Alert: All classes for the remainder of the semester will be conducted virtually, and faculty and staff are working remotely until further notice. Given widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in New York City, everyone must observe crucial measures to prevent the virus from spreading further.

Human Rights Lunch Talk: Accountability for Targeted Killings of Journalists: Legal and Other Efforts Towards Justice

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019 @ 12:10pm to 1:10pm
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 102B
Oct 30
Wednesday, October 30th, 2019 @ 12:10pm to 1:10pm
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 102B


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

Moderator: Agnes Callamard, Director, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression; UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

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 had been informed of the kidnapping and 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 journalists have been killed. In the majority of the cases, murderers and masterminds behind the killings remain free.

Join us as Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute, Reporters Without Borders, and 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. The panelists will also share their thoughts on measures to combat impunity in a conflict setting and what families and friends do when legal accountability seems beyond reach.

A graduate of Sciences Po Paris and CFJ (Centre de formation des journalistes), Christophe Boisbouvier integrated Radio France, then RFi and has been hosting the "l'invité Afrique" show since 2002, every morning on RFI. He has been collaborating for years with the weekly newspaper "Jeune Afrique". Christophe is the author of "Hollande the African", and a member of the Association Les Amis de Ghislaine Dupont et Claude Verlon.

Philippe Bolopion assists in designing and implementing Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) advocacy strategies worldwide and in overseeing the organization’s advocacy response to crisis situations. Bolopion joined HRW as United Nations Director in August 2010 and has traveled extensively to conflict zones, including most recently in Burundi, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and Mali. Prior to that, he spent five years working with the French daily Le Monde as the United Nations correspondent. He has also worked as a journalist for France 24 and Radio France International (RFI). Before working in New York, Bolopion was based in Pristina, where he reported on the end of the Kosovo Conflict in 1999 and 2000.

Agnès Callamard is the Director of Columbia Global Freedom of Expression and the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. Dr. Callamard has a distinguished career in human rights and humanitarian work globally. In 2019 she led the human rights inquiry into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Her findings were presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2019.

This event is co-sponsored by Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Columbia Law School's Human Rights Institute, and Reporters without Borders.

All are welcome and lunch will be provided.