Woman cries for help, says abused by Gaddafi men

Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:39am GMT

By Maria Golovnina and Michael Georgy

TRIPOLI, March 26 (Reuters) - A weeping Libyan woman made a desperate plea for help on Saturday, slipping into a Tripoli hotel full of foreign journalists to show bruises and scars she said had been inflicted on her by Muammar Gaddafi's militiamen.

As reporters gathered to hear her story, security guards grabbed the woman, bundled her into a car and drove her away following a brawl in which several journalists were beaten.

The woman, Eman al-Obaidi, said she was arrested at a checkpoint in Tripoli because she is from the city of Benghazi, the bastion of a rebel insurgency against Gaddafi's rule.

"They swore at me and they filmed me. I was alone. There was whiskey. I was tied up," she said, weeping and stretching out her arms to show scars.

Her face was heavily bruised and her upper right thigh had blood on it. "They peed on me. They violated my honour," said Obaid.

Obaidi, wearing a loose black coat and slippers, said she had been raped by 15 men and held for two days at the checkpoint.

Her story could not be independently verified. It was unclear whether she had escaped or had been released.

Tripoli is Gaddafi's biggest stronghold, full of loyal militiamen who crack down on any form of dissent as Gaddafi's troops battle rebel forces in other parts of the country.   Continued...

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