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Somalian Woman is Raped, then Arrested, along with the Journalists who Interviewed Her

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The courts of Somalia may need some serious work after a case has garnered international attention and outrage from around the world.  A court in the country has sentenced a woman to jail after she was raped.  They didn’t just jail the woman, they also jailed two journalists who reported the story.

According to Al Jazeera, the verdict was handed down in the capital, Mogadishu.  The journalists are accused of defamation and insulting state institutions.   The woman, who is 19-years old, is also a journalist.   She was given a six month jail sentence for defamation and lying.  She is going to serve her sentence at home.

Judge Hashi Elmi Nur is responsible for the verdict.  The journalists are expected to serve out their sentences or pay a fine to be released early.

“The manager of Radio Shabelle, Abdilmalik Yusuf, was found guilty of offending state institutions, and therefore will serve a prison term of one year,” the judge said, according to Al Jazeera.

“Journalist Mohamed Bashir was found guilty of defamation and making false rape accusations, so he is given a six-month jail term.”

The alleged victim says that she was raped at gunpoint by two other journalists.   Oddly, these were not the journalists that the judge decided to put in jail.   The United Nations is asking that the case be investigated, and the United States has said that it is “deeply concerned” about what happened here.

Neither of the men accused of the crime have been arrested.

This isn’t the first time that a strange verdict has come out of Somalia.  Last February, a journalist and the rape victim he interviewed were sentenced to a year in prison.  The court determined that the woman lied after they had a midwife conduct a “finger test” to see if she’d been assaulted.   Human Rights Watch (HRW) says that the test is both unscientific and had been proven to be highly inaccurate.

Violence against women is a serious problem throughout the world, and Somalia is one o the worst.  A few months ago, a 13-year old rape victim was stoned to death, just one of many atrocities committed against women.