The International Press Institute (IPI) today, on Nov. 2, International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, joins with the Somali Journalists Syndicate (SJS) to express our concern over the lack of progress on 11 cases of killed journalists in Somalia. We call on the authorities to demonstrate their commitment to ensuring that crimes against the press are not carried out with impunity by carrying out thorough, transparent investigations into these cases and prosecuting the perpetrators.
IPI and SJS submitted a letter to the authorities in Somalia including the Office of the Attorney General, the National Media Council, and the Ministry of Information raising concerns about the state of press freedom in Somalia and inquiring about the status of investigations of cases of killed journalists.
This letter expresses concern about the lack of progress in investigating and prosecuting crimes against journalists, noting that several cases remain unresolved, some dating back to 2016. It specifically mentions cases of 11 journalists who were killed while undertaking their professional duties or as a result of their work as journalists.
Somalia has made commitments to uphold press freedom at global, regional, and national levels, as noted in Article 18 of its Constitution. This includes its commitments by virtue of being a signatory to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and subsequently the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information.
IPI and SJS urge the Somali Attorney General to prioritize the safety and security of journalists and address the issue of impunity, especially through the Special Prosecution Unit that was established in 2020 to investigate crimes against journalists. The letter also called on the Attorney General to ensure that the overall operating environment is conducive for media freedom to thrive.