Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Somali court has sentenced a woman to a year in prison after she accused security forces of raping her

A journalist who interviewed her was also sentenced. The Mogadishu court ruled that the 27-year-old woman made false rape accusations against security forces during a recent interview, and in so doing insulted the government, according to rights groups. "A midwife testified ... that the woman was not raped after conducting a finger test, an unscientific and degrading practice that has long been discredited because it is not a credible test," Human Rights Watch said in a statement. Though journalist Abdiaziz Ibrahim interviewed the woman but never filed a story, authorities also found him guilty of fabricating a false claim, according to rights groups. Both were sentenced to one year each. "This case has been flawed by serious violations of due process from the start," said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "The long pre-trial detention without charge, official smears of the defendants in the media, and the abusive police efforts to discredit and intimidate a woman who alleged rape, point to a government more concerned with deflecting criticism than protecting ordinary citizens."

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