Somalia: Report Rape, get Arrested

In a sane world, a woman who goes public with charges that she was raped, would be sought out by police and questioned about the details of the suspect(s). Perhaps a pencil sketch could be created from her descriptions. In a place like Somalia however, that woman and the journalist she reported the rape to were both arrested. The alleged perpetrators have not been.

Somali Rape Victim: Arrested for reporting it.

Somali Rape Victim: Arrested for reporting it.

Via New York Daily News:

The United Nations in Somalia demanded an open investigation into the arrest of a reporter who claimed she had been raped by her colleagues, and gave a videotaped interview about the alleged incident to another journalist, who was also arrested.

Rape is a pervasive problem in the embattled African country. Talking about it publicly carries the risk of arrest by police and ostracism by society.

The woman told independent Radio Shabelle reporter Mohamed Bashir Hashi she had been assaulted and raped at gunpoint by two male colleagues…

“One of the men threatened me with a pistol, and took me to the bedroom by force … both of them raped me several times, destroying my pride and dignity,” she said, according to a translation by Agence France Presse.

The woman and her alleged attackers work for state-owned Radio Mogadishu. Neither man has been arrested. {emphasis ours}

It would seem that arresting the perpetrators – or at least questioning them – would be relatively easy since the woman reported she knows them and works with them.

The BBC reported (h/t ROP) on how the incident transpired:

Fatuma Abdulkadir Hassan told a journalist at the privately owned Shabelle Media Network that she had been raped at gunpoint by colleagues who worked at the state-owned radio station.

One of the journalists contacted her by phone and asked if she could help him without making it clear how – and a car was sent to her house to collect her, she said.

She alleges it dropped her off at a house where she found the two journalists.

“One of the men threatened me with a pistol, and took me to the bedroom by force… both of them raped me several times, destroying my pride and dignity,” the AFP news agency quotes Ms Hassan as saying in the interview, which was videoed and posted online by Shabelle and has since been picked up by several Somali news websites.

The men kept her at the house the whole night, only releasing her the following morning, she said.

“I am appealing to the government to take legal action against the rapists – they might have done the same to other poor girls,” she added.

Police arrested Ms Hassan, the Shabelle journalist Mohamed Bashir Hashi who conducted the interview, and the manager of Shabelle.

The manager has since been released on bail; the other two remain in custody. {emphasis ours}

That police would do this may speak more about the effects of Muslim intimidation of them than anything else.


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