March 27, 2011 in Nation/World

Woman claiming Libya troops raped her gets hustled away

Associated Press photo

Hotel employees try to grab Iman al-Obeidi, right, in front of foreign journalists in Tripoli, Libya.
(Full-size photo)

 TRIPOLI, Libya – A distraught 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.

 She claimed loudly that troops had detained her at a checkpoint, tied her up, abused her, then led her away to be gang-raped. Eventually government minders overpowered the woman and led her outside, shoving her into a car that sped away.

 Her story could not be independently verified, but the dramatic scene provided a rare firsthand glimpse of the brutal crackdown on public dissent by Moammar Gadhafi’s regime.

 At a hastily arranged press conference after the incident, government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said investigators had told him the woman was drunk and possibly mentally challenged.

Associated Press

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