`Raped` Libyan woman should be freed

Iman Al-Obeidi alleged she had been raped by Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.

Updated: Apr 07, 2011, 11:16 AM IST

Cairo: Libyan authorities should allow a woman who alleged she was raped by Muammar Gaddafi’s security forces to leave Tripoli for her own safety and to receive medical treatment, the rights body Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.

Iman Al-Obeidi stormed into the Rixos hotel at breakfast time on March 26 and threw open her coat to reveal scars and bruises on her body to expose her ordeal, but was whisked away by security guards.

"Libyan authorities have further victimised Al-Obeidi by refusing to let her leave Tripoli," said Nadya Khalife, HRW`s Middle East women’s rights researcher. "They should ensure that she can leave Tripoli at once to receive supportive medical and psychological care, following the trauma she experienced."

Al-Obeidi told of being stopped at a Tripoli checkpoint because she was from the rebel-stronghold of Benghazi. "They tied me up and abused me for two days," she said.

After a petition demanding her release reached its target of half a million signatures, al-Obeidi confirmed in telephone interviews this week that she had been freed after she had been examined by a doctor, who supported her allegations that she had been raped and tortured.

But she was not at liberty to leave Tripoli, she said.

Bureau Report