Act No. 97/An/20/8Th L On Freedom Of Communication And Information Ethics Amending And Supplementing Certain Provisions Of Law No.2/An/92/2Th L And Law No. 187/An/07/5Th L.

Original Language Title: Loi N° 97/AN/20/8ème L relative à la liberté de la communication et de la déontologie de l'information modifiant et complétant certaines dispositions de la loi n°2/AN/92/2ème L et de la loi n°187/AN/07/5ème L.

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Act No. 97/AN/20/8th L on freedom of communication and ethics of information amending and supplementing certain provisions of Act No.2/AN/92/2th L and Act No. 187/AN/07/5th L.


VU The Constitution of 15 September 1992;
VU Constitution Act No. 134/AN/06/5th L of 02 February 2006 revising the Constitution;
VU Constitution Act No. 215/AN/08/5th L of 19 January 2008 revising the Constitution;
VU Constitutional Law No.92/AN/10/6th L of 21 April 2010 revising the Constitution;
VU Law No. 48/AN/83/1st L of 26 June 1983 on the general status of public servants;
VU Law No.2/AN/92/2th L of 15 September 1992 on freedom of communication;
VU The Organic Law No. 1/AN/92/2th L of 29 October 1992 on elections;
VU Law No. 59/AN/94/3rd L of 05 January 1995 on the Penal Code;
VU Law No. 187/AN/07/5th L of 16 May 2007 on the status of the press and audiovisual staff;
VU Law No. 212/AN/17/7th L of 24 December 2017 reorganizing the Ministry of Communication, which is responsible for Post and Telecommunications;
VU La Loi n°114/AN/15/7ème L du 21 mars 2016 Establishing the National Commission of Communication;
VU Law No. 222/AN/17/8th L of 25 June 2018 on the Code of Ethics of Public Officials;
VU Order No.2019-095/PRE of 05 May 2019 appointing the Prime Minister;
VU Order No.2019-096/PRE of 05 May 2019 appointing members of the Government;
VU Decree No.2019-116/PRE of 26 May 2019 establishing the powers of the Ministries;
VU Circular No. 158/PAN of 22/10/2020 convening the first meeting of the second session of 2020;
The Council of Ministers heard at its meeting on 16 June 2020.


Article 1: This Act sets and defines the freedom of communication and information ethics in the Republic of Djibouti in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

Article 2: Article 2 of Act No.2/AN/92/2th L as follows:
“This Act applies to all forms and modes of social communication, including printing, bookstores, written and digital media, publishers, distribution companies, posters and audiovisual communication companies.”

Article 3: Section 4 of Act No.2/AN/92/2 L is amended as follows:
“Freedom of communication is exercised in accordance with the ethics of information. In no case shall it affect the dignity of the human person; to social peace; security, unity, identity and national sovereignty; or disturb public order.
It should not contain any information or insertion contrary to religious morality, or likely to apologize terrorism, fanaticism, racism, tribalism and high treason. It must also protect the secret of judicial instruction and the supreme interests of the nation.”

Article 4: Section 5 of Act No.2/AN/92/2 L is amended as follows:
“The National Commission for Communication is responsible for ensuring respect for freedom of communication, ethics and pluralism of information.
The National Communication Commission shall, for its opinion, be seized by the information authority.
The missions, operation and organization of the National Commission of Communication are governed by Law No. 114/AN/15/7th L.”


Chapter I: Information Ethics

Article 5: Information is exercised freely in accordance with the laws and regulations in force in the Republic of Djibouti.

Article 6: Information must be exercised in respect of the privacy of individuals, human dignity and individual freedoms. It must respect the pluralistic character of the currents of thought and opinion.
It may not be infringed on the honour and/or reputation of individuals under this Act.

Article 7: The information provided by the media and/or journalists must meet the principles of responsibility; impartiality; sincerity; accuracy; objectivity and morality.

