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Telling Stories from Somalia

Journalists in Somalia routinely face many difficulties but this year, under the stress of the spread of COVID-19, they say feel even more threatened by intimidation and arrest by what they call hostile leaders. Cautiously celebrating World Press Freedom Day, a number of Somali journalists and journalists’ rights activists shared their experiences with the VOA Somali service. “Somalia has always been a hostile environment for journalists but this year the situation was extreme as authorities stepped up their intimidation of journalists and specially this time when our country faces the spread of the novel coronavirus,” said Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimu, secretary general of the Federation of Somali Journalists. Somalia is categorized as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, as they face threats from authorities, armed private individuals, and the al-Shabab terrorist group. In its latest World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders ranked Somalia 163 out of 180 nations.