Female journalist who claimed she was raped arrested by Somali police
This comes as a growing number of Somali women are becoming rape victims, but few are those who come out in the open to report the crime they have been subjected, as often they fear reprisals and their lives are threatened. The handful that does come out however, are subjected to measures that are more befitting to a criminal than a victim, such as in this case of the nineteen year old woman.
The nineteen year old woman has been identified as Fadumo Abdiqadir Hassan by several sources, while the journalist who interviewed has been identified as Mohamed Bashir, who’s a reporter for Radio Shabelle. In her recorded interview, Fadumo claims she was raped by two men, who she claims are Jibril Abdi and Abdiaziz Africa, both who is journalist for Radio Mogadishu, a radio station affiliated with the federal government.
In her recorded interview with journalist Mohamed Bashir she said: “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”.
This is not the first time an incident of such a nature occurs in Somalia. Last February a journalist and another woman who claimed she had been raped AMISOM soldiers were arrested in a similar case. According to Human Rights Watch the woman and those involved in the case were harassed and intimidated by the police, intelligence services and military personnel.
According to UN statistics 1700 Somali women were raped last year in Mogadishu alone. However of those recorded by the UN, only a handful of these women actually reported their crimes for fear of repercussions. This means that the actual number of raped women could be much higher, because a lot of women might not have even been recorded by the UN.
In addition to Mohamed Bashir having been arrested, the owner of Radio Shabelle, Abdimalik Yusuf had also been arrested but later released. These actions bear striking resemblance to the previous case of a 27-year old woman that was abducted by Somali Armed forces and then raped by soldiers belonging to the AMISOM, where all those involved in the case were harassed and intimidated by police, including those who provided her with medical assistance and shelter.
A source close to Fadumo’s family told Harar24 that the family was contacted by government officials and being pressured to convince their daughter to drop the accusations.
According to a source within the police who spoke to a Harar24 reporter the alleged rape victim and the journalist were arrested for questioning. Despite this, the two men accused of rape remain free and were not arrested for questioning.
These unfortunate events have added to the already present fear that journalists and reporters in Somalia had.
This case that has come to light, might just be another addition to Somalia’s long list of human rights violations.