invited to a meeting with the new Secretary General of the Ministry of Communication, in order to reshape RTG1 and 2’s programs. Explaining that he wanted to maintain his professional integrity, Alhussein came up against a demagogic wall, costing him his position as Program Director. “The Secretary General called me out rudely: “Are you still refusing to help us? I was really surprised by this reaction, then he added in the same tone: “When you change your mind, the doors of the department will be wide open to you”. There was something fishy about all this verbal abuse. In April, I had another meeting in the General Manager’s office. Two men were in front of me: one said he liked my show, and the other confided in me that he wanted FNDC members to see my documentary“. 

A trap he doesn’t fall into. “I replied that, according to the contract, once the film had been made, the producer had to get the film back, along with all the media and rushes used. They insisted, to no avail. I suspected they were there to trick me.” 

As the discussion progressed, the men in the general manager’s office learned that Alhussein’s passport had expired. They offered to make a photocopy to end his administrative deadlock. Not fooled, Alhussein gave them only one passport, the other still holding a visa. “I understood that they were intelligence agents who wanted to confiscate my valid passport. It’s a very common practice in Guinea,” he says with some pride.

The press, collateral damage of a political crisis

Following the fall of Alpha Condé to the CNRD, the FNDC called for new waves of protests against the military junta. The junta had promised to hand over power to civilians, but settled in without announcing an expiry date.

CNRD and FNDC clashed on all fronts. “The military deemed it necessary to annihilate all FNDC actors who had played a major role in the downfall of Alpha Condé, as well as all supposed collaborators“, including himself. On July 5, 2022, as the FNDC organized a press conference, its members were brutally arrested by the police and beaten in front of the cameras. They were released after a week, at the request of the population.

After a visit from government agents, Alhussein was forced to vacate his house without notice, and was summarily evicted. He took refuge with his family in Hamdallaye, but they were under surveillance and received impromptu visits from the army, forcing him to go into hiding with friends. 

On July 29, 2022, following a large-scale citizen mobilization, Alhussein decided to check on his family. “In less than 30 minutes, two pick-ups with hooded soldiers burst into the courtyard of the family home. They knew I was there and started searching the house, confiscating phones, stealing our money and brutalizing my sisters. I barely escaped by climbing over the backyard wall.” If he manages to escape, Alhussein must leave behind his precious computers, now in the hands of the military, as well as his editing equipment.

“In Guinea, when you’re arrested, you can be killed without follow-up, or you risk dying in prison or spending years there without being tried.”

For him, the entire Guinean press is on borrowed time. “Of course, it was the same with Alpha Condé; there’s a real continuity in his policies. You can’t say everything about the Guinean junta, and you can feel it.” Independent or state-owned, the media have been and still are muzzled by those in power. 

The latest examples include a journalist summoned in July after an article on a truckload of medicines blocked by the military, and another arrested for covering the social work of mine workers in Boké this year. An asphyxiating situation for Guineans, from which it seems impossible to escape.

“All the media are controlled by the Haute Autorité de la Communication, which has kept the same president after Condé. Scripts are drawn up by the government and distributed to the public media. If a radio station wants to be commercial, it will inevitably become political. They are the very expression and communication of power. If we don’t play the game, journalists can be banned from the airwaves,” says Alhussein.

Hardly optimistic, he would like to continue his work in France, “where freedom of expression is protected. The state protects its freedom better, so now I can talk about Guinea without being worried. Even if the head of the junta leaves, all his men have been placed in the ministries, it would be an illusion.” An impasse into which Alhussein no longer plans to slip. Other Guineans, however, continue to defy the authorities and the army by simply doing their job. Information soldiers whose courage should not be forgotten.

By Maud Baheng Daizey. Translation by Andrea Petitjean.

Woman, Life, Freedom : a misunderstood concept ?

We are now in the fifth month of the women-oriented movement “Woman, Life, Freedom” or the #Jina_Revolution (derived from the name of Jina “Mehsa” Amini). A movement that started in Kurdistan, then included the rest of Iran’s regions and spread to an extent that it attracted the attention of the people of the world. There has been a lot of global support for this movement, both from the people and from the media, from politicians and thinkers.

A kind of support that still continues thus far. The “Charlie Hebdo” magazine also published issues in support of this movement and published caricatures criticizing the oligarchy ruling class of Iranian clergy. But some of these cartoons were against the content and message of the women’s movement of Kurdistan and Iran, and therefore were criticized by some feminist activists, especially the feminists in Kurdistan.

Before addressing criticism towards Charlie Hebdo, I must spend some time to shed needed light on the Jina Movement itself and also explain the mechanism of how “power” functions in modern Iran. For without this short introduction, the critiques towards the Charlie Hebdo magazine could not be properly justified and explained.  

Control the women to control the people

The Jina Movement emphasizes the centrality of women in social change and development. As time passes, the discursive and epistemological nature of this movement deepens even further. But on the other hand, the patriarchal currents that still continue their activities with the same patrimonial reactionary thoughts, generate a serious effort to divert the movement and cut off its progressive and egalitarian features. Some of these currents have tried to reduce the effectiveness of the movement by creating reactionary slogans against the strategic slogan “Women, Life, Freedom” to weaken and even destroy its liberating and radical dimensions.

They only have a problem with the government system established in Iran, and they solely want to replace the current regime with another regime that will protect the interests of the new ruling class. In fact, they are not trying to change the current patriarchal, centrist, mononational and non-democratic social relations, but they just want to take control of power and government without any radical change in the social structure. The monarchists, pan-Iranists and religious fanatics such as the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran are among these very groups. Although they do not have a significant following inside Iran, they have taken control of the media outside of Iran and have gained a much bigger voice than their actual weight. But the goal of the Jina Movement is far higher and greater than removing one group from power and replacing it with another group in their place.

In the meantime, it is very important to preserve the true core and nature of the movement, which is based on the complete equality of people on the basis of a women-centered movement. There are many reasons for basing the desire of social transformation on the axis of women, and I will limit myself to mention only two of previous-mentioned reasons :

  • As the French thinker Michel Foucault says, “power” always tries to dominate people’s bodies and applies and imposes its norms on the body through various physical and discursive means; because the control of the body has a direct relationship with the expansion of the sphere of “power”. Foucault sees power as something that is widespread in all relationships and areas of human life, where everything and everyone are in its constant motion[1]. Although, according to Foucault’s definition, power is not only defined in the definition of the government as the governing structure of the society, but without a doubt, government structures are among the most important factors that contribute to the power mechanisms that exercise control over the body. In Iran, even before the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the monarchy had comprehensive programs to control the bodies of people, especially women, including the mandatory law of removing the hijab for women and wearing European-styled clothes and hats for men during the dictatorship of Reza Khan, the father of Mohammad Reza, whose government was overthrown in the 1979 revolution. The Islamic government of Iran also opted for the subjugation of the human body and especially women as one of the most fundamental pillars of its power expansion from the very beginning of its formation. This attempt was made through a religious Islamist reading in which women are considered to be a man’s property and honor, and men can dominate women and their bodies in any way they please. The imposition of the compulsory hijab law on the Iranian women’s society and the great effort to assimilate women, both in terms of clothing and in terms of worldview, were among the strategies of the new government to control women. In addition to using coercive and forceful power, they also tried to impose and institutionalize their religion-based laws on the society by using the mechanisms of the modern world such as the media and the education system.

  • On the other hand, the order governing the current world has been formed on the basis of patriarchy for thousands of years and still continues to exist. The main victim of this order has undoubtedly been “human equality“. Because it is based on the supremacy of the male over the female, and despite many legal reforms and social changes throughout history, mankind has still not been able to overcome the patriarchal-based structure. It is this that has led to the subjugation and deprivation of women from equal human rights throughout history, but this has not the only consequence. Institutionalization, postulation, and consequently taking human inequality for granted has exposed the entirety of human natural existence to face serious risks. This idea has made humans – it is clear that its means the male man who has dominated history – consider himself entitled to take any action to increase his power and pleasure. Granting authenticity to Added Value and Gross Domestic Product as a measure of economic development and adopting a Fordist economic approach – unlimited consumption for unlimited production – are one of the results of this inequality-seeking attitude by humans, which has now exposed the environment to destruction. Therefore, it can be said that no effort to overcome the super crisis facing humanity and save the planet will succeed unless it puts the principle of complete equality of human beings at the center of its discourse.

