Mali: One Dead, Several Others Injured for Protesting Arrest of Radio Presenter

This statement was originally published on mfwa.org on August 18, 2016.

One person is reported dead and several others injured after supporters of a popular radio presenter and blogger clashed with police at a court premises in Bamako, Mali on August 17, 2016.

The radio presenter, Mohammed Bathily, popularly called Ras Bath, was arrested late in the night of August 16, for criticising a popurlar preacher, Bandiougou Doumbia Nourredine.

Bathily reportedly made some uncomplimentary comments about Nourredine, on the August 16, edition of his programme, “Cartes sur Table” (All cards on the Table).

According to MFWA’s correspondent, Bathily’s outbursts were actually in response to a recent attack on him and his programme by Nourredine. The preacher had accused the journalist of using his programme to denigrate elders and leaders in the society.

Bathily was reportedly arrested hours after his programme on the orders of the Prosecutor of the Commune 4 Court in Bamako and has been in custody of the Camp 1 Gendarmerie, also in Bamako.

Following false information on social media about Bathily’s appearance in court on August 17, his supporters went to the premises. A misunderstanding then ensued between the supporters and the police leading to the death of one person and injuries to several others.

The MFWA appeals to the police in Mali to investigate the incident. We also urge the police to release Bathily and ensure an amicable settlement of the matter between him and Bandiougou Doumbia Nourredine to prevent the issue from escalating.