Prime Minister gives partial welcome to Mogadishu court verdic
His Excellency Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon today welcomed the decision by a Mogadishu appeal court to throw out the conviction of a rape victim.
“I am happy to see the appeal court come to this verdict on the rape victim and I believe we are a step closer to justice being done. However, I was hoping for a different outcome on the journalist. I note his sentence has been reduced from 12 months to six, but I do not believe journalists should be sent to prison for doing their job. We must have freedom of expression, which is guaranteed in our constitution.”
The appeal court verdict came as the Prime Minister addressed a new session of Parliament with a speech marking the achievements of the government during its first 100 days. In it he reiterated his commitment to reform of the judiciary as a government priority.
“I have repeatedly expressed my concerns about due process not being observed in the pre-trial stage of this case. The point here is that our new, independent judiciary, like many institutions in the new Somalia, is in its infancy. It will take time to develop and evolveinto an institution that delivers justice effectively and inspires public confidence.”
The Prime Minister emphasized the independence of the judiciary and said it was right not to have intervened.
“However attractive it might appear to overturn an unpopular decision, it would havebeen wholly inappropriate for the government to interfere. We are in the process of nurturing new institutions in Somalia, not throttling them at birth.”
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