Press freedom violations on the rise
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. Comoros used to be seen as something of press freedom model in the region, but coverage of a 2018 referendum on controversial constitutional changes allowing President Azali Assoumani to run for another term was marked by an unusual surge in abuses against journalists. A government minister threatened a newspaper reporter with prosecution. The director-general of the leading state-owned daily Al-Watwan was fired shortly after publishing an editorial in which he said critics of the referendum should be allowed to express their views. And a reporter was slapped by a gendarme just for taking a photo outside a court.
49 in 2018
25.30 in 2018