ONTD Political

Iman al-Obeidi is alive!

10:54 pm - 05/08/2011
Libyan woman 'raped by Gaddafi troops' flees to Tunisia

Iman al-Obeidi has reportedly been given refuge in Tunis after escaping with help of defecting military officer

Martin Chulov in Tripoli

Iman al-Obeidi, the Libyan woman who claimed she was raped by Muammar Gaddafi's soldiers, has reportedly fled to Tunisia with the help of a defecting military officer.

Obeidi, who drew worldwide attention when she burst into a Tripoli hotel to describe to foreign journalists her alleged ordeal at the hands of 15 men, has been given refuge in Tunis by western officials.

Obeidi told CNN she had entered Tunisia with a refugee document and was considering her next move. She claimed her court case against the soldiers – who she said had seized her at a checkpoint near Tripoli – had barely progressed.

After passing numerous checkpoints disguised in a veil that hid her face except one eye, Obeidi passed the Dehebi crossing on Thursday without trouble. Obeidi's story of being brutalised by 15 drunken men over two days – some of whom she claims were close to Gaddafi's inner circle – has become a rallying call for revolution.

Her ordeal has been seized upon by members of the revolutionary council in Benghazi. She was dragged away from reporters at the Rixos hotel on 26 March after she started angrily detailing her alleged attack.

Government officials promptly labelled Obeidi a prostitute and suggested she may have been a provocateur sent by rebels from eastern Libya, from where part of her family reportedly hails.

It is rare in Libyan society for a woman to go public with a claim of rape, which is widely seen as dishonouring the victim and her family, rather than the attacker.

Obeidi was initially jailed, but was freed under an order from Gaddafi's son Saadi, and had since been with her family in Tripoli. The vicious standoff between Gaddafi loyalists in west Libya and western-backed rebels in the east shows little sign of ending.

Nato jets have been largely absent from the skies since Wednesday.

Several regime targets were hit over the weekend in the western mountains, where rebels maintain their only anti-government foothold in the west of the country. In Tripoli, some queues for fuel stretch for several miles.

Bread too is in drastically short supply with bakers fled to their native Egypt when fighting erupted in mid-February yet to return.

The economic siege of the capital is clearly taking a toll, with many stores in the old city remaining closed and almost all construction sites having ground to a halt.

jugglingeggs 9th-May-2011 06:46 am (UTC)
theguindo 9th-May-2011 06:55 am (UTC)

I am so amazingly glad to hear this!
mswyrr 9th-May-2011 07:05 am (UTC)
I hope she finds some peace and safety there.

The Guardian, on the other hand, can blow me with its *scarequotes* around rape.

FU, Guardian.
despatch_boxing 9th-May-2011 07:13 am (UTC)
Not with that mouth! You don't know where else it's been.

I'm hoping it's a legal necessity and not a moral judgement. Because, otherwise, yeah.
mswyrr 9th-May-2011 07:15 am (UTC)
That's why God made dental dams, no? ;)

I'm hoping it's a legal necessity and not a moral judgement. Because, otherwise, yeah.

Ah, hadn't considered the legal necessity thing. If it is a case of the law being an ass, I withdraw my "FU" toward the The Guardian.
evildevil 9th-May-2011 09:04 am (UTC)
so they are afraid that Gaddaffi will sue for slander?
romp 9th-May-2011 07:38 am (UTC)
I think it's a legal thing but better to figure out a new headline than go with that.
mswyrr 9th-May-2011 07:42 am (UTC)
Good point. As a professional writer, Mr. Chulov and/or his editor ought to be able to come up with another way to say it.
owl_eyes_4ever 9th-May-2011 07:23 am (UTC)
What is going on in that photo?

Also, I thought her being alive was already reported, but regardless GREAT!
calimazan 9th-May-2011 10:50 am (UTC)
I think it's from when she accused her attackers at that hotel mentioned in the article.

I'm glad she escaped, I hadn't heard anything else since.
romp 9th-May-2011 07:38 am (UTC)
Yay! I like the source and I like the news so I'll wrap up the internet on this positive note.
dearmisterecho 9th-May-2011 12:57 pm (UTC)
Excellent news!
ceasetoknow 9th-May-2011 02:12 pm (UTC)
Oh yay, this is great! I'm so glad she's alive, I thought she was just going to "disappear" :/
leelakin 9th-May-2011 03:34 pm (UTC)
abee 9th-May-2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
Thank goodness! <3
anjak_j 9th-May-2011 05:17 pm (UTC)
I'm glad that she's out of Libya. I really did think that it was the last we'd hear from her that day when they hauled her away from the reporters.
poetic_pixie_13 9th-May-2011 07:00 pm (UTC)
How awesome is this? Really fucking awesome. \O/
the_gabih 9th-May-2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
Libyan woman 'raped by Gaddafi troops'

Why the quotation marks, Grauniad?

Though having said that, it's excellent news.
popehippo 9th-May-2011 09:02 pm (UTC)
echoandsway 10th-May-2011 01:02 am (UTC)
Saw this earlier elsewhere -- very glad she was able to get out.

Obeidi was initially jailed, but was freed under an order from Gaddafi's son Saadi Curious; I'd missed this is why she'd been freed. Savvier about PR than most of the regime, or what?
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