One exile radio station, nothing else

What with judicial harassment, illegal searches, arrests and exorbitant fines resulting in detention for non-payment, the repressive arsenal deployed against journalists in Djibouti means they live in fear. No privately-owned or independent media outlet operates within the country. The few Djibouti-based media outlets are used for propaganda purposes by President Ismaël Omar Guelleh’s government. The 1992 Freedom of Communication Law is itself an obstacle to free speech and media pluralism. It provides for jail terms for media offences and imposes age and nationality restrictions on those who can create a media outlet. 
La Voix de Djibouti, the only independent media outlet, broadcasts from Belgium but its signal is often jammed and its website is blocked by the authorities. Journalists who work for this radio station usually do so anonymously to avoid reprisals and attacks. In 2019, La Voix de Djibouti reporter based in Djibouti was badly beaten and was arrested several times. The proportion of the population with Internet connection has surged in recent years but the connection speed is one of the slowest in Africa. The authorities are deliberately reining in broadband Internet in order to limit access to social media, now one of the few areas where free speech and freely reported news are available.

in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index



173 in 2019

Global score


71.36 in 2019


  • 0
    journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2021
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