Posts Tagged ‘World Radio Day 2012’

Somalian radio journalist and human rights defender Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim sentenced to one year in prison

February 7, 2013

With in mind that 13 February will be World Radio Day I report via Front Line that on 5 February 2013, human rights defender, Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim, also known as Koronto, was sentenced to one year in prison following an attempt to investigate the case of a woman who claimed to have been raped by state security forces. Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim is a radio journalist working for two private radio stations, Radio Dalsan and Radio Ergo, both broadcasting from Mogadishu.

Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - croppedThe trial of Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim opened on 2 February 2013, approximately three weeks following his arrest and detention by police officers of the local Central Investigation Department (CID). During the hearing, the prosecution alleged that Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim fabricated the reported rape in a news story and intended, by so doing, to insult a state institution. The human rights defender was tried under Islamic Sharia law. Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim was also accused of entering a house without consent from the owner. The human rights defender had reportedly gone to the house of the reported rape victim to conduct an interview with her. In closing the case on the morning of 5 February, the prosecution accused Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim of distributing false information to various media outlets causing prejudice to the public trust of Somali security forces. On the same day, the court handed down its decision, convicting the journalist to one year in prison. Journalists and human rights defenders who observed the trial report gross due process irregularities as the trial was dominated by the prosecution and the accused journalist was not afforded sufficient opportunity to defend himself. Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim’s lawyer has announced his intention to appeal the conviction.

On 15 January, the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) had released a public statement requesting that Abdiasis Abdinur Ibrahim be immediately and unconditionally released and expressing concern over reports that some members of the police were putting pressure on the reported rape victim to retract her story.