Iqra Osman Mohamed is a 15 years old girl studying “teacher training program” offered by Mogadishu University, it is informal education system intended for students who were not able to attend formal schools or their age is older than school age. Iqra has been living haply with her family in small town called Bal’ad about 30km north of the capital city Mogadishu. Both her parents are farmers, Iqra moved to Mogadishu when she was offered this opportunity of sponsorship program in January this year, as she was enlisted at the university she started her study mid-February 2015. Since then, she has been living with her maternal aunt who resided in Dharkenley District.

Awful rape

On 22nd of June, Iqra’s older sister who was suffering from tumor on her throat was admitted to Madina hospital where Iqra and her mother were taking care of her. On 23rd June early morning at 7:30am, the mother asked Iqra to go back to home to prepare food for her sister and bring some clothes, her mother followed until the gate of the hospital, there was public mini bus standing in front of the gate, Iqra’s mother said “go and catch that bus and come back quickly”. Iqra got on the bus, there were only two men in the bus, the driver and his assistance. They told her that they are going to her destination. Five minutes after driving, the driver pulled over the car and came out with knife, the assistance man said “If you try to scream, we will stab you, now come with us nice and slow”. They took her to a nearby abandoned destructed building and gang-raped her. They also took her mobile phone and left her helplessly on the ground. A passerby woman saw Iqra who was setting near the house where she was raped, she gave her mother’s phone number. When the mother receives the call, she rushed to Iqra and picked her up and brought back to the hospital. One of the local community woman who were very close to the family referred the case to SWDC center.

Unjust in the justice institution

The next day (24th June) the case was taken to CID (Criminal Investigation Department) by one of SWDC paralegals for filing. The police officer in charge of the station denied to write complaint at all and openly said “these organizations make money out of these false cases”. After hot arguments between the police officer the paralegal together with survivor and her mother, the police ordered the arrest of both SWDC staff and the mother of the survivor. Both of them were ordered to switch off their phones and the survivors was handed over to other three female police officers, she was shocked and confused of the whole scenario. After few minutes, they came back with the result of confirmed that Iqra was raped with internal injuries, however, the senior police officer mistreated her with uncultured behavior of asking questions like “how was it done to you? Are you in your period? Why did you follow this lady (he meant SWDC paralegal)? Is she is your relative? Being in a confused and shy state, she did not respond to any of the questions asked. After one hour, other police officers and SWDC staff reached the center and managed to release the mother and the paralegal. The victim was taken to hospital for medical prove and the examination showed that there was rape. The survivor was brought to SWDC office where she is currently receiving psychosocial support. The worst of all is that perpetrators are yet nowhere to be seen.

Crime beyond spirituality

In this holy month of Ramadan, Muslim people are ordered to abstain from certain things including sexual intercourse during the day light even between intimate partners and it is much worse and unacceptable for rape case to happen in this month. It is against the expectation of all Muslims and other well-wishers that a man rape school-going girl as young as 14 years old!.

Appeal for justice

SWDC is demanding justice for the plight and suffering of this survivor who, at this time, is facing the most difficult time in her life, stigma and discrimination from her community and from her class-mates is now affecting her mental stability and a result she is feeling anxious and restless. SWDC is requesting from law enforcement institutions to spare no time in the quest of these brutal gang-rape perpetrators and then be brought to book. Unless action is taken against such merciless, ruthless and barbaric act of violence the expected consequence from tragedy is that the survivor may discontinue her studies or she might run out of the country to avoid public embarrassment.  We have also to bear in our minds that this will not only affect this family but our society at large.