An official website of the United States government

Interactive Dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in Somalia
October 10, 2023

Interactive Dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in Somalia

Human Rights Council – 54th Session

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

As Delivered by Leah Field

Thank you, Madam Vice President.

We thank the Independent Expert for her work and commend Somalia for its cooperation with her.

The United States is concerned about the deterioration of press freedoms in Somalia. There are credible reports that the government, including authorities in Somaliland, continues to arbitrarily detain journalists and media workers. This is unacceptable. 84 journalists were arbitrarily detained in 2022.

Women journalists, in particular, are subjected to technology-facilitated gender-based violence, including threats of rape, and harassment.

Journalists and media workers play a crucial role in our societies. Their work educates, illuminates, and exposes, enabling governments and society to reexamine and correct.

It is for these reasons that we remain deeply troubled by the directive on media of October 8, 2022, and call on the government to lift restrictions on press freedom. A free press is vital to a functioning society and government.

Our Question Is: What efforts should Somalia take to protect journalists?

I thank you.