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Key Developments

» Journalist murders decrease from previous year, but anti-press attacks continue.

» International outcry after freelance journalist is held for more than two months.

While the Somali government elected in 2012 attempted to gain more control and improve security, attacks on journalists continued. At least five reporters were attacked by militia groups loosely connected to the government, according to news reports. CPJ documented four journalists killed in direct relation to their work in Somalia, an improvement from 2012, which was the deadliest year on record with 12 journalists killed. In early 2013, the prime minister created a task force to investigate cases of killed journalists, but little had been done by the end of the year. The international community condemned serious flaws in the Somali justice system after a court imprisoned freelance journalist Abdiaziz Abdinuur for 66 days for interviewing the victim of an alleged rape who claimed security forces were the perpetrators. The staff of a critical daily in the semi-autonomous region of Somaliland was harassed over the year: The director was attacked, the paper temporarily suspended in June and again indefinitely in December, and the editor and director briefly jailed on defamation charges. The charges were later dropped. A new media law considered by local journalists as progressive was passed in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland in December.

  • 4

    Journalists killed
  • 2nd

    Impunity ranking
  • 8

    Broadcasters suspended
  • 70

    Journalists in exile, 2008-13

At least four journalists and one media worker were killed in direct relation to their work in 2013, according to CPJ research. The numbers are an improvement from 2012, which was the deadliest year in Somalia recorded by CPJ.

Fatalities over time:

For the fourth year in a row, Somalia ranks as the second worst nation in the world in combating deadly anti-press violence, according to CPJ’s Impunity Index. The index calculates unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population.

CPJ's 2013 Impunity Index:
CPJ's 2013 Impunity Index
1. Iraq
2. Somalia
3. Philippines
4. Sri Lanka
5. Colombia
6. Afghanistan
7. Mexico
8. Pakistan
9. Russia
10. Brazil
11. Nigeria
12. India


The government of the semi-autonomous region of Puntland suspended five broadcasters based in the region and three other stations based outside.

Timeline of censorship:

March 13, 2013

Puntland authorities ban the airing of programs from three radio stations--Radio Ergo, Bar-Kulan, and Radio Hirad--which are based outside Puntland. No explanation was given for the ban, which was lifted on September 27.

April 3, 2013

The Puntland government suspends three stations--Radio Daljir, Radio Codka Nabadda (Voice of Peace), and 1 Nation Radio--for one day after the stations fail to comply with an earlier order banning programs aired from three outside stations.

August 18, 2013

Puntland authorities suspend Somali National Television, the national broadcaster for the central Somali government in Mogadishu, for 12 days after a rift over donor aid. The government of the semi-autonomous republic of Puntland accused the Federal Republic of Somalia of misusing donor funds originally meant for Puntland.

September 21, 2013

The Puntland government suspends Universal TV for 12 days for not covering a presidential speech.

Somalia ranks second among countries from which the most journalists flee, according to CPJ research.

Journalists in exile:

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Attacks on the Press: Table of Contents

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