Outrage as Somali rape-claim woman, journalist jailed for 'insulting government'

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 06, 2013 06:20 hrs

A young Somali woman, who accused the country's security forces of raping her, has been given a one-year jail sentence for making a false accusation and insulting the government.

A journalist who interviewed the 27-year-old woman has also been sentenced to a year in jail in a trial that human rights advocates called "a terrible miscarriage of justice".

The court in the capital, Mogadishu, said it based its decision on medical evidence that the woman was not raped, but the judge deferred her sentence until she has weaned her child.

The freelance reporter Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim, who interviewed the woman in early January, but never filed a story, was charged with insulting state institutions, the Guardian reports.

According to the paper, the two defendants are expected to appeal.

Human Rights Watch said last week that the case was politically motivated and designed to silence those who report on the pervasive problem of sexual violence by state security forces.

According to the paper, the international outcry surrounding the case is an embarrassment for the Somali president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, whose election last year was described by the international community as the start of a new era for Somalia after decades of instability and conflict. (ANI)

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