Wednesday, March 30, 2011
A woman burst into a hotel room filled with foreign journalists on Sunday. She wanted to show them the bruises and scars and tell the journalists that she had been raped by 15 men. The waiters and hotel staff -- revelaing themselves to be secret police -- raced to silence her, throwing a coat over her head and dragging her out of the room. The journalists tried to help the woman but they were overpowered.
The Qaddafi regime claimed that the woman was a prostitute. She was not, said her mother, who said instead that her daughter was a law student. Some reports about the incident describe her as a law student; other reports describe her as a lawyer. She was abducted at a checkpoint outside Tripoli with three other women who were lawyers -- nothing is known of their fate.
Today, the Financial Times reports that the soldiers alleged to have raped the woman (whose name is Eman al-Obeidy) sued her in Libya for defamation.
The New York Times reported that residents in the woman's home city of Benghazi have held demonstrations to support her. The international community should likewise protest all of the attacks, murders, and rapes being used to try to silence Qaddafi's critics.