Acting Deputy Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
The United States welcomes the Mogadishu
appeals court’s March 3 decision to overturn the conviction of a
27-year-old alleged rape survivor but is profoundly disappointed by the
same court’s decision to uphold the conviction of journalist Abdiaziz
Abdinur Ibrahim who interviewed her.
Despite reducing his sentence from
one year to six months, this decision runs counter to the freedom of
expression protections contained in Somalia’s provisional constitution.
We agree with the Somali Prime Minister's statement that journalists
should not be sent to prison for doing their job.
Sexual violence and restrictions on freedom of expression are grave
problems in Somalia. The arrest of individuals for investigating and
discussing rape has a stifling effect on the ability of Somalis to seek
justice and of journalists to report freely. Somali institutions must
demonstrate the will to protect human rights, including women’s rights
and freedom of expression as part of their efforts to promote peace and
democracy. As President Hassan Sheikh has said, “people must feel they
have a Judiciary they can trust.”