Somalia

Ongoing political crisis and intensified media crackdown

On 21 April 2021, police officers detained Ali Said Mohamed, an independent journalist who reports for a Facebook news page, Mudug Journalist. His arrest was related to a story claiming that the Galkayo police arbitrarily arrest citizens and solicit bribes from detainees at the police station. The police officers released him without charges and managed to use his phone to delete the post. National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) officers allegedly threatened to shoot two journalists, Mohamed Ibrahim Bulbul and Khalid Maki, as they left the scene of a violent protest in Karan District, Mogadishu on 25 April 2021. The officers confiscated the journalists’ equipment, ordered them to delete the recorded footage, and cocked their pistol after the journalist asked for an explanation. Read more

Ongoing political crisis and intensified media crackdown

Two-year presidential term extension threatens to further destabilise the country

The ongoing crackdown against the media continues, as several journalists have been arrested, harassed, and intimidated by police officers. On 22 February 2021, Puntland police arrested Ahmed Botan Arab in Bosaso. The freelance journalist was arrested after he posted a Facebook video showing residents’ interviews commenting on a speech by Said Abdullahi Deni, Puntland’s President. He was released two days later without charges. Similarly, on 25 February 2021, Puntland police arrested Abdifatah Abdullahi Farah (Jiib) and released him without charges on the same day. His arrest was related to a news story that contained the speech delivered by the Puntland President. On 4 March 2021, Nation Radio journalist, Mohamed Yahye Jiinjow, was arrested. His arrest was linked to a story about an alleged cannibal. Jiinjow was released after four hours without any charges. Read more

Two-year presidential term extension threatens to further destabilise the country

Delayed elections and political crisis: at least eight killed in opposition protests and clashes

On 19th February 2021, two weeks after the expiry of the president's and National Assembly's mandate, opposition groups took to the streets in Mogadishu to protest against the delayed elections, to demand the stepping down of president Farmaajo and increased inclusion in the election demands. Somali military police, also known as Harmacad, reportedly occupied the streets leading to the planned protest site, and clashes between opposition protesters and government troops ensued. Gunfire and explosions were heard sporadic heard in Somalia's capital, with protesters claiming that they were attacked by government forces first. Read more

Delayed elections and political crisis: at least eight killed in opposition protests and clashes

Journalist arrested, protesters denounce remarks by French president

residents in the towns of El Waq and Beled Hawo in the Gedo region hold demonstrations to protest the presence of Kenyan forces in the town; hundreds of people march through Mogadishu, Somalia and Burao, Somaliland to protest recent remarks by President Emmanuel Macron of France, concerning his plans to continue publishing cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed; concerns continue to be raised about the effects of the new Media Law; Read more

Journalist arrested, protesters denounce remarks by French president

Journalists face persistent onslaught, new media law further threatens expression

Protesters arrested while demonstrating around upcoming elections; journalists detained while covering protests; media outlets fined over content; new legislation further stifles journalists' work; internet shutdown after Prime Minister impeachment Read more

Journalists face persistent onslaught, new media law further threatens expression

Journalists bear the brunt of repression of expression in Somalia

Journalists detained for reporting on COVID-19 related issues, local radio station banned from broadcasting in local Brawanese dialect, Journalists harassed and assaulted by police officers while covering protest, journalist Said Yusuf Ali stabbed to death in Mogadishu Read more

Journalists bear the brunt of repression of expression in Somalia

HRD Killed by Stray Bullet, journalists harassed and detained

Somali-Canadian activist Almaas Elman killed by a stray bullet in Mogadishu; new report by defendDefenders shows the role played by human rights lawyers in Somalia/Somaliland as they struggle to handle sensitive cases within a clashing cultural and religious context; journalists harassed and beaten by police officers. Read more

HRD Killed by Stray Bullet, journalists harassed and detained

Journalists face attacks, arrests and murder in line of duty

Women in Galkayo protest against a surge in rapes in the area, armed individuals stormed Universal TV offices and shot indiscriminately, Canadian journalist and writer Hodan Nalayeh killed during a 14 hour hotel siege carried out by Al Shabab in Kismayo, several journalists arrested in separate occasions while in the course of duty. Read more

Journalists face attacks, arrests and murder in line of duty