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Côte d’Ivoire / France8 April 2009

Open letter to President Sarkozy about French journalist who disappeared five years ago

Dear Mr. President,

We are just days away from 16 April, the fifth anniversary of French journalist Guy-André Kieffer’s abduction and disappearance in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

You were good enough to receive his family on 22 August 2007 and you made them a number of promises which have been partially kept. We thank you for this. However, we are no longer sure that this case is still a priority for France, as you said it was during that meeting.

Despite exemplary work by the French judges in charge of this case, their investigation has encountered many obstacles arising from the fact that leading Ivorian figures are named in this case.

Mr. President, you are more than ever the person who can offer us hope of finding out what happened to Guy-André. You have demonstrated an ability to intervene positively in the most delicate international matters. This case will not be solved without significant political help from you.

With just days to go to this sad anniversary, we therefore urge you to again make this case one of your priorities by interceding with the Ivorian authorities and getting them to finally do what is necessary for the truth to emerge. They could give a clear signal of goodwill by satisfying one of the main requests being made by all the civil parties to the case, which is to hand the leading witness, Michel Legré, over to the French judicial authorities.


Canelle and Sébastien Kieffer Guy-André Kieffer’s children

Jean-François Julliard Reporters Without Borders Secretary-General

Aline Richard Committee for the Truth about Guy-André Kieffer

Firmine Richard Organisation of People from Overseas For Guy-André Kieffer

Françoise Loeillet Guy-André Kieffer Breton Support Committee

In this country
6 May - Côte d’Ivoire / France
French photographer freed after being held for 16 months in Abidjan
16 April - Côte d’Ivoire / France
Five years of unanswered questions since journalist’s abduction in Abidjan
1 April - Côte d’Ivoire
Judge frees Le Repère journalist but imposes heavy fine on him and his editor
24 March - Côte d’Ivoire
Examining judge orders release of French journalist but prosecutor appeals
7 October - Cote d’Ivoire / France
Witness claims pressure from French presidency in Guy-André Kieffer kidnap case

in the annual report
Côte d’Ivoire - Annual Report 2007
Cote d’Ivoire - Annual report 2006

Africa press releases
3 June - Somalia
Alarm at TV station director’s abduction near Mogadishu
27 May - Gabon
Government imposes news blackout on President Bongo’s health
26 May - Somalia
Radio reporter shot by militia dies of injuries, fourth journalist to be killed this year

africa archives

18 March 2009 - Democratic Republic of Congo
“Bukavu, murder city”: investigation report into murders of journalists in the capital of Sud-Kivu
21 May 2008 - Eritrea
Naizghi Kiflu, the dictatorship’s eminence grise
6 March 2008 - Kenya
"How far to go ?" Kenya’s media caught in the turmoil of a failed election

Sign the petitions
Sign the petition for the release of ten Eritrean journalists