Somalia: Press freedom deteriorating at rapid pace

The International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists for press freedom, has urged Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed to take immediate steps to end the harassment of journalists and media outlets.

In letters sent to the president last week, IPI expressed serious concern over the rapidly deteriorating state of press freedom and frequent harassment of journalists by the national intelligence and other government officials.

“Democracy will not be able to flourish in Somalia without an independent media”, IPI Director of Advocacy Ravi R. Prasad said in the letter. “Media pluralism too is an essential element of a democracy, especially at a time when the country is faced with arduous challenges.”

IPI urged the president to ensure that the National Intelligent Security Agency and other government officials stop arresting, harassing and intimidating independent journalists and media outlets in the country ahead of the parliamentary elections expected to be held this year.