Somalia has a population of about 15,893,222. It has struggled to have a functional government since 1991 when the then President Said Barre’s regime collapsed.

While provisional Constitution calls for freedom of the press, journalists regularly face harassment, arbitrary detention and fines, and violence from the state and non-state actors.

Acts of arbitrary arrests and detention, harassment, killings, assassinations, threats to kill, forced shutdown of media outlets and intimidation through criminal charges are common throughout the south-central Somalia and Puntland.

Journalists have to contend with the pressure from the government, the regional authorities as well as the Al-Shabab – terrorist group to manipulate the media to control public narrative and bolster their power at the heavy cost of media freedom and safety and protection of journalists, global media monitors observes.

Somalia is considered as one of the most dangerous countries in Africa for journalists and media workers. According to RSF’s World Press Freedom Index it is ranked at 161 in 2021. This is an improvement from position 163 in 2020 and position 164 in 2019. Freedom House rates the country as not free in its Freedom in the world 2021 Country Report with a score of 7 out of possible 100. ARTICLE 19 in its Global Expression Report 2021 categorized Somalia  as a country in crisis.

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