Currently, the social movement of Kurdistan and Iran with the light of knowledge shone on these facts, wants to destroy the current oppressive system and order and take steps towards the creation of a completely new world in accordance with the natural and fundamental human rights. Maybe this statement seems very idealistic, but we have no other way and we cannot save life except by fundamentally changing the way we live in the world.

In addition, the Jina Movement has the ability and capacity to establish such a radical action, because due to the fact that women have been the most oppressed class of human society, also have the greatest potential for human liberation. Insisting on women’s rights will put the movement on the right track of full human equality. All the great turning points in human history were initially considered idealistic and out of reach, so the radicalness of the goal does not mean that it is unachievable.

Furthermore, Iran’s former and current regimes have each tried to expand their power to the smallest layers of individual and social life in different ways. This practice, which was well ongoing in the period before the revolution of 1979, continued with more vigor and in a greater wave during the Islamic regime after the revolution. In current Iran, the process of controlling people has passed through the control of women’s bodies, and the government has tried to introduce women’s bodies as a taboo matter.

From the very beginning, Mullahs and the clergy described the previous government as an immoral and promiscuous regime that kept women away from their “chastity and virginity“. Therefore, they had to establish their rule by restoring their desired religious values to the society, and the most important part of this conquest came back to the issue of women. In fact, the change in the image and role of women in the new Iran became a manifestation of the power of the new regime.

Therefore, compulsory hijab was imposed on women’s heads and bodies, and their roles as household caretakers and mothers were strongly promoted and even sanctified. At first, a part of the women’s community resisted this anti-feminist trend, but they were not seriously supported by any of the political currents inside or outside of the state. The regime severely repressed them and constantly increased its misogynistic laws to even greater lengths.

With the passage of time and under the influence of the government’s ideological system, the society adapted itself to the values of the government for about two decades, and the social space became much more limited and difficult for women. In fact, it was not only the government that restricted and oppressed women, but the society did as well, which had a long history of patriarchy behind it, became a partner of the government in suppressing women. In such a way that in the public mentality of the people, women were a commodity belonging to men and any deviation of women from religious and male-oriented values were considered as an unforgivable crime. These developments intensified and deepened sexist schism and sexist literature and patriarchal behavior, and sexism thus expanded even more in the society. The situation was in such a state that matters pertaining to the issue of women, the opponents of the regime were not seriously different from the regime itself.

In Iran’s religiously-ingrained patriarchal system, the woman’s body became the epitome of vice and inferiority. Every negative thing and attribute is compared to a woman’s body, and a woman’s body is considered only if it fully conforms to the will of the government and the religiously-ingrained society.

A review of the Iran special issue of Charlie Hebdo

Nevertheless, since about two decades ago and as a result of social developments and women’s own struggles, this process in its social aspect slowed down to some extent and gradually the space for opposing the subjugation of women became more open. The women struggle ignited once again and this coincided with the gradual decline of the legitimacy belonging to the Islamic regime amongst its people. In the process of struggle, women correctly recognized that one of their main duties is to fight and reject sexism in all its forms, and they should not remain silent in front of any of the manifestations of sexist attitudes – be it action, speech, law or media representation, or let it pass by with a blind eye.

The experience of the 1979 revolution and its failure to achieve its goals has become a great experience for women. They have correctly understood that any neglect or tolerance towards issues related to women’s rights will lead to the reproduction of the old patriarchal order, and even if the current regime falls, we cannot have much hope for the institutionalization of human equality. This is why the radical part of the Iranian women’s movement made the fight against sexism one of its top priorities.

Thus, in the light of this very brief introduction, it should be considered if all the cartoons of Charlie Hebdo were consistent with the goals of the women’s movement of Iran and Kurdistan?

