News / Africa

Somalia Convicts Alleged Rape Victim, Reporter

Somali journalist Abdiaziz Abdinuur Ibrahim (left) in court in Mogadishu, February 5, 2013.
Somali journalist Abdiaziz Abdinuur Ibrahim (left) in court in Mogadishu, February 5, 2013.
Gabe Joselow
A Somalia court has convicted a woman who said she was raped by state security forces and the reporter who allegedly interviewed her.

Judge Ahmed Adan Fareh read the guilty verdict against the 27-year-old mother who reported being attacked months ago while living in a displaced people's camp.

Lul Ali Osman was sentenced to one year in prison, after the judge said she was unable to show any evidence proving she had been raped. The judge said she should begin serving her time in a couple of years, when she is no longer breastfeeding her infant child.

Abdiaziz Abdinur, a journalist who allegedly interviewed the woman, was also sentenced to a year in prison.

Both had been accused of fabricating the story in an attempt to make money, and were charged with insulting the country's honor.

Defense lawyers have announced plans to appeal. 

Three other people charged in the case, including the woman's husband, were released.

Human Rights Watch Africa Director Daniel Bekele said in a statement the court's decision “sends a chilling signal to victims of sexual assault in Somalia.”  

He said the case was built on “groundless charges” and should have been thrown out.

Tom Rhodes, with the Committee to Protect Journalists, said he was horrified by the verdict.

"It sends a terrible message to the press of Somalia, and our colleagues are very worried," Rhodes said. "Basically it has come to the point where if you interview any official on a critical subject, you may be very well charged with criticizing the integrity of the state and get jail time for it.”

According to Rhodes, there was no evidence Abdinur published anything about the alleged rape victim or that he had ever interviewed her.

Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon announced that a new Human Rights Task Force, launched Tuesday, will investigate human-rights abuses, in particular crimes against women and journalists.

Without directly referencing the controversial court case, he said the task force will investigate an “ongoing case in Mogadishu” to review whether due process had been followed.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid