13 January 2013

Somalia: Watchdog Lobbies to Free Somali Journalist Who Reported On Rape

Photo: Human Rights Watch
Journalists in Mogadishu protest the ongoing detention of freelance journalist Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Saturday (January 12th) called on Somali authorities to release journalist Abdulasis Abdinuur Ibrahim and two other people detained in connection with news coverage of a woman's alleged rape by Somali soldiers.

"The Somali police are detaining a journalist and harassing a woman who says she was raped, while letting those accused of rape run free," HRW Africa Director Daniel Bekele said in a press release. "The new Somali government needs to ensure that the police are part of the solution to rampant abuses by the security forces, not part of the problem."

Ibrahim was detained at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters on Thursday for interviewing a woman about her alleged rape by security forces. The woman and a female acquaintance of hers who connected her to Ibrahim are also being held. The alleged victim's husband took her place in detention on Friday.

The CID also questioned several other Somali journalists, including an al-Jazeera correspondent and a radio journalist. Police on January 11th also interrogated a staff member of a women's rights organisation who had assisted the alleged rape survivor, according to the press release.

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