Sophie Pétronin does not take “the slightest risk”. This is what his son, Sébastien Chadaud-Pétronin defended on Sunday with Swiss television RTS. According to him, the septuagenarian lives in the country’s capital, far from conflict zones. “I don’t feel like she’s taking any risks,” said the man who had accompanied her mother back to Mali last March.

“She lives in Bamako like 8,000 French people, plus a whole security protocol. She’s discreet, she doesn’t bother anyone, she doesn’t leave her apartment, “he insisted, asking that” she be “let her end her life as she wishes.”

“If she had returned to the red zone, to the war zone, I myself would have participated in these criticisms, because I would not have understood, and I would have even found it shocking and indecent”, he said. he pleaded. “The French authorities have made an amalgamation between the conflict zone and Bamako (…) where there has been no problem of kidnappings or attacks for quite a few years,” added Sébastien Chadaud-Pétronin.

Once again, the humanitarian’s son recalled that the former hostage was unhappy in Switzerland, her “golden prison”. “The goal was for her to return to a normal life. Her choice was to return to Bamako, to find her [adopted] daughter there, she was unhappy with me in Neuchâtel. We tried to do everything so that she could regain the joy of living, but that was not enough, “he said again.

Her son concludes by recalling that his mother deserves her choice to be respected: “It must be remembered that she saved hundreds of children”. The latter also responded to critics who accuse Sophie Pétronin of disrespecting her release efforts last year. “My mother was not traded for jihadist aid let alone ransom. This was done in a global liberation process (…) I believe it was the Malians who were in command of this operation and not the French, and I don’t think any French taxpayer participated in its liberation. “

Guest of the program Le Grand Jury on RTL, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian spoke very directly to the ex-hostage on Sunday. “If she is in Mali, let her stay there! He said visibly annoyed by this return.

The French humanitarian was kidnapped in December 2016 in Gao, in the north of the country, and detained by a group affiliated with Al-Qaeda. In October 2020, without real consultation with Paris, the new Malian regime decided to release several dozen prisoners arrested during anti-jihadist operations, against four hostages, including the French Sophie Pétronin.