The independent journalist held hostage since April 8 begins his sixth month in captivity today. A symbolic date which also marks the rise of the mobilization for his release through a support campaign in 13 cities.

Six months. Six long months that his family, his friends, his supporters await his release. Olivier Dubois was kidnapped in Gao last April, while he was making a report, it was only on May 5, in a short video that his kidnapping was indeed confirmed. In it, he briefly explains being hostage to the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM). Since then, nothing, well almost. Indeed, last week, reassuring news arrived.

“His case (is of the order of what) can be open for discussion”, according to a member of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, a group close to GSIM, contacted by Wassim Nasr, a journalist from France 24 specializing in jihadist networks. A news that reassured his relatives, especially his friend Marc de Boni for whom “this is not an official demand but marked information, it is excellent news even if we remain very careful with the management of our personal hopes”.

A rising mobilization

With this good news, comes a new mobilization for the Martinican journalist. In Bamako, a journalism master class is organized in tribute to the independent journalist. In France, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) launched a support campaign in partnership with 13 cities including Paris and Fort-de-France, where Olivier Dubois is from. For Marc de Boni who considers the Martinican journalist as a “adoptive brother”, it’s “a very nice action to come and change the situation a little, a courageous gesture by several town halls who also want to assert their vision of a society where freedom of the press is a pillar, and to make known to the French who were not not aware of this situation “.

It must be said that the media coverage around the kidnapping of Olivier Dubois was rather tenuous when he is the only French hostage in the world. For his friend, there are several reasons for this: “I think the image of journalists has changed at the level of the general public, even in other cases of kidnappings there has been less hype. The image of the profession has changed and there is the question of ’empathy too, when it comes to a black Caribbean journalist “.

Living in Mali since 2015, collaborator for Le Point Afrique, Jeune Afrique and Liberation, Olivier Dubois is “a seasoned journalist, always curious, demanding, never interested in easy journalism, always trying to understand the origin of phenomena”, says Marc de Boni, also a member of Support committee for the release of Olivier Dubois. The latter spent his 47th birthday on August 6 in captivity. Today, it is his sixth month which begins, but the mobilizations continue and the support for his release is increasing.

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