Five Arrested in Iman al-Obeidi Rape Investigation

Libyan woman claims she was held for two days, tortured

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 27, 2011 1:24 PM CDT

(Newser) – Five men, possibly including the son of a high-ranking police officer, have been arrested in Libya as part of a criminal investigation into the rape allegations made by Iman al-Obeidi. The Libyan woman made headlines yesterday when she burst into a Tripoli hotel to tell journalists she had been imprisoned, raped, and tortured by men connected to Moammar Gadhafi. A government spokesperson says her claims are being fully investigated and that she has been given access to a lawyer.

Libya's deputy foreign minister confirms to Sky News the men have been detained as part of the investigation and says security staff "mishandled" the incident when al-Obeidi entered the hotel and police attempted to silence her. He also suggests the woman was attending a pre-arranged meeting with at least one of the men when the assault allegedly occurred; al-Obeidi claims she was picked up at a checkpoint. Sky News reports that it is "understood" the government is holding al-Obeidi as part of the investigation. Click for more background.

FT journalist Charles Clover, center top, attempts to stop a Libya Ministry of Information official from grabbing Iman Al-Obeidi, bottom right.
FT journalist Charles Clover, center top, attempts to stop a Libya Ministry of Information official from grabbing Iman Al-Obeidi, bottom right.   (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Iman Al-Obeidi, bottom right, shields herself moments before being grabbed by a Ministry of Information official.
Iman Al-Obeidi, bottom right, shields herself moments before being grabbed by a Ministry of Information official.   (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Hands from hotel employees trying to grab her, and foreign journalist attempting to protect her, surround Iman Al-Obeidi, right.
Hands from hotel employees trying to grab her, and foreign journalist attempting to protect her, surround Iman Al-Obeidi, right.   (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
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