Remember that time Somalia decided to arrest and imprison a woman who accused members of the police force of raping her? Sure you do. And remember when they also arrested the freelance journalist to whom she’d told her story, along with her husband, and the two people who had supposedly introduced her to the journalist?
Well, today she was convicted of the crime of “insulting a government body,” and sentenced to a one-year prison term. Abdiaziz Abdinur Ibrahim, the journalist (who, mind you, never actually published any details of their conversation), was given the same sentence. Her husband and the two intermediaries were acquitted.
You might be thinking that Somalia, faced with the daunting requirements of establishing itself as a functional state, has decided to start small by learning to protect itself from rape victims and unpublished freelance journalism before moving on to, say, evicting violent terrorist groups from its territory.
But we figure Somalia is actually pursuing a more sophisticated strategy, and attempting to position itself not only as a for-reals-we-mean-it-this-time-actual-state, but also as the first official destination for men’s rights tourism. We can see the ad copy now:
Stable, prosperous tourism economy, here we come.
(Fake Somalia tourism ad adapted from image by Flickr user nadim2.)
“Sirleaf came under fire after the Guardian published a video interview in which she is asked about decriminalising homosexuality and replies: ‘We like ourselves the way we are.’” I assume I’m not the only one who sees the irony of this statement.
This week in first world problems: “‘It’s not cheap like it used to be,’ laments Dale Weathington of Kolcraft, an American firm that uses contract manufacturers to make prams in southern China. Labour costs have surged by 20% a year for the past four years, he grumbles (emphasis mine).” This sounds like the curmudgeonest dude in history. Also I’m pretty sure he makes an imaginary product.
“Sixteen civilians [have] been killed in a shooting spree by a U.S. officer stationed in Afghanistan…The incident is the latest in a series of widely publicized self-inflicted setbacks for U.S. forces in recent months. In February, Qurans were mistakenly burned as garbage at a military base in Afghanistan, which led to deadly riots. In January, a video of U.S. forces urinating on Taliban corpses surfaced on the Internet.” Reaction from Newt Gingrich: “We’re not prepared to be ruthless enough.” Just so everybody has it straight, to Newt Gingrich, massacring civilians and pissing on corpses counts as not ruthless enough.
Don’t worry, guys. I’m back and I only missed three of the four fist fights in the Somali Parliament.
Looks like the Justice Department, after 85 years, has finally gotten around to broadening the definition of rape. Unfortunately, some commenters on CNN took this not as good news, but instead as an opportunity to make “cougar” jokes.
Lastly, let us not mourn Kim Jong-il, but instead look back at the good times.
Karel du Guct, the EU’s trade commissioner, on EU-Africa Economic Relations: “We should have a comprehensive vision of where we want to go to, but I never get the feeling when we discuss with them that we have the same vision; and I believe our vision is the right one.” Wow I really wonder why people can’t see eye to eye with this guy.
I’m not gonna link to this HuffPost article but let’s see if I can’t paint a picture. Headline is “Somalia Famine: Baby [Not Republishing Name] Back From Brink of Death,” followed by “before and after” photos. Yo this is not a Dan Marino weight loss commercial, this is not a Proactiv commercial starring Justin Beiber, this is a malnourished child, and this is inappropriate.
“The third place winner is the retired General Prince Yormie Johnson with 13.5 per cent.” Biggest campaign mistake: not marrying someone named “Sirleaf.”
“Suddenly, Paloma finds herself involved in human trafficking and art theft in a thrilling new novel.” Boy, that does sound thrilling.
Props for highlighting the plight of Nigeriens and other black Africans in Libya at the moment in relation to detention, deportation, abuse, and execution. Further props for mentioning the remittance income lost to families of migrant workers. That said, let’snot pretend life under Gaddafi was/is rosy for migrants.