Written By Rana G on Sunday, March 27, 2011 | 10:42 AM
Libyan woman stormed into a Tripoli hotel Saturday to tell foreign reporters that government troops raped her, setting off a brawl when hotel staff and government minders tried to detain her.
Iman al-Obeidi was tackled by waitresses and government minders as she sat telling her story to journalists after she rushed into the restaurant at the Rixos hotel where a number of foreign journalists were eating breakfast.
In a bizarre event in the ongoing crisis in Libya, a distraught and disturbed Libyan woman sought out western reporters in a Tripoli hotel to claim she had been gang-raped for two days by fifteen members of a paramilitary force loyal to Moammar Gaddafi.
Bruises are seen on the face of Libyan woman Obaidi as she cries at a hotel in Tripoli.However, before she could tell the whole story, Iman al-Obeidi was dragged out of the Rixos hotel by Libyan officials and hotel employees.She alleged that she had been detained at a checkpoint, tied her up, sexually abused her and then led her away to be gang-raped.
She said. "The Gaddafi militiamen violated my honor."She claimed loudly that troops had detained her at a checkpoint, tied her up, abused her, then led her away to be gangraped. Her story could not be independently verified, but the dramatic scene provided a rare firsthand glimpse of the brutal crackdown on public dissent by Gaddafi's regime as the Libyan leader fights a rebellion against his rule that began last month.
The woman’s thigh was bloodied and her face physically scratched, but her story could not be independently verified. The Associated Press only identifies rape victims who volunteer their names.
The woman clearly had scratches on her face and bruises on her body. She claimed she was able to escape her captors with help from neighbors in the area where she was detained.
The Associated Press reported that during the melee hotel waiters called her a traitor and told her to shut up.As she was being led away, she screamed: "Look at what happens - Gaddafi's militiamen kidnap women at gunpoint, and rape them ... they rape them.”
It soon turned into a scene of chaos with journalists attempting to protect the woman from government minders who physically attacked and intimidated her.Journalists who tried to intervene were pushed out of the way by the minders.
A British television reporter was punched, and CNN's camera was smashed on the ground and ripped to pieces by the government minders.Eventually the minders overpowered the woman and led her outside, shoving her into a car that sped away. Al-Obeidi kept crying that she was certain she would be thrown in jail.
She begged photographers to take her picture, raising her robe to show them her bruised body. A minder tried to cover her mouth with his hand to keep her from talking
Posted by Rana G at 10:42 AM