Expression

The environment for free speech by journalists and activists in Mali has improved in recent years, however conditions remain unsafe in the northern part of the country. This situation was exemplified by the murder of a journalist in the northern city of Timbuktu in 2015. In the immediate aftermath of the 2012 coup, conditions became very hostile for journalists, as they were subject to intimidation, detention and kidnapping from state and non-state actors. Today, journalists continue to practice self-censorship for fear of repercussions, especially while covering security issues. Defamation is a criminal offence under the press law. Internet penetration in Mali remains low, and the government has been accused of blocking social media platforms on at least one occasion. In 2016, in the context of a protest after a radio journalist was detained, activists claimed to have difficulties accessing social media; the government, however, denied claims of intentional blocking.