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Mali6 July 2005

Radio journalist kidnapped, beaten and left for dead

Reporters Without Borders voiced horror today at a brutal attack on journalist Hamidou Diarra of Radio Kélédou, who was kidnapped by four men on 4 July in a residential district of Bamako and badly beaten.

After putting a bag over his head, Diarra’s unidentified assailants gave him a severe beating, broke a beer bottle on his head, slashed his hands and feet with glass shards and finally left him for dead at roadside in Kati, 15 km outside Bamako. He was rushed to a Bamako hospital for treatment to his injuries.

"We roundly condemn this violent attack aimed at intimidating a journalist whose radio programmes criticised a number of Malian politicians," Reporters Without Borders said. "We call on the authorities to take steps to ensure that this attack does not go unpunished and to protect journalists in Mali."

Ibrahima Famakan Coulibaly, the president of the Union of Western African Journalists (UJAO), said Malian journalists were going to stage a sit-in today outside the headquarters of the ministry of communication and new information technology to press the authorities to carry out a proper investigation into the attack on Diarra.

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