Global Freedom of Expression

30 October


Accountability for Targeted Killings of Journalists: Legal and Other Efforts Towards Justice

  • 12:10pm-1:10pm EST
  • Room 102 B, Jerome Greene Hall (Columbia Law School)
    435 West 116th Street
    New York, NY 10027

On November 2, 2013, Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, journalists for Radio France Internationale, were kidnapped in Kidal, in northern Mali by unidentified armed men. Their bullet-riddled bodies were found about an hour later by a French military patrol that was searching for them. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the date of Dupont’s and Verlon’s tragic death as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. Despite the international attention, no one has been held responsible, and the motives and the circumstances of the killings remain largely unknown to this day.

The tragic story of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon has become too common. According to the United Nations, since 2006 over a thousand journalist had been killed. Data indicates that local or freelance journalists and more likely to be targeted than international or contracted ones. Whatever the journalist’s status, their killers roam free in the vast majority of cases.

Join us as Columbia Global Freedom of Expression and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute host the “Friends of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon” Association to learn more about the killing of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon and discuss efforts to bring justice and accountability in this and other similar cases. The panelists will also share their thoughts on what families and friends can do when legal accountability seems beyond reach.


  • Agnes Callamard, Director of Columbia Global Freedom of Expression and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions


  • Christophe Boisbouvier, Editor in Chief at Radio-France International and friend of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon
  • Philippe Bolopion, Deputy Director for Global Advocacy at Human Rights Watch


Lunch Wll be Provided