The cover of the January 4, 2023 issue of “Charlie Hebdo.”

Unfortunately, in some cartoons of this magazine, especially in the most famous of them, it shows the Mullahs and clergy going back into a woman’s stomach through her vagina, and this gives off an unsettling sexist viewpoint. In this caricature, the female body is once again represented as something inferior and low in status, as if the dictator Mullahs are only deserving to live in that low of a place. In another cartoon, Khamenei is shown with his clothes off and it is revealed that he has a female body. The “Tawar Collective”, which is one of the Kurdish feminist women’s collectives, wrote in this regard:

In one of the cartoons, mind you in France, which claims to defend women’s freedom and right to their bodies… Khamenei’s naked body is shown in the form of a woman’s body, which is stripped of its dignity and everyone sees her body (as if he has been dishonored) ). It is as if a woman’s body in itself is a source of shame and should not be seen. In fact, the apparently progressive Charlie Hebdoi directly repeats the Iranian government’s patriarchal discourse about the female body. In another cartoon, to convey the message of the fall of that regime, Mullahs are depicted returning to their mother’s vagina. In addition to the fact that the woman’s body was also targeted here, it was pretended that the European governments had no role in the establishment of this anti-feminist repressive government![2].

Cartoon by James, a UK-based cartoonist. JAMES

It can be safely said that the view of the designers and the editorial board of Charlie Hebdo magazine on the issue of women is still simplistic and lacks any kind of perspective and epistemological depth. They have reduced the support of the women’s movement of Kurdistan and Iran to a purely political support – that too in the everyday sense of politics. The reason for this issue should be sought in the lack or poverty of the epistemological foundation.

Understanding issues related to humanity requires pre-existing knowledge related to that issue, and in most cases this knowledge must be obtained from several branches of scientific approaches. Maybe they thought to themselves that in contrast to the mandatory hijab policy of the Iranian regime, a woman’s body should be shown without a hijab and naked, and we should not shy away from portraying female genitals. Even if we tolerantly accept this simplistic notion with the benefit of the doubt under the title of “de-tabooing the female body“, we still cannot ignore their lack of knowledge about the way it was represented. The meaning hidden behind the above-mentioned caricatures indicates the continuation of the sexualized look at the female body as a low and inferior thing.

Showing a naked woman alone cannot lead to the removal of taboos from the female body, but this work must be done in a non-sexist and positively contextual setting. It is questionable whether the people involved in Charlie Hebdo basically have any knowledge of the concept of sexism? If they have, then why have they reproduced the same attitude view?

Maybe their idea of a struggle is based on the logic of armed war; in war, whichever side has most and more effective weapons and ammunition will win. Does Charlie Hebdo think that with more and more blatant sexism, they can go to war against the sexism of the Mullahs and the clergy regime and win?! Don’t they really know that the logic of this struggle is very different from armed war and conflict, and repeating any sexist ideas or action will lead to the increase and reproduction of sexism in turn?

Such support for the women’s struggles of Kurdistan and Iran will not serve their movements best interests, but will in fact only strengthen the other anti-feminist authoritarian currents that are in opposition of the regime as well. The currents that, tomorrow after the fall of the Islamic Republic, will implement the plan to control human bodies and especially women’s bodies with complete authority, and thus the void cycle of the birth of a new dictatorship from the heart of the old dictatorship will continue. The Jina movement is still developing its discourse, because even some women and activists within the movement are still unable to recognize its true content and sometimes fall into the trap of conservative currents.

The progressive and radical composition of women activists in the Jina Movement have made a continuous and very challenging effort to institutionalize its basic concepts and to face the deviations and dangers ahead. We should not add to their problems under the title of “solidarity and support”, any kind of support for this movement first of all requires a complete understanding of its foundations and goals. This is not solely a protest movement against the status quo, but a radical social movement that wants to uproot the foundation of inequality and destroy the opportunity to reproduce oppression in newer forms. The Jina movement, which obviously has universal dimensions, is one of the great chances of mankind to understand the current multiple super-crises and find ways to deal with them.

