Alarming setbacks for press freedom
The political tension that accompanied the 2018 constitutional referendum and President Azali Assoumani’s reelection in 2019 resulted in an unusual and dramatic surge in press freedom violations, including intimidation of journalists, attacks, arrests and censorship, forcing some Comorian journalists to flee abroad for safety reasons. Foreign journalists also left after being arrested. The arbitrary suspension of two journalists at the state TV broadcaster ORTC, cast doubt over the renewed openness recently seen at the broadcaster. Although the 2001 constitution, which was amended in 2018, guarantees media freedom, most of the archipelago’s journalists censor themselves because of the heavy penalties for defamation. Journalists suffer above all from a lack of resources and training, and have found it hard to organize themselves.
56 in 2019
27.91 in 2019