News24

Reporter freed after 2nd arrest

2012-06-22 21:13

Bamako - A Malian journalist who was arrested last week for the second time in a month has been released, one of his colleagues said on Friday.

"Habi Baby has been freed. He was interrogated by the judicial police. He has not been accused of anything and can continue doing his job," said Issiaka Coulibaly, who works with Baby at the monthly journal Aujourd'hui-la Resistance.

Baby, who is also the director of the bi-monthly private newspaper La Caravan, was first arrested in May and after his release published an article denouncing the conditions under which he and other prisoners were held.

He said he had been handcuffed and accused of being a minister in Azawad - the name given to northern Mali which has been occupied since March by Tuareg and Islamist rebels who want to create a breakaway state.

"Horrible things happen in these secret places, these isolated cells, these dark and terrifying hallways where you hear abominable screams, calls for help," wrote Baby.

Following the article's publication he was re-arrested on 13 June.

Reporters Without Borders has raised concerns about violations of press freedom in Mali since a 22 March coup. A transition government has taken over from the junta but the former putschists remain influential in Bamako.