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Libyan Woman Struggles to Tell Media of Her Rape

TRIPOLI, Libya ? A Libyan woman burst into the hotel housing the foreign press in Tripoli on Saturday morning in an attempt to tell journalists that she had been raped and beaten by members of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi?s militia. After struggling for nearly an hour to resist removal by Colonel Qaddafi?s security forces, she was dragged away from the hotel screaming.
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Moises Saman for The New York Times

A foreign journalist, right, tried to prevent a government minder from removing Eman al-Obeidy from the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli.
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Libyan Woman Struggles to Tell Her Story
Libyan Woman Struggles to Tell Her Story
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Jerome Delay/Associated Press

Eman al-Obeidy displayed a broad bruise on her face, a large scar on her upper thigh, several narrow and deep scratch marks lower on her leg, and marks that seemed to come from binding around her hands and feet.

?They say that we are all Libyans and we are one people,? said the woman, who gave her name as Eman al-Obeidy, barging in during breakfast at the hotel dining room. ?But look at what the Qaddafi men did to me.? She displayed a broad bruise on her face, a large scar on her upper thigh, several narrow and deep scratch marks lower on her leg, and marks from binding around her hands and feet.

She said she had been raped by 15 men. ?I was tied up, and they defecated and urinated on me,? she said. ?They violated my honor.?

She pleaded for friends she said were still in custody. ?They are still there, they are still there,? she said. ?As soon as I leave here, they are going to take me to jail.?

For the members of the foreign news media here at the invitation of the government of Colonel Qaddafi ? and largely confined to the Rixos Hotel except for official outings ? the episode was a reminder of the brutality of the Libyan government and the presence of its security forces even among the hotel staff. People in hotel uniforms, who just hours before had been serving coffee and clearing plates, grabbed table knives and rushed to restrain the woman and to hold back the journalists.

Ms. Obeidy said she was a native of the rebel stronghold of Benghazi who had been stopped by Qaddafi militia on the outskirts of Tripoli. After being held for about two days, she said, she had managed to escape. Wearing a black robe, a veil and slippers, she ran into the Rixos Hotel here, asking specifically to speak to the news service Reuters and The New York Times. ?There is no media coverage outside,? she yelled at one point.

?They swore at me and they filmed me. I was alone. There was whiskey. I was tied up,? she told Michael Georgy of Reuters, who was able to speak with her briefly. ?I am not scared of anything. I will be locked up immediately after this.? She added: ?Look at my face. Look at my back.? Her other comments were captured by television cameras.

A wild scuffle began as journalists tried to interview, photograph and protect her. Several journalists were punched, kicked and knocked down by the security forces, working in tandem with people who until then had appeared to be hotel staff members. Security officials destroyed a CNN video camera and seized a device that a Financial Times reporter had used to record her testimony. A plainclothes security officer pulled out a revolver.

Two members of the hotel staff grabbed table knives to threaten Ms. Obeidy and the journalists.

?Turn them around, turn them around,? a waiter shouted, trying to block the foreign news media from having access to Ms. Obeidy. A woman on the staff shouted: ?Why are you doing this? You are a traitor!? and briefly put a coat over Ms. Obeidy?s head.

There was a prolonged standoff behind the hotel as the security officials apparently restrained themselves because of the presence of so many journalists, but Ms. Obeidy was ultimately forced into a white car and taken away.

?Leave me alone,? she shouted as one man tried to cover her mouth with his hand.

?They are taking me to jail,? she yelled, trying to resist the security guards, according to Reuters. ?They are taking me to jail.?

Questioned about her treatment, Khalid Kaim, the deputy foreign minister, promised that she would be treated in accordance with the law.

After the episode, Musa Ibrahim, a government spokesman, said she appeared to be drunk and mentally ill. He said that the authorities were investigating the case, including the possibility that her reports of abuse were ?fantasies.?

In a news conference later on Saturday, Mr. Ibrahim said that Ms. Obeidy was in the custody of Libyan police detectives who were treating her as a sane person with a credible criminal case of abduction and rape. ?It is a criminal case, not a political case,? he said, promising that it would be investigated to the full extent of the law and that she would have a chance to meet again with journalists.

Charles Clover of The Financial Times, who had put himself in the way of the security forces trying to apprehend her, was put into a van and driven to the border shortly afterward. He said that the night before, he had been told to leave because of what Libyan government officials said were inaccuracies in his reports.



If you guys watch the video in the link, you'll see how hectic things get. God. These people...
 

Pilaf

The Man in the Rain
In my completely unrealistic, wide eyed, ultra liberal opinion : women are people too.

Shocking, I know. I just insulted Islamists and Totalitarian fanboys everywhere.
 
