Somalia’s prime minister has said the authorities will do more to protect rape victims after foreign donors and human rights groups criticised the arrests of a woman allegedly gang-raped by soldiers and a journalist who interviewed her.
The trial of the 27-year-old woman, her husband, and the freelance journalist has sparked international concerns over sexual violence and press freedom in the country.
The trio face prison terms of several years on charges including insulting a government body, making false accusations, and seeking to profit from the allegations.
Human rights groups say the trial is politically motivated, designed to cover up rampant sexual abuse of women by Somali security forces.
Recently-appointed prime minister Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid yesterday promised to reform Somali armed forces and the judiciary once the trial has concluded, acknowledging “deep-seated problems” with both institutions.