MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — A Mogadishu court on Tuesday handed down one-year prison sentences to a woman who said she was raped by security forces and a reporter who interviewed her. The judges decided the woman falsely claimed she was raped and had insulted the government.

The judges based their decision on medical evidence that the woman was not raped, said the court’s top official, Ahmed Aden Farah. Farah said the woman’s prison term would be delayed so she could care for her young child.

Rights groups have decried the case as politically motivated because the woman had accused security forces of the assault. Rape is reported to be rampant in Mogadishu, where tens of thousands of people who fled last year’s famine live in poorly protected camps. Government troops are often blamed.

The charges and resulting sentences may result in even fewer victims of sexual assault coming forward to report attacks in conservative Somalia, rights groups fear.

“The court’s decision to convict an alleged rape victim and journalist who interviewed her is a terrible miscarriage of justice and sends a chilling signal to victims of sexual assault in Somalia,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The case was built on groundless charges and serious due process violations and should have been thrown out. The government should swiftly move to exonerate and release the defendants.”

The alleged rape victim was charged with insulting a government body, inducing false evidence, simulating a criminal offense and making a false accusation. Freelance journalist Abdiaziz Abdinur was charged with insulting a government body and inducing the woman to give false evidence. Three others charged in the case, including the woman’s husband, were acquitted Tuesday.

All of the defendants denied the charges in court. Abdinur’s lawyer said he would appeal.

Farah, the court official, noted while reading the verdict that Abdinur admitted that he had interviewed the victim. But Abdinur never published a story in relation to the interview. Farah said the court also found the reporter guilty of visiting a man’s home without his permission.

The United Nations special representative on sexual violence, Zainab Hawa Bangura, said this month that the Somali government’s approach to the case “does not serve the interest of justice; it only serves to criminalize victims and undermine freedom of expression for the press.”

Rights group say the arrests were linked to an increase in media attention given to the high levels of rape and other sexual violence in Somalia, including attacks allegedly committed by security forces. On Jan. 6, Universal TV, a Somali television station, reported that armed men in police uniform had raped a young woman. The same day Al Jazeera published an article which described rape by security forces in camps for internally displaced people in Mogadishu.

Bakele said the case was a politically motivated attempt to blame and silence those who report on “the pervasive problem of sexual violence by Somali security forces.”

The husband, another man and another woman were charged with assisting the alleged rape victim to evade investigation and assisting her to secure a profit for the rape allegation, charges that indicated the government believed there was a conspiracy to discredit it and somehow acquire financial gain, Human Rights Watch said previously.

The Somali capital has moved past the violence that engulfed Mogadishu for much of the last two decades. In a sign of its progress, the United States this month officially recognized the country for the first time in two decades. The U.S. hadn’t recognized a Somali government since warlords toppled dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.

Despite the progress, Somali government institutions remain weak and corrupt, and the government relies heavily on the security provided by 17,000 African Union troops in the country.

Source: AP



  1. The 1.5Million Idps in Muuqdishu should take matters into their own hands and invade Vila-Muuqdishu where all their Food aid has been stock piled for the last 20years…

    At least shabab punished Rapists!

    • Buuxiye, it is no surprise to me that you are an Al-shabaab sympathizer, since you openly called for the release of Al-shabaab members in north-west Somalia for the purpose of sending them to fight in the south. For you to say ''shabab punished rapists'', shows how big liar you are. We all know what happened to the young girl who reported to be raped, only to be stoned when the perpetrators happened to be Al-shabaab members. Glad you coming out of your closet Buuxiye.

      • Look kid Shabab was the invention of your people as a means to extort money from rich fat Arab terrorists. While they also had their skinny hands out stretched for the Aid from the western world.

        TFG = Shabab

        Since 2000 men in suits(government) and Men in face masks(terrorists) have had a symbiosis to Maximize the funds extorted from the international community be it western donors or Fat Arabs.

        Obviously you have been fed the diluted version of the facts and with that you wish to make ludicrous allegations.

        It was simply is the international media was happy to lie on TV by bombarding the innocent tax payers with starving naked African children to extort funds why could someone introduce the Religious element while the legitimate government maintained their circumstance as dire and under occupation by Taliban fighters.

        There is as much a threat from shabab as there is being hit on the head by a comet… Yet nobody is going to give you $millions of their tax payers money if you claim that a Comet is terrorizing your Nation.

        Shabab has migrated to Mali or perhaps to Mars to start a colony. If there are any further killings it will be Government planting those bombs to hurry transfer of promised funds.

        🙂 After all government is Damu-Jadiid which is Shabab-in-business-suites.

  2. @Buuxiye
    The Dark days in Somalia is over and we see the sun is shining from the east again.We Thank Allah that Al-Shabab and their supporters from the Somaliland terrorists are gone forever,but we still have to find out their caves in Hargeisa.

    • If the dark days are behind you, has you stated, then way just a week a go a suicide bomber and 9 other people were killed in front of Somalia prime ministers office?

      Do never compare a failed state with Somaliland. The whole world can attest to this.

  3. Let's get the facts straight. This guy and the lady intentionally created a fabricated lie, and therefore they were convicted according to the law. The lady admitted herself on paper that she lied.

    • I thought we have passed the era of AF-WEYNE, when innocent people were told if you write or speak the truth you will go to jail. This is one of the reasons why Somali people everywhere stood for their right.
      And fought for justice, the people of Mogadishu should stand up and fight this injustice one more time.
      Otherwise,this will encourages future dictatorship.

    • so you think a country invested by rapists and journalist murderers the best course of action is to imprison the woman and the journalist? imprisoning this woman will encourage rapists to abuse more mothers and sisters. for the sake of the precedent it will set for future rapists she should have never been imprisoned. when we have justice for the 1000s of woman raped in IDPs then we can talk abut cases like this.

      Somalia is emerging from its darkest days. we are about to shun the "failed state label" but the mooryanisin Mogadishu will always find ways to blacken Somalia name.

  4. Hawie justice at its best. lets us see when their president comes home he will pardon the two not because he likes justice but his masters Britain and US will INSTRUCT him to do so or they will take his body guards ( Uganda) never mind Aid kkkkkkk

  5. See people that is somalia the same somalia 22 years ago that is why i love somaliland to the death one love to somaliland we respect all women

    • Abdi

      This problem it's not exclusive to Somalia. there are rapes cases in Somaliland. This issue is bigger than anything' and how we feel about each other or what causes we are supporting and the last thing it needs is trivialization of such magnitude and important human rights issue.

  6. The brits and US are late in these warnings, but late better than never. The what is so called somaliland government was always behind assasinations, forming new threats to destabilise any sort of order on somali soil, and indeed the latest threat to all horn were al shabaab who are found and funded by the somaliland governing body. After been heavily defeated in the south, they got no place to go, but their parents' homes in the north. Now, UK and US understand that there are a true terrorism that is lurking in the northern part of somalia.

    These guys are talking about security, as if they got it right. When i went to hargeisa in 2010, the guy in the airport didn't even bother to stamp my passport and they brag about pease and milk. The reality is, you causing trouble everywhere for the somalis, while no other somali really care that much about you.
    Plan and plan, but the almighty is the ultimate planner
    Every day, and every night, there are illegal smuggling and human traficking from and to north somalia and they yet talk about the security in somaliland.
    This time, you have raised the alarm, so be aware of the forecoming

  7. The world is witnessing symptoms of deep rooted social disorders in Mogadishu. Somalia's problem is like an onion, the more outer layers are removed the more it bothers the eyes..

    • stop indicting all Somalis. Time will tell if this government is capable delivering the goods or same old same trash. and osman qaal we all share the name.