US officials on Monday voiced concern over the arrest of an alleged rape victim
in Somalia and the journalists who reported on her story, calling for a
"credible investigation" into her allegations.
was "deeply concerned" about the arrests of the woman, as well as
Mohamed Bashir Hashi, the reporter who interviewed her, and Abdulmalik Yusuf,
the manager of Radio Shabelle, which aired her story.
arrests raise questions about the protection of survivors of gender-based
violence, as well as freedom of the press in Somalia," Will Stevens,
spokesman for the State Department's bureau of African affairs, told AFP.
call upon Somali authorities to conduct a credible investigation into the
alleged rape and hold accountable any perpetrators, in keeping with their
commitment to the rule of law."
victim, a 19-year old reporter, told the independent Radio Shabelle last week
that she had been attacked and raped at gunpoint by two fellow journalists.
reporting on sexual assault, is one of the most sensitive topics in Somalia,
and the case is the latest in a series of arrests of victims and the
journalists who aired their story.
urged the Somali government to "uphold its constitution", voicing
concerns that arresting alleged rape victims "sends the wrong message to
the perpetrators and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, and
discourages reporting of these serious crimes."
Nations has also called for "a proper investigation" into the case.