Iman al-Obeidi Tells Her Story

Libyan woman recalls capture, brutal rapes, escape
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2011 7:30 AM CDT
Iman al-Obeidi Tells Her Story
Iman Al-Obeidi shouts to tell her story at the Rixos hotel in Tripoli Saturday March 15, 2011.   (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

(Newser) – Iman al-Obeidi hasn't left her house in three days. All she wants is to go to her family's home in east Libya, but she says Moammar Gadhafi's family won't let her travel. "I want my freedom," she tells NPR. More than two weeks after al-Obeidi burst into a Tripoli hotel claiming she was raped by Gadhafi's men, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro sneaked out of her own hotel to get the full story. Al-Obeidi recalls how she was stopped at a checkpoint because she is from the rebel-held east, and taken to a house full of men.

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"I was fighting them off so much that they tied my legs and arms together. They were drinking a lot, and they would spill the alcohol in my eyes. And they would kick my head with their boots," she says, adding that she recognized the ringleader, a government minister's son. "Every time he would try to rape me, I would push him away with my legs, and he would scratch my thighs from both sides to force me," she says, and her thighs still bear fading marks. The men repeatedly raped her in groups of three for two days, but she managed to escape with the reluctant help of another woman being held with her. Click for her full account. (Read more Iman al-Obeidi stories.)

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