This morning a Libyan woman rushed into the Tripoli hotel where foreign press are staying and told the assembled media she had been raped and beaten by Col. Qaddafi’s forces, even as security guards tried to physically prevent her from speaking. After a scuffle where hotel staffers threatened her and the press with knives and call her a traitor, the woman was dragged out of the hotel, stuffed into a car and whisked away. (Foreign press are largely confined to the hotel in Libya.)
A Reuters reporter spoke to the woman, who gave her name as Eman al-Obeidy:
Her face heavily bruised, she said she had been arrested at a checkpoint in Tripoli because she was from the city of Benghazi, bastion of the insurgency against Gaddafi’s rule.
“They swore at me and they filmed me. I was alone. There was whiskey. I was tied up,” she said, weeping and stretching out her arms to show scars. “They peed on me. They violated my honor.”
Obaidi, who appeared to be in her 30s and was wearing a loose black coat and slippers, said she had been raped by 15 men and held for two days.
At a press conference today, a government official said he suspected the woman was drunk or mentally unstable.