Amnesty International has accused Somalia’s government of creating teams of online monitors who troll journalists and report them to Facebook’s standard enforcers in order to disable their accounts and silence critical media voices
The Western-backed government in Mogadishu detained 38 journalists last year, setting a national annual record, the Somali Journalists Syndicate said last month, raising concerns ahead of a parliamentary election later this year.
Indeed, the efforts by government censors were paying off, with 10 Facebook accounts belonging to journalists being shut in a single day last June, the London-based watchdog said in a new report on the state of media freedom in Somalia on Thursday.
All we’re told by Facebook that their accounts had violated community standards, without more specific reasons.
The Somali government rejected the Amnesty report, which also detailed other instances of abuse of the freedom of the press, including beatings and the detention of journalists.
“Somalia… will continue the rule of law which includes media freedom,” the ministry of information said in a statement.
Some journalists detailed how their online accounts were suspended.
“My Facebook account was frozen on 16th June 2019. My WhatsApp was frozen on 21st June 2019,” Ali Aden Mumin, a prominent reporter for the local Goobjoog radio and