MOGADISHU, Somalia Feb 20 2013 (Garowe Online) – The
Mogadishu court of appeals is currently hearing the case of the incarcerated journalist and alleged rape
victim that were sentenced to one year in prison earlier this month, Garowe
Abdiaziz Abdinor Ibrahim Koronto was arrested and charged
with slandering the Somali Federal Government after he interviewed a woman who
alleged that she was raped by Somali troops. He and the woman were tried in a
controversial hearing in Mogadishu
that resulted in 1 year in prison for the two.
Mohamed Mohamud Farah the prisoners’ attorney spoke to
Somali media on Wednesday stating that the appeals court will listen to
testimony midday Wednesday.
“We have a lot of hope that both the defendants will gain
their freedom following our appeal hearing,” said Farah.
The verdict of the trial prompted international controversy as
to why Koronto and the alleged rape victim were arrested and jailed for 1 year.
UN Special Representative of the Secretary General
Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, condemned the arrest of the
rape victim and journalist. Human rights agencies also condemned the
verdict by the Mogadishu court and requested that the government
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and his Prime Minister responded that it
was unconstitutional for the government to intervene in the courts.
Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon, shortly before the
verdict, named an independent body to investigate abuse cases against civilians
There have been numerous complaints of abuse cases by
security forces in southern Somalia,
although the government has promised to crackdown on forces some human rights
agencies believe there is not enough action by the Federal Government.