UN says journalists still face difficulties in Somalia despite progress
MOGADISGHU — Journalists in Somalia continue to face difficulties including death despite progress in defense of human rights, the UN has said.
In a report released on Thursday evening, the United Nations Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) said challenges remain for journalists and media workers, citing killings, harassment, arbitrary arrest and illegal detention.
“Despite some efforts and progress in the legislative field, regrettably violations and abuses concerning the right to freedom of expression continued to be recorded,” the UN secretary-general’s special representative for Somalia, Michael Keating, said at the report’s launch in the Somali capital.
According to the report, eight journalists and media workers were killed and 32 others injured between August 2016 and July 31.
In the same period, 94 journalists and media workers were arbitrarily arrested on charges related to the exercise of freedom of expression.
The report notes the number of journalists killed during the period under review had decreased by 27 percent compared to the January 2014 and August 2016.
The report calls on Somali authorities to move fast in implementing measures to protect journalists and other media workers and prosecute alleged perpetrators of violations against the media workers and political actors.
It also recommends the establishment of the Somali Federal Human Rights Commission to champion protection of human and civil rights.