UNITED STATES CALLS FOR PROTECTION OF PRESS FREEDOM IN SOMALIA
The United States Embassy in Mogadishu calls on the Somali Government and people to allow and encourage transparent reporting on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to facilitate the critical efforts to protect and preserve the health and safety of the people of Somalia. We also call on Somalia’s national leaders to vigorously advocate, defend, support and protect journalists and the public’s right to access information about the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other key political and security developments in Somalia. We also expect that Somalia’s leaders nationally and regionally will support accurate reporting without interference or the threat of violence and detention. The United States values freedom of the press as a key component of democratic governance. Democratic societies are not perfect, but they are accountable, and the exchange of ideas is the foundation for accountable governance. In the United States and in Somalia, it is vitally important to allow the members of the press to foster active debate, provide investigative reporting, and represent different points of view. The press play an important role in informing and educating citizens, and the U.S. commends journalists for the important role they play. Protecting and safeguarding the freedom of speech to operate freely and without fear of oppression is important for the maintenance of a free and democratic society. The United States stands with the citizens and journalists of Somalia to defend the rights to press freedom and freedom of expression. It is the duty of governments, including in the United States and Somalia, and citizens across the globe to speak out in support of the press, their protection, and for their vital role in open societies.