27 January 2013

Somalia: Somali Journalist Sent to Jail Without Charges for Role in 'Rape Case'

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

Journalist Abdulasis Abdinuur Ibrahim has been sent to jail without charges after remaining in police custody since January 10th, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) announced Saturday (January 26th).

Ibrahim is accused of interviewing Lul Ali Hassan, who police say made false claims of rape by Somali security forces. The details of the interview have not been published.

"The case has been highly politicised, adding that to interview a rape victim is not crime," said Ibrahim's lawyer, Mohamed Afrah, adding that the Criminal Investigation Department has made it difficult for him to access his client.

A hearing for Ibrahim was scheduled for Saturday morning, but was delayed for the second time on orders from Somalia's Attorney General Abdulkadir Mohamed Ali Muse, Somalia's RBC Radio reported.

International rights watchdogs have called for Ibrahim's and Hassan's release, as well as the release of two women who facilitated Hassan's interviews with the journalist.

"Somali journalists are very disappointed about the too many delays of the court hearing and the involvement of the higher level government officials of the case", which raises questions about the fairness of justice, said NUSOJ Secretary General Mohamed Ibrahim.

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