Somalia | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

Somalia

Somalia

Freedom of the Press 2004

2004 Scores

Press Status

Not Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)

80

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

33

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

23

The Transitional Charter, as well as the constitutions of Somalia's autonomous regions, provides for press freedom, but this right is sharply restricted in practice, mainly because of continuing political instability and the inability of the Transitional National Government (TNG) to assert its authority over the country effectively. In 2002, the TNG enacted a new Press Law that requires all media to register with the minister of information and prescribes penalties for false reporting. Despite critics' concerns, there were no reports that the bill was enforced in 2003. The government launched its first radio station, Radio Mogadishu, in 2001, and private print and broadcast media have continued to proliferate. While some, such as the HornAfrik radio and television station, provide balanced and independent coverage, most outlets are linked to the various warlords and political factions. In May, regional authorities restored the broadcasting license of a company in Puntland; however, in September the Somaliland government banned all privately owned radio and television stations. Reporters continue to face harassment, arbitrary arrest, and detention in all regions of the country, and a number have been forced into exile. In January, armed militiamen allied to a prominent businessman attacked the HornAfrik radio and television station and temporarily shut down its broadcasts.