Journalists safety and media freedom in Somalia

Attacks against Somali journalists and media and impunity for these crimes must end – this is the conclusion of the SMSJ 2021 monitoring report to be launched in Mogadishu by the Somali Mechanism for Safety of Journalists (SMSJ).

In 2021, attacks against journalists spiked, with 105 incidents of media violations recorded by SMSJ, largely targeting on-duty journalists. The figure represents a 62 percent increase from 2020 and the highest caseload recorded in a decade. Somali journalists play a crucial role in the country’s pursuit of lasting peace, stability and democratic transition and must be protected, says SMSJ.

The SMSJ is a coalition of Somali media rights defenders and journalist unions that prioritises the safety and protection of journalists. The SMSJ comprises the following organisations: Federation of Somali Journalists (FESOJ), Media Association of Puntland (MAP), Media Women’s Network (MWN), Somali Independent Media Houses Association (SIMHA), Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS), Somali Media Association (SOMA) and Somalia Women Journalists Organisation (SWJO).