Djibouti | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2006

2006 Scores

Press Status

Not Free

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


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


The 1992 constitution affords a measure of protection to the media, but the government has often been prepared to strip away this protection in its efforts to censor the independent press. Free speech is further restricted under the law, particularly through prohibitions on slander and the dissemination of "false information." Djibouti's only television and radio stations remain under the control of the government and provide little information other than pro-government propaganda. The government also owns the only internet service provider as well as La Nation, one of the principal national newspapers. The only criticism of the government originates from two weekly newspapers, Le Renouveau and Le Republique-Djibouti's sole privately owned domestic media outlets, both owned by opposition political parties. Nonetheless, reporters for these newspapers often practice self-censorship, particularly on sensitive issues such as human rights, the army, the Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy party, and French financial aid. Daher Ahmed Farah, the editor in chief of Le Renouveau, has repeatedly been tried and jailed for articles addressing many of these issues. International broadcasting networks, including the BBC, Radio France Internationale (RFI), and Voice of America, began both AM and FM radio transmissions in 2002. However, RFI's broadcasts have been cut since January 2005 owing to its reports on the ongoing legal investigation into the death of a French judge in Djibouti. Barely 1 percent of the population is able to access the internet on a regular basis, but the government places no known restrictions on the access for those who can afford it.