Status: Partly Free
Legal Environment: 12
Political Influences: 20
Economic Pressures: 13
Total Score: 45

Population: n/a
GNI/capita: n/a
Life Expectancy: 56
Religious Groups: Sunni Muslim (98 percent), Roman Catholic (2 percent)
Ethnic Groups: Antalote, Cafre, Makoa, Oimatsaha, Sakalava
Capital: Moroni

A new constitution adopted in December 2001 provides for freedom of speech and of the press, and these rights are generally respected. Nevertheless, journalists are occasionally sued for defamation. The semiofficial weekly Al-Watwan and several private newspapers are published regularly. Although the independent print and broadcast media operate without overt government interference and are critical of official policies, some journalists are believed to exercise self-censorship. Reporters are occasionally harassed; in September a French journalist was arrested and charged with attempting a coup. Lack of resources is a major impediment to a more robust media in Comoros.

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