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Woman gang-raped in Libya will face charges for slander

By Kase Wickman
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 12:10 EDT
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The saga of Eman al-Obeidy, the woman who burst into a Tripoli hotel full of foreign reporters Saturday and told the story of her gang-rape at the hands of pro-Gaddafi militiamen, continues. Libyan government spokesman Musa Ibrahim said Tuesday that the men al-Obeidy had implicated had filed a civil suit against her, saying that she had slandered them, the New York Times reports. The names of the men have not been made public.

“Oh, yeah, they have filed a case,” Ibrahim told the Times. “The boys who she accused of rape are bringing a case because it is a very grave offense to accuse someone of a sexual crime.”

Five men, including the son of a high-ranking Libyan official, have been arrested in connection with al-Obeidy’s claims.

Al-Obeidy said that she was detained at a checkpoint in Tripoli on the way back from an anti-Gaddafi protest, held for two days, and gang-raped by 15 men. She said the men urinated and defecated on her. Her claims could not be independently verified — if a medical examination was conducted, the results were not made available to the media — but she showed bruises and cuts on her arms, legs and face to reporters Saturday.

Al-Obeidy was dragged away from the journalists in the Roxo Hotel Saturday, and thrown into an unmarked car. Though Ibrahim insisted that she had been released from custody Monday, she has not been seen by the media since Saturday, and her family contested Ibrahim’s claims, saying al-Obeidy was still being held by the government.

Government spokesman Ibrahim has called her, alternately, a drunk, mentally ill, a prostitute, and sober and sane.

Her family has said that she is a law student, and said that they received calls to their home, offering cash if she would change her story and recant her claims of rape.

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
 
 
 
 
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