4 March 2013

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General, Gratified by Reversal of Alleged Rape Victimís Conviction,

Regrets That Somalia Appeal Court Upheld Verdict against Journalist

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General is gratified by the 3 March Appeals Court ruling in Mogadishu overturning the conviction of an alleged rape victim accused of maligning the reputation of the State.† He regrets, however, that the sentence against a journalist charged in connection with the case, while shortened, has been upheld.

The Secretary-General welcomes the statement by the Prime Minister reaffirming his Governmentís commitment to independent media and freedom of expression.

The Secretary-General urges the Government of Somalia to ensure that allegations of sexual violence are investigated and perpetrators are brought to justice.† He emphasizes the importance of respect for human rights and a fair judicial process in the public life of Somalia.

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For information media • not an official record