Court frees woman jailed for rape claim

March 3, 2013 at 8:11 PM

MOGADISHU, Somalia, March 3 (UPI) -- A Somali court dropped charges against a woman who was sentenced to a year in prison for claiming she was raped by security forces, court records showed.

The Mogadishu appellate court freed the woman, but journalist Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim, 25 -- who interviewed the woman but did not report the story -- had his sentence cut to six months, the BBC of London reported Sunday.

Both originally had gotten a one-year prison sentence, but the woman's sentence was reduced to six months since she was caring for a baby, the BBC reported.

The two were convicted last month on charges of offending state institutions.

Human rights groups and journalists spoke out against the conviction in February, saying it was politically motivated.

The woman had reported to Mogadishu police she had been raped, but prosecutors said Ibrahim had paid her and others to lie.

The judge convicted her after citing disputed medical evidence that she had not been raped.

Ibrahim's attorney said in February the journalist had been prevented from producing witnesses in court.

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