Expression in Djibouti

There is virtually no free media in Djibouti, and only one in ten people have access to external sources of news via the Internet. A problematic communication law itself impedes free speech and media pluralism, while criminal defamation laws are used to clamp down on dissent. Having released a list of names of people massacred by security forces during the religious gathering in December 2015, human rights activist Omar Ali Ewado was arrested and charged with public defamation. He spent one and a half months in prison. There is just one independent news outlet in Djibouti – La Voix de Djibouti – a radio station which broadcasts from outside the country due to the threat of attacks against its journalists. Journalists that report on the treatment of human rights activists can themselves become targets for brutal treatment by the security forces.