UN warns Somalia over rights abuse | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 22, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:27 AM, November 22, 2013

UN warns Somalia over rights abuse

The United Nations in Somalia yesterday called 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.
"One of the men threatened me with a pistol, and took me to the bedroom by force... both of them raped me several times, destroying my pride and dignity," she said, in a video interview broadcast on Somalia's Radio Shabelle website earlier this week.
"I am appealing to the government to take legal action against the rapists, they might have done the same to other poor girls," she added.
The video has been carried by several other Somali news websites.
Police in the capital Mogadishu have arrested the woman, as well as Mohamed Bashir Hashi, the reporter who interviewed her, and Shabelle's manager Abdulmalik Yusuf.
Nicholas Kay, UN special representative for Somalia, said in a message Thursday the UN was monitoring the "new rape allegation in Mogadishu" and warned that "legal representation, proper investigation and media freedom (are) important issues."
Earlier this month HRW called on the government to order a new and impartial investigation into that case, saying the response to the incident "has been marred by mismanagement, opacity, and the harassment of the female rape survivor and support service providers."
This "points to security officials trying to silence both those who report the pervasive problem of sexual violence and those who help rape survivors," HRW added.
Rape is a major problem in Somalia, ravaged by conflict since 1991.
Amnesty International warned in a report earlier this year that "rape and sexual violence a constant threat" in Somalia, especially for women living in camps where they have fled conflict.

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