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Justice & Human Rights for Africa

Associated with: International Criminal Law Bureau and 9 Bedford Row International


HRW Issues Report on the Abusive Treatment of Journalists in Somalia

Human Rights Watch is reporting that both the government of Somalia and Islamist extremist group Al-Shabab are using abusive methods to affect media coverage within the country.

The non-governmental organization has prepared a 74-page document titled: “‘Like Fish in Poisonous Waters’: Attacks on Media Freedom in Somalia”. It records the killings, threats, and arbitrary detentions that have been aimed towards journalists since 2014.

“On top of the long-term threats from Al-Shabab, the new government is increasing the danger and repression for journalists at the very time when their services are most needed,” said Laetitia Bader, Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch, referring to the upcoming parliamentary elections that are due to take place later in the year.

“Promises to improve media freedoms are a positive step but not enough,” Bader continued. “Somalia’s authorities need to actively address violence and intimidation from all sides so that journalists can go to work without constantly looking over their shoulder.”

In the creation of the report, Human Rights Watch spoke to 50 journalists, editors, and media directors working across south-central Somalia and Puntland. To read a copy of ‘Like Fish in Poisonous Waters’, click the following link:

For more information about this story, click the link below to read about it on the official HRW website:


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Text source: (2nd May 2016)

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