Article 8: We hear:
- principle of responsibility: the obligation of the journalist not to disseminate information that may disturb public order or impair the foundation of the Republic;
- principle of impartiality: the journalist's obligation not to publish partisan or tendentious information that may favour or favour a party compared to another;
- principle of objectivity: the desire to disseminate information without subjectivity;
- principle of accuracy: the desire to disseminate verifiable information in time and space;
- principle of sincerity: the obligation of the journalist not to manipulate information, to make the difference between information and personal opinion.
- principle of morality: the obligation of the journalist to treat people with dignity, with respect, with justice. All must be equal before the media, regardless of prejudice and discrimination.

Chapter II: From the profession of media journalist and communication

Article 9: Article 2 of the law n°187/AN/07/5th The status of the Press and Audiovisual staff is amended to read:
“The professional journalist is the one who has as his main occupation, regular and retributed the exercise of the function of a journalist in one or more periodical daily publications, in a press agency or in one or more communication companies, whether audiovisual, digital or in the written press and which draws the main from his resources.”

Article 10: Article 3 of the law n°187/AN/07/5th The status of the Press and Audiovisual staff is amended to read:
“Assimilated personnel are considered professional journalists as they are direct collaborators of print and digital journalists.”

Article 11: Journalists seek and respect the truth because of the public's right to know it. They only disseminate information whose origin is known to them. They check the truth and report them honestly.

Article 12: Journalists clearly distinguish between facts, analyses and opinions from the public. When they express their own opinion, they specify it.

Article 13: Journalists respect their ethics regardless of the medium, including in the professional use of social networks, personal sites and blogs as sources of information and as means of disseminating information.

Article 14: Journalists preserve their independence and refuse any pressure. They only accept instructions from their editors.
Journalists refuse injunctions against journalistic ethics from anywhere. They are not required to accept any injunction contrary to the editorial line of the information body to which they collaborate.
Journalists do not want any undue benefits and accept none that puts their independence in danger.

Article 15: Journalists avoid any conflict of interest. They do not operate on behalf of third parties if this activity affects their independence.

Article 16: Every journalist must be provided with a press card issued by the National Commission of Communication attesting to his profession before the third party.
Journalists seeking this card must first sign a charter of good conduct.

Article 17: In carrying out its professional activities, journalists are required to strictly adhere to the provisions of the previous chapter I relating to information ethics.

Article 18: Journalists take into account the rights of any person explicitly or implicitly mentioned in an information. They put these rights in balance with the general interest of information. The right to image applies to images accessible online.

Article 19: Journalists respect the privacy of people and reveal no personal data that is not relevant to the general interest.

Article 20: Journalists avoid the dissemination of information and images that violate human dignity except what is relevant to the general interest.

Article 21: Journalists must pay particular attention to the rights of people who are unfamiliar with the media and persons in fragile situations such as minors or victims of violence, accidents, attacks, etc. and their relatives.

Article 22: Journalists are liable to penalties under articles 415 and 416 of the Criminal Code subject to the general interest of information.

Article 23: Journalists in the context of investigations:
The right of access to administrative documents freely, however, may not disclose confidential or secret documents or information relating to national defence, national security, diplomatic activity, scientific research or the economy.
He must refrain from disclosing information that would affect the confidentiality of the investigation and judicial investigation, and the constitutional rights and freedoms of the citizen.

Article 24: Protection of information sources is recognized and guaranteed to professional journalists. It can only be lifted before the judge in camera.

Article 25: In cases of flagrant offences, the search of the judicial police officer must be ordered by the Public Prosecutor.
The search is limited to documents relating to offences committed.
The search operations must be carried out in strict respect of the protection of sources of information and do not infringe the confidentiality of sources.

Article 26: The conditions for the exercise of the profession of journalists, in consultation with the representative organizations of the profession, are set by regulation.

Article 27: All other provisions of Act No.2/AN/92/2th L on the freedom of communication and of Act No. 187/AN/07/5th The status of the Press and Audiovisual staff who are not contrary to this Act remains unchanged.

Article 28: This Act shall enter into force upon promulgation.

Done in Djibouti on 16/11/2020

President of the Republic,
Head of Government