Somalia arrests woman over rape allegations

Woman who says she was raped is held along with journalist who interviewed her, according to a government official.

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    Police in Somalia have arrested a 19-year-old alleged rape victim and a journalist who interviewed her about the attack, a government official told Al Jazeera.

    Both the victim and Mohamed Bashir, a reporter for Radio Shabelle, were arrested for defamation, government spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman said on Wednesday. The owner of Radio Shabelle, Abdi Malik Yusuf, was also arrested, but has been released on “medical grounds,” according to the spokesman.

    Bashir and the victim have "been arrested and are being questioned by the police,” he said.

    The spokesman said the victim and the arrested journalist will appear in court in the coming days.

    In a statement issued by the Somali president's office on Thursday, Omar Osman denied making the comments to Al Jazeera and said he was "misreported".

    During the interview, which has been posted on YouTube, the victim alleges that she was attacked by another journalist working for state-owned radio station, Radio Mogadishu. The victim said during the interview that she was raped at gunpoint in Mogadishu and names her alleged attacker.

    “She admitted to have been pressured to make the video by [Bashir],” Omar Osman said, adding that police have not arrested the man accused of the rape.

    Last month government security forces raided Radio Shabelle arresting all journalists at the station forcing it to shut down.

    In February this year, a Mogadishu court sentenced an alleged rape victim and a Somali journalist who interviewed her to one year in prison each. The ruling was later quashed on appeal. The journalist has since relocated to Kampala, Uganda.

    Follow Hamza Mohamed on Twitter: hamza_africa

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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