UN warns Somalia over rape arrests
MOGADISHU - Agence France-Presse
A Somali military officer guards the dock at the southern port city of Kismayu, November 1, 2013. REUTERS photoThe United Nations in Somalia called Nov. 21 for a “proper investigation” after police again arrested an alleged rape victim and the journalists who reported her story.
Rape and reporting on sexual assault, is one of the most sensitive topics in Somalia, and the case is the latest in a series of arrests of victims and the journalists who aired their story. Previous cases have seen the victim and reporter jailed for “offending state institutions.”
The alleged victim, a 19-year old reporter, told the independent Radio Shabelle she was attacked and raped at gunpoint by two fellow journalists. Police in the capital Mogadishu have arrested the woman, as well as Mohamed Bashir Hashi, the reporter who interviewed her.
Nicholas Kay, U.N. special representative for Somalia, said in a message the U.N. was monitoring the “new rape allegation in Mogadishu” and warned that “legal representation, proper investigation and media freedom (are) important issues.” The victim and Hashi remain in police custody.