JOINT PRESS RELEASE:
Somali Disability Empowerment Network (SODEN) and Somali National Disability Council (SNDC) jointly condemn any type and act of sexual assault against the women and the girls in Somalia, in particular women and girls with disabilities. In this year, more girls who are younger than 18 years have been sexually assaulted (raped). Girls who are older than 18 years have not been spared. In Somalia, women, and girls experience sexual violence at the highest rate. The UN documented over 100 incidents of sexual violence against girls in Somalia The most recent sexual assault incidents, which took place in Lower Shebelle region of Southwest State of Somalia, were two very young girls aged 4 and 6-year-old in Afgoye and two other girls aged 13 and 30 years old in Janaale town.
Somali Disability Empowerment Network (SODEN) and Somali National Disability Council (SNDC) condemn with strongest terms possible of the “inhuman act” of sexual assault (rape) against a 16-year-old girl with a disability who is detained now in Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Hodan district of Mogadishu, Somalia. The girl has been abducted on 8 April 2020 and missing for 48 hours after she was released.
It is with great regret and unfortunate for the Federal Government of Somalia, in particular, the Banadir Regional Administration and district administration of Hodan to detain the 16-year-old girl, a victim of sexual assault with valid confirmation documentation from Madina Hospital and transfer papers from Deyniile Police Station. SODEN and SNDC realized the 16 years old girl, the victim, ended up in police custody after her case has been confirmed. Both the victim and perpetrator are known to one another in the same village in Mogadishu and the family of the perpetrator is using all means and measures possible to force the family of the victim to withdraw the case.
On behalf of the people with disabilities, we are extremely saddened to hear how the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) handled the case and we are calling for the Banadir Regional Administration, the district administration, and the Somali Police force to immediately intervene this and release the girl unconditionally. SODEN and SNDC will take this seriously and will forward it to the highest offices of the government to make the girl receives her right and the perpetrator faces justice.
People with Disabilities (PWDs) remain the most vulnerable members of the communities. SODEN, as a representative organization of the people living with disabilities (PWDs) in Somalia, we are appealing to the International Human Rights partners in Somalia to provide with any kind of support and assistance to this 16 years old girl who is currently in police custody because she seeks her rights.
For and on behalf of Somali Disability Empowerment Network (SODEN)
Mohamed Farah – Chairperson