PARIS: French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Friday urged Burundi to immediately free a French journalist and British photographer who were arrested while reporting in the volatile central African nation.
“We were concerned to learn of the arrests of French journalist Jean-Philippe Remy and British photographer Philip Moore,” Fabius said in a statement.
“I call on Burundi’s authorities to proceed with their immediate release. Diplomatic procedures are underway.”
The two men were reporting on Burundi’s crisis which erupted in April last year when President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for a controversial third term, sparking street protests, a failed coup, regular killings and a nascent rebellion.
The government has cracked down on the press, forcing independent media to shut down and driving some journalists into exile.
Moore has frequently worked for AFP and other international publications, winning widespread recognition for his photographs of conflicts in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo as well as Libya, Somalia and Syria.
Remy has won several awards, including the 2013 Prix Bayeux-Calvados for his coverage of the war in Syria.