Libyan Rape Victim Iman al-Obeidi Gives First TV Interview


Today CNN aired the first video interview with Iman al-Obeidi, the woman who told Western reporters that she was gang raped by Gaddafi’s thugs. In an interview facilitated by Saadi Gadhafi, one of the Libyan dictator’s sons, Obeidi described her ordeal, denied the government spokesman’s claims that she’s insane or a prostitute, and showed CNN’s Nic Robertson her bruises.

Obedi says:

I was brutally tortured, to the point of them entering weapons inside of me. After two days they would also pour alcohol in my eyes. When the Libyan government spokesperson came on and said that I was drunk and mentally challenged he had not reviewed the case or seen the investigation. He just spoke without any knowledge. They just know how to lie.

CNN reports that the interview took place in Saadi Gadhafi’s office, with him and a female assistant present. However, CNN’s team was alone with her at times and she didn’t appear to be holding back. The Libyan government has been promising an interview with Obeidi since she was dragged away from reporters in a Tripoli hotel, but failed to deliver. As the New York Times explains, Saadi Gadhafi and his brother are supporting a plan to push their father aside and transition to a constitutional democracy. Saadi only asked CNN to cut 10 seconds in which Obeidi told people in the two rebel-held cities Misurata and Benghazi to continue their resistance. Obeidi agreed, as long as there was full disclosure that the clip had been removed.

The interview took place on Wednesday but was held for 18 hours because government officials demanded to review it. Nic Robertson Tweeted that after reviewing the video, government spokesman Musa Ibrahim objected to the tone, the questions, and the overall content, “i.e. ALL of it.” But his objections were overruled by Saadi. Obeidi says she’s asked him to help her clear her name, take legal measures against the state TV for libel, and be reunited with her family, who live in the eastern city of Tobruk.

Gadhafi’s Son Arranges CNN Interview With Alleged Libyan Rape Victim [CNN]
Video Interview With Woman Who Claims She Was Raped By Qaddafi Forces [NYT]
@NicRobertsonCNN [Twitter]

Earlier: Iman al-Obeidi Is At Home, Still Under Constant Threat

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