Today in Rape Culture

[Content Note: Sexual violence; human rights violations.]

One of the key features of rape culture is, of course, that its defenders attempt to silence and intimidate anyone who challenges the culture, its systems, its narratives, and its gatekeepers.

In Somalia, there is a rape crisis—particularly in camps housing people displaced by the 2011 drought and subsequent famine. Rape is common, and prosecution for rape is vanishingly rare. Many allegations of rape emanating from the camps are directed at the government troops tasked with protection.

So, naturally, the Somalian government has arrested Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim, a freelance journalist "who wrote a story about a woman who said she was raped by government security forces."
Human Rights Watch is demanding the immediate release of Somali journalist Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim, a freelance journalist who was arrested by police on Thursday after interviewing the woman. She was also briefly arrested and questioned by police before being released.

"The Somali police are detaining a journalist and harassing a woman who says she was raped, while letting those accused of rape run free," said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "The new Somali government needs to ensure that the police are part of the solution to rampant abuses by the security forces, not part of the problem."

...Repeated calls [by the AP] to the Somali police for comment on the journalist's arrest were not answered.
Human Rights Watch has more here, including how the rape victim was compelled to turn in the journalist who helped her.

This is not an "over there" problem, even if certain features of how rape culture manifests in Somalia differs from how it manifests in the US, or anywhere else. This is a global problem. And until the ruling class of men the world over decide that they no longer want to institutionally defend some or all sexual violence against women, children, and marginalized men, there will never be peace.

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