20 January 2013

Somalia Defends Arrest of Journalist Reporting On Alleged Rape

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

The Somali government reiterated its commitment to protecting journalists and ensuring freedom of expression, while defending its incarceration of journalist Abdulasis Abdinuur Ibrahim for investigating the alleged rape of Lul Ali Hassan, the Somali National News Agency reported Saturday (January 19th).

"The Somali government takes seriously all rape cases that are reported and will thoroughly investigate," said Minister of Interior and National Security Abdikarim Hussein Guled. "However, Abdulasis' case is different and the initial investigation shows that Lul Ali Hassan's story was simply baseless."

Hassan said she was raped by Somali police, and Ibrahim was incarcerated for interviewing her with the intent to report on her story. The Somali police have said Ibrahim and women's rights groups paid Hassan to make false claims against the security forces.

"The results of the medical examiner confirm that Lul has not been raped and as she admitted voluntarily, the story was bogus," Guled said.

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