Nanny tells of brutal abuse in Gaddafi family home

Last Updated: Friday, September 2, 2011 - 09:55

Tripoli: A disfigured Ethiopian nanny on Thursday recounted being beaten and severely burnt while working for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi`s son Hannibal and his wife.

Lying prone in her bed at Tripoli`s only burns unit, Shweyga Mullah, 30, said wife Aline Skaf, a Lebanese lingerie model previously accused of abuse, twice poured scalding water on her, causing third degree burns which doctors said would take years to treat.

"There was some problem how to arrange the clothes of the children and for that reason she is suffering all of this," said Dr Salah Errmih by her bedside in a blacked-out basement room.

Still suffering from badly infected burns covering 40 percent of her body, most visibly to her scalp, face and torso, Mullah told of her long suffering and regular beatings at the hands of Skaf.

"I could not escape, there were a lot of guards," she said, nodding as a doctor recounted her journey from being offered the job by the Libyan embassy in Addis Ababa to suffering at a stylish beach resort near Tripoli.

That journey is not yet finished, doctors said. Around three months ago, she was secretly brought to a hospital by one of those guards, who told doctors to "treat her, and say nothing”. But the treatment was stop-gap.

"She has all the complications you can imagine," said another specialist treating her. "She has deep burns, over a large area, that were neglected."

Now Errmih said she just wants to get treatment, go home to Addis Ababa to see her mother, and for justice to be done. "I would like that she is judged under the law," she said.

In 2008, Hannibal and Skaf, then pregnant, were briefly arrested at a Geneva hotel on suspicion of mistreating two of their domestic staff, causing a diplomatic rumpus between Libya and Switzerland.

The Algerian government said Hannibal crossed into Algeria last Saturday along with a brother, sister and their mother, taking refuge from advancing rebel forces.

It is thought Skaf and their two children are with Hannibal.

PTI



First Published: Friday, September 2, 2011 - 09:55

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