Assailed on both sides

Somalia continues to be one of the most dangerous countries in Africa for journalists. In 2018, three journalists eluded or survived murder attempts and three others were killed in connection with their work. The first was gunned down by a police officer at a checkpoint, the second was stabbed to death after receiving death threats from the Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab and the third was killed by a car bomb for which Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility. The freedom to inform in Somalia is undermined by corruption, political violence, the central government’s extreme weakness and the fact that non-state entities control much of the country. Both the government and Islamist militants persecute journalists. Those who refuse to censor themselves are the targets of bombings or shootings by Al-Shabaab militants or they are exposed to arbitrary detention, of which 2018 saw more than 10 cases. Journalists who raise their voice also risk torture or the closure of their media by the authorities. It is hard to play a critical role in such an environment, especially as many media outlets turn to political sources of funding often designed to obtain pro-government reporting, which undermines the media landscape and media independence.

in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index



168 in 2018

Global score


63.04 in 2018

  • 1
    journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2020
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