Document - Somalia: Somali journalist detained without charge: Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim

URGENT ACTION

UA: 9/13 Index: AFR 52/001/2013 Somalia Date: 18 January 2013

URGENT ACTION

SOMALI journalist detained without charge

Freelance journalist Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim has been arbitrarily detained without charge since 10 January, following his investigation into the alleged rape of an internally displaced woman by government forces. He is a prisoner of conscience.

On 10 January, journalist Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim (also known as Koronto) was arrested by the Central Investigations Department (CID) branch of the police in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital. He had recently interviewed an internally displaced woman, who reported that she had been raped by government forces, but he had not published any information about the case. According to reports CID initially detained the woman and called Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim using her telephone, requesting that he present himself at their office.

On his arrival at the CID headquarters, Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim was questioned at length and detained overnight. The following day, police searched his home and seized personal belongings, including his laptop and digital recorder. Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim has been held in custody ever since, with only intermittent access to lawyers. Despite suffering an ongoing health problem, he was not able to access a doctor, and has not yet been charged.

Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim’s detention appears to be linked to a recent Al Jazeera report on rape and other forms of sexual violence in settlements for internally displaced people in Mogadishu, published on 6 January. In a press conference on 16 January, the Police Commissioner stated that Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim had assisted with the Al Jazeera report. Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim was not involved in the production of the report and, had he been involved, this would not constitute a criminal offence or grounds for detention.

On 18 January the government issued a public statement in which it claimed that the allegation of rape made by the woman Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim interviewed was false, and accused him of fabricating the story, even though the information was not published. Other individuals are reported to have been detained in connection with the report into the allegation of rape, including a man thought to be the husband of the alleged victim, a woman who is believed to be a contact of the alleged victim; and a man believed to have been a contact of the journalist. The alleged victim of rape and a social worker who assisted her were also arrested, and have to report to the CID daily.

Please email immediately in English, Somali or your own language:

Calling for Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim, and any others detained in connection with the allegation that a displaced woman was raped, to be immediately and unconditionally released;

Calling upon the authorities to allow Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim access to his lawyers, doctor, any medication he requires, and his family, until he is released;

Urging the authorities to ensure rape allegations are fully and impartially investigated, that those who come forward to report rape or sexual violence are treated with dignity and full respect for their human rights, and that victims are given effective protection, redress and access to appropriate health services.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 1 MARCH 2013 TO:

Minister of Interior and National Security

H.E. Abdikaram Hussein Guled,

Ministry of Interior

Mogadishu, Somalia

Email: guuleed20@hotmail.com

Salutation: Dear Minister

Minister of Justice

H.E. Abdullahi Abyan Nur

Ministry of Justice

Mogadishu, Somalia

Email: justicesom@hotmail.com

Salutation: Dear Minister

State Minister of the Presidential Palace

H.E Farah Sheikh Abdulkader

Office of the President

Mogadishu, Somalia

Email: faaraxsheekh@yahoo.com

Salutation: Dear Minister�

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

URGENT ACTION

SOMALI journalist detained without charge

ADditional Information

At least two other journalists were questioned by CID in connection to the Al Jazeera report, including one radio journalist who was detained overnight at the National Security Agency facilities.

In November 2012, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud stated that security personnel who commit rape should be held accountable and proposed the death penalty. While those who commit rape and other forms of sexual violence must be held accountable, Amnesty International opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances.

There are regular reports of rape and other forms of sexual violence against women and girls living in internally displaced people’s settlements in Mogadishu, sometimes alleged to have been carried out by men wearing government uniforms.

The police have a responsibility to take positive measures to prevent sexual and gender based violence as well as to act with due diligence to investigate all allegations of rape and other forms of sexual violence, and where sufficient admissible evidence exists, prosecutions should take place in fair trials without resort to the death penalty. In addition, there should be no targeting of journalists who investigate such allegations.

Name: Abdiaziz Abdnur Ibrahim

Gender m/f: M

UA: 9/13 Index: AFR 52/001/2013 Issue Date: 18 January 2013

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