Sabahi (Washington, DC)

Somalia Frees Journalist in 'Rape Case'

Photo: Abdurrahman Warsameh/IPS
The National Union of Somali Journalists called the conviction of Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim,“a serious setback” for press freedom (file photo).

Somalia's Supreme Court on Sunday (March 17th) freed reporter Abdiasis Abdinuur Ibrahim, imprisoned for interviewing a woman who alleged she had been raped by soldiers, AFP reported.

"I am very happy that I got my freedom back," Ibrahim said. "I thank those who worked in this process that helped my release including my lawyers," he said.

Supreme Court judge Aidid Abdullahi Ilka Hanaf said the charges had been dropped due to lack of sufficient evidence.

Last month, Ibrahim and the woman were each sentenced to a year in prison for "offending state institutions". Ibrahim was also found guilty of "making a false interview, and entering the house of a woman whose husband was not present".

All charges were dropped against the woman earlier this month, while Ibrahim's sentence was initially halved.

Ibrahim was detained on January 10th while researching sexual violence in Somalia, but did not air or print a story after interviewing the woman. Ibrahim works for several Somali radio stations and international media outlets.

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InFocus

Somalia Frees 'Rape Case' Reporter

The Supreme Court has released the journalist who was imprisoned for interviewing a woman who accused government soldiers of rape. Read more »