After Libyan woman’s rape claims, methods of Gaddafi government put on display
TRIPOLI, LIBYA — A woman provided journalists with a glimpse into the methods of the Libyan government Saturday when she was dragged from their hotel by security guards and government minders seeking to stop her from telling her story of abuse. “Look what Gaddafi’s militia have done to me,” she said, raising her long black robe to reveal scratch marks and blood on her thigh. There were also bruises and lacerations on her cheeks, and marks on her hands and ankles indicating that she had been tied up.
A small group of reporters gathered around to listen. She gave her name as Iman al-Obaidi and recounted how she had been detained by Gaddafi militiamen at a checkpoint two days earlier and raped by 15 of them. “I was tied up. They defecated on me. They urinated on me. They violated my honor,” she said.
As she spoke, hotel staff members, security guards and government minders closed in on her and began dragging her away. Journalists who tried to protect her were punched, and one, Charles Clover of the Financial Times, was knocked to the ground and kicked. Eventually, the woman — screaming, “They are taking me to jail!” — was hauled outside to an unmarked car, which whisked her away at high speed.