Saturday, 26 March 2011
A Libyan woman from Benghazi who identified herself as Eman al-Obeidy pushed her way into Tripoli’s Rixos Hotel, which houses members of the foreign press, asking to speak with reporters from Reuters and The New York Times.
“Look at what the Qaddafi men did to me,” she said, before proceeding to reveal an array of bruises and scars which she claimed were inflicted upon her during a brutal gang rape she endured while being held by Qaddafi’s militia for two days.
Ms. Obeidy told reporters she was stopped on the outskirts of Tripoli and taken away. “I was tied up, and they defecated and urinated on me. They violated my honor.” She eventually managed to escape, but her friends were not as lucky. “They are still there, they are still there,” Ms. Obeidy said, pleading for their release.
As reporters moved in to ask questions, security officials and hotel staff attempted remove Ms. Obeidy from the building by force, throwing punches and kicks, brandishing guns and knives, breaking equipment, and seizing a recording device. Security guards managed to grab hold of Ms. Obeidy, dragging her into a white car as she shouted “they are taking me to jail, they are taking me to jail.”
A government spokesman later said the woman appeared to be drunk and mentally ill, adding that “her safety of course is guaranteed.” Concerning her claims of torture, the spokesman said authorities were investigating the possibility that they were “fantasies.” Charles Clover, a Financial Times reporter who attempted to shield Ms. Obeidy from the security guards, was himself placed into a van and driven to the border. The Libyan government had asked him to leave the night before due to alleged reporting inaccuracies.
Video of the altercation can be seen below:
[nyt / skynews]