Demand Release of Journalist Arrested for Interviewing Rape Victim

Target: Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of Somalia

Goal: Demand the release of a journalist arrested for interviewing a woman raped by members of the Somalian army.

Recently, freelance Somali reporter Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim conducted an interview with a woman who claimed to have been raped by members of the Somalian army. When news of the interview went public, Abdiaziz Abdinur was arrested. Interference with a member of the press–especially one who has not committed any crime–is unacceptable. Sign the petition and tell President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to release Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim immediately and unconditionally.

Rape is a major problem in Somalia. As the Huffington Post reports, “tens of thousands of people who fled last year’s famine live in poorly protected camps” where members of the army are often accused of sexual assault. The woman interviewed by Abdiaziz Abdinur claimed that her rapists were members of the army, prompting a hostile response from the Somali government: in addition to Abdiaziz Abdinur’s arrest, the woman and her husband were also held for a brief period of time. In fact, everyone involved in the case has been detained by the government–except for the alleged rapists.

After his election, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud promised to bring military rapists to justice. This recent development flies in the face of that promise. Urge President Mohamud to keep his word: demand that Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim be released from custody and insist that the rapists he wrote about–and others like them–be brought to justice.


Dear President Mohamud,

Your recent promise to investigate military abuses of power was a welcome declaration to both Somalia and the world community. However, the recent arrest and imprisonment of journalist Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim undermines that promise. I urge you to right a grave wrong: release Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim immediately and turn your attention instead to the rapists who continue to terrorize Somalians.

Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim, a freelance reporter, recently drew widespread attention for interviewing a woman who claimed to have been raped by members of the Somalian army. However, instead of rounding up the alleged rapists for questioning, the police arrested Abdiaziz Abdinur. They also briefly detained the rape victim and her husband.

There is something terribly wrong when a government persecutes victims and those who seek to uphold the law rather than those who willfully commit violent criminal acts. There is still time to do the right thing. Please release Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim immediately and unconditionally, and please ensure that the alleged rapes he reported are fully investigated.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Kenneth Allen via Geograph

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122 Signatures

  • Darlene Roepke
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