Groups to Somali gov't: Release journalist arrested for interviewing claimed rape victim

Rights groups are calling for the Somali government to release a journalist arrested by police for interviewing a woman who said she was raped by government security forces.

The freelance journalist, Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim, and three others accused in the case have been held for more than a week without charge. The three groups — Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Human Rights Watch — demanded their release on Wednesday.

The groups said the arrests are linked to an increase in media attention given to the high levels of rape and other sexual violence in Somalia, including attacks allegedly committed by security forces.

The government says the woman made up the rape allegation and that it would not allow journalists to make up stories.