Authoritarian approaches by the Federal Government and some of the regional administrations have adversely curtailed freedom of expression in Somalia, the EU Union has said.
The EU Parliament in a strongly worded resolution Wednesday accused President Mohamed Farmaajo’s administration of autocratic leadership citing arbitrary arrests of political opponents.
“[The EU Parliament] is concerned by the autocratic approach of the present administration and some of the regional state administrations, resulting in the arrest of political opponents and peaceful critics; considers any intimidation, harassment, detention or killing of journalists and civil society activists as absolutely unacceptable,” the legislative body said.
The government came under heavy criticism last December following the raid and arrest of Wadajir party leader and former presidential candidate Abdishakur Warsame. During the raid, four body guards attached to the politician were killed during fire exchange with government forces. Similarly, security operatives raided the house of Senator Abdi Geybdiid’s the same month. The government has variously barred Warsame from holding political meetings in the country. Kenyan authorities also blocked Warsame in April from hosting a political rally in Nairobi.
In the resolution, the EU Parliament accuses the Federal Government of using the intelligence agency NISA to silence critics among them journalists, civil society actors and politicians.
It called on the Somali government to ensure freedom of expression is fully respected by among others repealing the penal code and the new media law.