Somalia rejects Amnesty's new report on media freedom

– Report overlooks achievements registered by Somali Federal Government in addressing media freedom, gov’t says

By Felix Tih

Ankara (AA) – Somalia's government on Thursday rejected a recent report of Amnesty International which says freedom of media has been deteriorating since President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed took office.

“The report has overlooked the achievements registered by the Federal Government in challenging impunity, protecting journalists and addressing media freedom concerns in the past 3 years,” the Somali government said in a statement in response to the report.

Amnesty's report said at least eight journalists have been killed since Mohamed took office in February 2017.

“Somali journalists are under siege. From barely surviving explosive-wired cars, being shot, beaten up and arbitrarily arrested, journalists are working in horrifying conditions,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s director for East and Southern Africa.

Somali government said in response that it is “fully aware of its responsibility to protect the rights of every individual to liberty and security.”

It added that the “majority of cases (53%) described in the report are not accurately media freedom cases and there is no single evidence to back this fabrication.”

“The Federal Government vehemently denies and strongly disowns the allegations of bribery to the private media and views these ludicrous allegations as deliberate lies to misguide the public,” the statement added.

Somalia, located in the Horn of Africa and bordered by Ethiopia to the west, the Gulf of Aden to the north had witnessed multiple terror attacks over the past two decades.

Somali-based al-Qaeda affiliated group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks.