Birama Toure journalist in Mali
A wanted persons notice for journalist Birama Toure, published by the Maison de la Presse du Mali, the Press House of Mali Maison de la Presse du Mali

Journalists in Mali have marked the first anniversary of the disappearance of their colleague, Birama Touré, who went missing in the capital, Bamako, on 29 January 2016.

Previously relatively free, Mali's media has been harassed by the authorities since the 2013 crisis, especially when it tries to cover security issues, according to international NGO Reporters sans Frontières/Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The West African nation ranks 122nd in the 2016 World Press Freedom Index.

Last year, the president of the Committee in support of Touré (known as Bruno), Kassim Traoré, and the lawyer in charge of the case, Mamadou Konaté, described the mysterious conditions surrounding the disappearance of the reporter who had been working since 2006 for the weekly Le Sphinx, a newspaper described by some as polemical.

Touré was known to be an active journalist in the fight for freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

The last person to see Touré was his fiancée who said he was riding by motorbike to the home of a relative in Bamako, according to the investigation of the gendarmerie. Touré's family issued a "missing person" notice for him on 30 January 2016, 12 days before the couple were supposed to get married.

On the occasion of the first anniversary of the journalist's disappearance, colleagues who gathered symbolically to share a thought for Touré in the capital, urged the authorities to speed up the investigation.

Le Sphinx's managing editor, Adama Dramé, asks that "truth be brought to light". "[People] may have wanted to squeeze information out of him that he unfortunately didn't have," Dramé was reported as saying.

"What bothers us is that we no longer feel there is a zeal among the authorities. We have every reason to believe that the investigation is abandoned. That's why we really do not want to be forgotten," Alexis Kalambry, journalist and vice-president of the Maison de la Presse (Press House), added.

In an editorial published on 27 January, a journalist for Mali News who writes under the pseudonym Maiga, wrote: "Was Birama Touré killed? Did he run away deliberately? Where is he still sequestered somewhere?"

Malian authorities said investigations are currently ongoing.