LIBYA—The Libyan woman who reported being raped by Gadhafi’s soldiers is now being counter charged with slander by her alleged rapists.
Eman al-Obeidy entered a Tripoli hotel on March 26 and attested to being raped by Gadhafi’s troops, a claim that made national television. Her face and legs were reportedly bruised, and she showed witnesses blood on her inner thighs.
While the government has stated that al-Obeidy has been released and is now home with her family, al-Obeidy’s mother has insisted to the public that her daughter is still being held by government officials. The mother said that an official called her, saying that the government would only release al-Obeidy if she changed her original statement.
Lawyers and human rights activists have been investigating the incident, and attempted to approach al-Obeidy’s sister. When they arrived at her house, they were not allowed in by security officials and were informed that the sister’s phone was turned off and that she has been missing since the incident at the hotel.
Despite the Libyan government’s original depiction of al-Obeidy as a “mentally ill prostitute” following the hotel incident, her family urged the public that she is a lawyer and a productive member of society. The government has since changed its statement, stating that al-Obeidy is sane and is pursuing a criminal case.
When al-Obeidy arrived at the hotel the day of the alleged rape, she told reporters she was a Benghazi rebel and had been held prisoner by Gadhafi’s forces for two days and raped by 15 men.
After al-Obeidy’s claim was made at the hotel, several fights ensued among hotel staff and reporters, including one kitchen employee drawing a knife and pointing it at the woman, and a government official removing a pistol from his belt in an attempt to stop the violence.
Al-Obeidy’s story has not been confirmed, and both charges against the alleged rapists and the alleged victim have been made. The case is still under investigation.
Watch the YouTube video of Eman al-Obeidy at the hotel here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GN2BAcATMHg
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