Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

Swiss hostage killed in Mali

Beatrice Stöckli
Beatrice Stöckli (left), seen here at a Malian school in 2014, was kidnapped twice. Keystone / Str

A Swiss woman kidnapped four years ago in Mali has been killed by her captors, according to the Swiss foreign ministry.

“Friday afternoon the French authorities informed the Swiss authorities that the Swiss hostage in Mali is dead, says a foreign ministry press releaseExternal link. “She was apparently killed by kidnappers of the Islamist terrorist organisation Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslim (JNIM) about a month ago.”

The press release does not name the hostage, but Swiss news agency Keystone-SDA reports that she was Béatrice Stöckli, a missionary from Basel who worked in Timbuktu.



The Swiss woman who was kidnapped in Mali – twice

This content was published on “I can’t talk about it, I’m really in shock,” Stöckli* told the media back in 2012, after her kidnappers, the jihadist group Ansar Dine, let her go following nine days in captivity. She called her mother from the rescue helicopter but didn’t make any promises about coming home, according to statements her mother made to…

Read more: The Swiss woman who was kidnapped in Mali – twice

The Swiss foreign minister, Ignazio Cassis, expressed “great sadness” at news of her death. “I condemn this cruel act and express my deepest sympathy to the relatives,” he said.

The exact circumstances of the killing are currently still unclear. News of the death “was obtained by the French authorities from the recently released French hostage”, says the ministry press release. French aid worker Sophie Pétronin, a Malian opposition politician and two Italians were released in Bamako, Mali, on Thursday night, ending their lengthy captivity in the hands of Islamist insurgents.

The Swiss authorities say they are “making every effort to find out more about the circumstances of the killing and the whereabouts of the remains” and would also approach the transition government in Mali to this end.

A previous version of this article referred to Pétronin as having Swiss citizenship; according to the Swiss foreign ministry, she is a French national only, and does not hold Swiss nationality.


In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here . Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR