Gaddafi Regime Defiant in Face of Rape Claim

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Published 1 May 2012
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BY CHRISTINE SLUSSER
ANCHOR MEGAN MURPHY
You're watching multisource world news analysis from Newsy
 
The m...
BY CHRISTINE SLUSSER
ANCHOR MEGAN MURPHY
You're watching multisource world news analysis from Newsy
 
The media were promised a meeting with missing Libyan woman Eman al-Obeidy Saturday, which did not happen.
To recap, the woman barged into a hotel where international reporters were staying and attempted to tell her story of how Gaddafi's soldiers raped her. She was dragged out by Gaddafi loyalists and taken away in a car. She hasn't been seen since. (Video: SkyNews)

Impunity Watch reports since the incident--the government has spoken about her--but she's still MIA.

“Al-Obeidy's claims highlight [a UN peacekeeper's] assertion that 'It is now more dangerous to be a woman than a soldier in modern wars.'  ... Women who are raped are considered to have lost their honor and children born to rape victims lack full legal status.”

A government spokesman had promised the international press Odeidy would get to speak with “two female journalists.” TIME’s Aryn Baker was there - and says the fact the presser never happened - suggests the worst.

“All we have are the assurances of spokesman Ibrahim, who assures us she is in ‘a safe place, a social shelter for women who are traumatized or raped, who have social stigma, go.’ Hardly reassuring considering that in earlier press conferences he had denied that she had been raped at all.”

An Egyptian journalist tells CNN - that’s typical of the Gaddafi regime. She says she faced similar stonewalling while reporting in Libya.

MONA ELTAHAWY: “...during a news conference, one of Gaddafi's mail body guards twisted my nipple in the middle of the news conference because they were trying to kick me out because I was considered a troublemaker. So this is a regime that long practiced silencing women through shame and sexual violence, and practices a very casual kind of violence...”



Finally, Al Jazeera reports on exactly why al-Obeidy had to come to international reporters in the first place:

MONA ELTAHAWY: “State controlled Libya media had an anchor woman on who called her a prostitute, who called her a liar, who called her mentally unstable and an alcoholic.”
SUBTITLED: “Even the whore has feelings of nationalism when her country is in danger. Even the whore!”

Until recently, the government had claimed al-Obeidy had been released to her family--something her family has come out and said isn't true.
 
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