Therefore, even when having daily comments and conversations about this movement, one should be very sensitive, because slipping and diverting from its foundations will lead to the reproduction of misogyny and the strengthening of the movement’s enemies and opponents.

The problem of the editors of Charlie Hebdo is not that they have a bad intention behind supporting this, but that they have no knowledge of the history of Kurdistan and Iran, and they have not understood the historical and philosophical roots of “Women, Life, Freedom” as they should. Furthermore, there is another universal problem, which is the weakening of philosophical and radical visions to change the human world. For several decades, the world order has been teaching us that there is no way to transition from the current order and that it is only within this order that it is possible to think about any change.

This limitation has caused humanity to no longer have big dreams and aspirations and to accept a set of incomplete hypotheses that are inconsistent with the principle of “human equality” as definitive and proven issues. For this reason, people often think about human phenomena with an incomplete mentality and stereotypical world view. Charlie Hebdo is one of the publications that has a high profile and has a significant impact on its audience, for this reason, the managers of this publication should first of all think more in-depth and sensitively about their subjects. Second of all, they should gradually strip themselves of the conservative covering and clichés and dare to think radically. Undoubtedly, the history of French thought can provide an opportunity for such a courageous act on their part!

Adnan Hassanpour

[1]. For information about this theory, go to:

Michel Foucault, Histoire de la sexualité, Paris, Gallimard, 1994 [1976]

[2]. https://www.instagram.com/p/CnCc0x3Nrjn/

Urgent. Journalist and old resident of the MDJ Mortaza Behboudi captured in Afghanistan


This morning, February 6, 2023, the news of the detention of journalist Mortaza Behboudi in Afghanistan 30 days ago, while he was doing a report alone, was made public. Reporters without Borders and 14 French media are indignant of this removal and demand his immediate release in an article, much like the Maison des Journalistes.

Mortaza Behboudi restrained in Kabul 

According to the most recent information from Reporters without Borders, the journalist was detained at a Kaboul prison since January 7, 2023, while he had arrived on Afghan soil only two days prior. The organization indicated in their report of having “exhausted all their resources” to free Mortaza, although they had succeeded in “establishing a channel of communication” with the Taliban. He will be subjected to an accusation of espionage. Photo-journalist since 2012, Mortaza Behboudi worked for the medias Ava Press, Bakhtar News, and for his own journal Bazar.


He had fled Afghanistan in 2015 after an attempt to report on his birth city, in the province of Wardak. He had then been arrested by a group of Taliban, who had confiscated his materials and identity papers. Worried about the contents of his films that could have caused retaliation against him, Mortaza fled to Iran in fear for his life. Having already visited France in the name of the Afghan ambassador in Paris, the photo-journalist had been invited the same year to the event Paris International Model United Nations, where he took advantage of the opportunity to request a visa and asylum in France. He was then welcomed to the Maison des Journalistes at the end of 2015. 

A Professional in Afghanistan Since His Youth

“We call on the Taliban regime to put a term to this senseless situation. Mortaza Behboudi is a reputed journalist, respected and appreciated by his colleagues. We hope that our message will be carried all the way to the capital of Afghanistan in the office of authorities who took the decision of his arrest and who hold the key to his liberation,” declared Reporters without Borders this morning. “He collaborates with numerous French and french-speaking medias : France Télévisions, TV5 Monde, Arte, Radio France, Mediapart, Libération, La Croix, notably. He is a co-author to the reporting series ‘Across Afghanistan, Under the Taliban’, published on Mediapart which had been awarded a prize in 2022 by the Bayeux prize for war correspondents and the Varenne prize for the daily national press. He contributed to the reporting of  ‘Afghan Girls Sold to Survive’, broadcasted on France 2, which will be equally awarded in 2022 by the Bayeux prize,” we can read on the site of France Info. 

Shocked by such an arbitrary detention, the Maison des Journalistes maintains its unconditional support to Mortaza Behboudi and call for his immediate freedom. 

Written by Maud Baheng Daizey, translated by Amelia Seepersaud.