Secretary-General "deeply disappointed" at jail sentence for Somali rape victim and journalistListen /
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his deep disappointment after a Somali woman who said she had been raped and a local journalist who had interviewed her were sentenced to one year in jail on Tuesday.
In a statement from his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said it is essential that the rights of the alleged victim and the journalist to a fair and transparent judicial process, including the right of appeal, are fully respected.
According to news reports, the woman had alleged that she had been raped by armed men in government uniforms while living in a camp for internally displaced people (IDPs).
While the journalist had interviewed her about the alleged incident, the report was never published.
The statement noted that the UN has repeatedly expressed alarm over reports of pervasive sexual violence in IDP camps in and around the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
It said that these crimes are underreported because of risks to victims, witnesses and family members, and also due to intense stigmatization as it takes "extraordinary courage" for survivors to come forward.
The Secretary-General urged the Somali government to ensure all allegations of sexual violence are investigated and that perpetrators are brought to justice.
Dianne Penn, United Nations.