Spate of Arrests, Intimidation of Journalists constantly happening in Somalia
“Somali authorities should stop jailing and harassing journalists at the very time when getting the news is crucial,” said Laetitia Bader, Horn of Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “An independent media protected from abuse is key to ensuring that Somalis have information to make informed decisions during the pandemic.”
Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, as they face threats and attacks from government officials, private individuals, and the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab. Impunity for killings of journalists remains the norm. Journalists seeking to report on security issues and human rights abuses have regularly faced harassment and intimidation and many have been compelled to resort to self-censorship. These problems have increased during previous pre-election periods.
Sanctions to those who have encouraged and engaged in violence against protesters, intimidation of journalists and opposition members, and manipulation of the electoral process must be imposed to stop these harassments.