Popular Mali radio presenter, Rasbath released

Detained Malian popular radio presenter that sparked a wild protest earlier this week was released Thursday, local media reported, a day after violent clashes between his supporters and police left one dead.

Mohamed Youssouf Bathily, a government minister’s son also known as “Rasbath”, whose polemical presence on local radio has raised the ire of the authorities was arrested on allegations of “offending public decency” on August 15.

“Rasbath has been released. Thanks to all for your wishes,” artist and friend Yeli Mady Konate said on Facebook and Twitter on Thursday evening. Local websites also reported the presenter’s release.

In Wednesday protests over his arrest, security forces fired tear gas at demonstrators who had gathered outside court to show their support for Rasbath, who had been due to appear in connection with the police investigation into whether he broke public morality rules.

One person was killed in the skirmishes and 11 others injured and because of the unrest, the court hearing was postponed.

Rasbath has accused President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita of being unable to manage the Malian army and has attacked the prime minister and several senior military figures on his show “Carte sur table” (Card on the table).

Political tensions over the army are high following a massacre on July 19 of 17 soldiers at a military camp in Nampala, central Mali, which also left dozens wounded.

Rasbath had criticised top brass for what he said was poor leadership, making direct reference to the Nampala incident.

The attack was claimed both by Ansar Dine Islamists and a newly formed group.



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