Government Spokesman clarifies rape case story

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In an online news story, “Somalia arrests woman over rape allegations”, published on Al Jazeera on 21 November, the Somali government spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman was misreported by the journalist. He categorically denies making the comments that were wrongly attributed to him and has called on the media organization to correct the story.

The Government spokesperson, said:

“Rape and sexual violence against women are completely unacceptable in Somali culture, are against our laws and have no place in the new Somalia. The Federal Government of Somalia is completely committed to the promotion and protection of human rights and tackling the root causes of sexual violence and exploitation. As part of this commitment, we have this year established an Independent Human Rights Task Force which has already made a series of recommendations which are being worked through.”

“Journalists perform a critical role and we want them to be able to work without fear or favour. A free press is at the heart of every democracy and is guaranteed under our new constitution.”

“Somalia has an independent judiciary and we must allow the police and judiciary to carry out their investigations. It is inappropriate for the government to get involved in the judicial process as it is any other country. Justice must be allowed to take its course.”