The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Suzanne Trimel, 212-633-4150,

Amnesty International Demands to Know Whereabouts of Woman Who Accused Libyan Forces of Rape

Organization Says Woman Should be Immediately Released, If She Is Being Detained


Amnesty International today demanded that Libya reveal the whereabouts of a Libyan woman who claimed she was raped by forces loyal to Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi. The organization said it was "extremely disturbing" that the woman was forcibly dragged away by security officials when she tried to speak to journalists about the assault.

Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa director, said: "The Libyan authorities have a long record of silencing those who dare speak out against human rights violations. It is all the more worrying that they did not hesitate to do this, using heavy-handed methods, despite the presence of the international media."

Smart said: "Iman al-Obeidi's allegations are stomach-churning. The Libyan authorities must immediately launch an independent and impartial investigation and bring those responsible to justice if the allegations are well-founded. It is extremely disturbing that Iman al-Obeidi was forcibly dragged away by Libyan security officials when she tried to speak to journalists. The authorities must say where she is now and guarantee her safety and well-being. If she is being detained, she should be released immediately."

Amnesty International is a global movement of millions of people demanding human rights for all people - no matter who they are or where they are. We are the world's largest grassroots human rights organization.

(212) 807-8400