cpj calls for the release of two detained Somali journalists
(Cpj.org)-The New York-based global press freedom watchdog, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Friday called for the release of two detained Somali journalists, Mohamed Bashir and an unnamed female reporter who alleged she was raped.
In a statement received here by PANA, CPJ said Somali authorities arrested the two journalists, one of them the victim of an alleged rape, on Wednesday in Mogadishu, the capital, and charged them with defamation in connection with a report on the alleged rape.
‘This is not the first time in Somalia that the victim of an alleged rape and a messenger are harassed or imprisoned for reporting such allegations,’ Tom Rhodes, CPJ East Africa Representative, remarked.
‘We call on authorities to release Mohamed Bashir and the victim of the alleged rape, and to ensure a transparent and efficient investigation into the allegations,’ Rhodes said.
According to the press freedom watchdog, in a video, which was posted online earlier this week, Radio Shabelle journalist Mohamed Bashir interviewed a female reporter of the Kasmo Voice Women Radio.
The reporter alleged that she was raped at gunpoint and was assaulted by two journalists from the state-owned Radio Mogadishu.
The woman reportedly named her alleged attackers in the video. But the accused persons were said to have denied the allegations and then filed a defamation suit.
CPJ said Mohamed and the victim of the alleged rape have been detained at Somalia’s Central Investigations Department headquarters.
CPJ also recalled that in February, a Mogadishu court sentenced a victim of an alleged rape and freelance journalist, Abdiaziz Abdinuur, who interviewed her to one year in jail each, but released them on appeal two months later.