Somali court frees reporter

2013-03-17 20:33


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mogadishu - A Somali judge on Sunday freed a journalist who was jailed last month for interviewing an alleged gang-rape victim in a case that sparked international condemnation over how Somali authorities treat victims of sexual violence and press freedom.

Human rights groups said the February trial of gang rape victim Luul Ali Osman and freelance journalist Abdiaziz Abdinur was politically motivated, aimed at covering up rampant sexual abuse of women by the security forces.

Abdinur never published his interview with Osman but both were sentenced to one year in jail after the judge found them guilty of making up the story to besmirch the Somali government, a verdict that was heavily criticised by the US

The US State Department said the verdict sent "the wrong message to perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence" and voiced concerns of witness intimidation during the trial.

Osman was released on appeal earlier this month but Abdinur's sentence was upheld, though reduced to six months, triggering protests from Somali journalists.

The US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said that the verdict had been a "direct assault on press freedom" in Somalia, a country recovering after two decades of civil war and Islamist insurgencies.

Aideed Abdullahi Ilkahanaf, chairperson of the Somali High Court which freed Abdinur on Sunday, told reporters: "We have no evidence to support his charges."

Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid has promised to reform the country's armed forces and the judiciary once the trial has concluded, acknowledging "deep-seated problems" with both institutions.

Read more on:    somalia  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.