I'm still amused that the Libyan government's assumes that the outside world treat them with legitimacy :hurr

But its been obvious that the people who support the government do so out of fear and nothing else, the rebels advancing into tripoli would be the only thing to collapse Gadaffi's reign
 

Terra Branford

Radioactive Vestige
Sadly, I am not surprised. I wasn't even surprised by their claims that she wasn't sane and had made it up. Anything to keep it secret, I suppose. They will do or say anything to protect their own asses.

I just hope that (if this really happened) the men will be punished severally, but I have a hard time believing that will happen.

The woman will probably be shackled and thrown in jail or killed. :(

In a news conference later on Saturday, Mr. Ibrahim said that Ms. Obeidy was in the custody of Libyan police detectives who were treating her as a sane person with a credible criminal case of abduction and rape. ?It is a criminal case, not a political case,? he said, promising that it would be investigated to the full extent of the law and that she would have a chance to meet again with journalists.
Yea and we will totally buy that promise :notrust
 
@Terra: Check out the video in the link. You can see how desperate she is in trying to get her story told. I'm sure she's telling the truth.
 

Terra Branford

Radioactive Vestige
@Terra: Check out the video in the link. You can see how desperate she is in trying to get her story told. I'm sure she's telling the truth.

I know she's telling the truth, I believe her. I was watching the video just now (wouldn't load before, site is really slow) so I didn't have time to edit after I got to watch the video. The article seems...to unreal to believe, if that makes sense? :hmm I didn't expect this kind of news to get out publicly, so I had (wrongly at first) assumed it was fake. Video definitely isn't fake.

That poor, poor woman. :( I hope those men suffer for what they have done. And if justice doesn't find them I hope someone who deals out justice, does.

I want to express my hatred for the way women are treated over there, but words cannot described my hatred. :mad
 

Jin-E

Well-Known Member
Gang rape in Libya, foreign reporters being sexually assaulted in Egypt, mass rapes in Congo.

That continent has issues with women.
 
Makes you realise how isolated and sheltered the journalists are too, locked up in a hotel and surrounded by pro-Gadaffi forces acting as their severs. Props to the ch 4 guy who really tried to intervene and got put in a separate van for his trouble.
 
Yeah, when you compare somewhere like the US to Japan where rapes are comparatively minimal, we don't really have much a leg to stand on when it comes to treating women with respect, atleast in terms of sexual gratification.
 

Seto Kaiba

God Hand Crusher
Yeah, when you compare somewhere like the US to Japan where rapes are comparatively minimal, we don't really have much a leg to stand on when it comes to treating women with respect, atleast in terms of sexual gratification.

Rape is severely underreported in Japan. Not to mention they have a massive problem with sexual assault generally.
 
One can say that(and it is true generally), but its not exactly something one can pinpoint while we don't have official figures

There were reports on Sankei of women being raped by people posing as police during the earthquake tsunami, knocking on doors and whatnot, but its not widely circulated
 

Momoka

sunshine lolipops and rainbows
Nasty bunch of brutes....
There are women who do get raped and a lot of them don't speak out, even in developed worlds.
That woman's a hero :(
 

KuzuRyuSen

The Specialist
Depressing. Truly depressing. How men turn to beast because they cannot control their lust for worldly pleasures.
 

Miss Fortune

I'm sleeping
Jesus christ... I want to hope that she's ok but it's more than likely that she'll be killed or raped again.

Maybe she'll escape again, I hope for at least that.
 

Santeira

The stranger on the bus
Indeed, it is depressing. The perpetrators would most likely still be scot-free after this. A thought that can calm me when I think about it, even if these men weren't brought to justice, such assholes will die one day. -_-
 

Draffut

Well-Known Member
Erm, guys... I hate to tell you, but rapes also happen in the civilized countries of North America :notrust

Who said otherwise?

If she was just a women raped, this would barely be news concidering how unfortuantly common it is.

Please let me know a situation in North America that parallels the other important aspects of this one.
 

Benzaiten

Free at last.
What the fuck is wrong with these countries and women?! :notrust

What a brave soul. At least she got to tell her story even at the cost of her own safety and perhaps life.. :(
 

Qhorin Halfhand

Strongest Man in All of China
I would feel safer for her if instead of the custody of the police she stayed with the foreign journalist or if she managed to get away. I wish her the best but I am not very hopeful for her future welfare.
 
Very likely. I hope we get a follow up that she contacted her family, but honestly I don't think she'll ever be seen again.
 
M

Mael

Guest
Very likely. I hope we get a follow up that she contacted her family, but honestly I don't think she'll ever be seen again.

And I love whenever we're refuted as not respecting the cultures and mindsets of people there when we point this out and bitch.
 
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