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Somalia Passes Restrictive Media Law

July 16, 2013

Close on the heels of the murder of journalist Liban Abdellah Farah in Galkoyo (see posting on this blog of on July 8) Somalia is about to pass highly restrictive media laws that will take away even the little manoeuvrability that journalists have to critique the government and its leaders.
“The draft law contains several articles that would interfere with Somali journalists’ ability to operate independently and could expose them to a range of restrictions for ill-defined offenses. If the draft is passed into law, journalists will be forced to disclose their sources, media houses will be compelled to name their unnamed reporters and those working for foreign media will be discriminated,” said the International Federation of Journalists in a July 15th statement.
“We call on federal government of Somalia to amend the draft media law and ensure that the final version restores media freedoms, in line with Somalia’s national and international commitments. The draft restricts journalists’ and citizens’ rights to freedom of information,” said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa Director.
Reporters without Borders (RSF), which places Somalia as 175th out of 179 countries in the Press Freedom Index says 18 journalists were killed in 2012.
Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.