Eman al-Obeidy, a Libyan woman from Benghazi, burst into the Rixos Hotel housing the foreign press in Tripoli this morning and fought off security forces to tell journalists that she had been raped and beaten by members of the Qaddafi militia. After nearly an hour, she was dragged away by Muammar Qadaffi's security forces while screaming. Reporters from Reuters, the New York Times, the Telegraph, CNN, and the Financial Times were able to hear and videotape some of her story. Obeidy explained:
"They say that we are all Libyans and we are one people. But look at what the Qaddafi men did to me. I was tied up, and they defecated and urinated on me. They violated my honor. As soon as I leave here, they are going to take me to jail. They swore at me and they filmed me. I was alone. There was whiskey. I am not scared of anything. I will be locked up immediately after this. Look at my face. Look at my back."
Obeidy displayed a "broad bruise on her face, a large scar on her upper thigh, several narrow and deep scratch marks lower on her leg, and marks that seemed to come from binding around her hands and feet," according to the New York Times. She said she had been raped by fifteen "Qaddafi men" after she was stopped by a Qaddafi militia on the outskirts of Benghazi, and she had managed to escape capture after being held for about two days. “There is no media coverage outside,” she yelled.
According to the Times, the woman's testimony led to "a wild scuffle, as journalists tried to interview, photograph, and protect her." Several journalists were reportedly knocked on the floor by Qaddafi’s security forces and hotel staff. Obeidy was ultimately forced into a white car and taken away. “They are taking me to jail,” she yelled, trying to resist security guards.
Mussa Ibrahim, Libya's government spokesman, told reporters, "Investigators phoned me and said she was drunk. Her safety of course is guaranteed. I am sure she will be treated according to the law."
Video footage of the event, from the Telegraph:
Libyan Woman Struggles to Tell Media of Her Rape [NYT]
Woman cries for help, says abused by Gaddafi men [Reuters]
Libyan woman tells journalists in Tripoli that regime's men raped and tortured her [Telegraph UK]