The idea of punishing the rape victim comes straight from the Sharia. Allah gave Muhammad a revelation requiring four male witnesses to establish such a crime: “And those who accuse honourable women but bring not four witnesses, scourge them (with) eighty stripes and never (afterward) accept their testimony, they indeed are evil-doers” (Qur’an 24:4). The problem with this is that women who accuse men of rape but cannot produce four male witnesses are often accused themselves of zina “” unlawful sexual intercourse “” and jailed as a result.
This is not heeded solely in Somalia. According to Sisters In Islam, a Muslim reform group, there is evidence that most “” up to 75% “” of the women imprisoned in Pakistan are there because of rape.
“Somali woman and journalist arrested for reporting rape,” from the BBC, November 21 (thanks to all who sent this in):
A woman has been arrested in Somalia’s capital after she alleged in a video interview posted online that she had been raped at gunpoint by colleagues.
The journalist who interviewed the 19-year-old has also been detained in Mogadishu, but the two men accused of rape have not been arrested.
It has been reported that the arrests came after those accused of rape complained about defamation.
The UN has called for a “proper investigation” into the case.
Earlier this year, another alleged rape victim and the reporter she had spoken to were sentenced to a year in prison for “offending state institutions”.
They were later released on appeal.
Somalia’s UN-backed government said it could not get involved in the current judicial process and justice must take its course.
The alleged victim is herself a journalist who works for the Kasmo Voice of Women radio station in Mogadishu.
Fatuma Abdulkadir Hassan told a journalist at the privately owned Shabelle Media Network that she had been raped at gunpoint by colleagues who worked at the state-owned radio station.
One of the journalists contacted her by phone and asked if she could help him without making it clear how – and a car was sent to her house to collect her, she said.
She alleges it dropped her off at a house where she found the two journalists.
“One of the men threatened me with a pistol, and took me to the bedroom by force… both of them raped me several times, destroying my pride and dignity,” the AFP news agency quotes Ms Hassan as saying in the interview, which was videoed and posted online by the Shabelle journalist and has since been picked up by several Somali news websites.
The men kept her at the house the whole night, only releasing her the following morning, she said.
“I am appealing to the government to take legal action against the rapists – they might have done the same to other poor girls,” she added.
Police arrested Ms Hassan, the Shabelle journalist Mohamed Bashir Hashi who conducted the interview, and the manager of Shabelle.
The manager has since been released on bail; the other two remain in custody….