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Alleged Rape Victim Eman al-Obeidy Receives Asylum in the U.S.

Alleged Rape Victim Eman al-Obeidy Receives Asylum in the U.S.


Eman al-Obeidy made headlines earlier this spring when she burst into a hotel full of journalists, demanding to tell her story of rape at the hands of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s soldiers. The Libyan woman fled the country early in May, and has been struggling since then to find a country to accept her. Now she has been granted asylum in the United States. According to news reports, she landed in New York today.

Her saga, since she was dragged away from the Tripoli hotel in March, has been long and traumatic. In an interview, al-Obeidy said that she was harassed by government forces and even abducted at a checkpoint. After the kidnapping, she was tortured and raped by pro-Gaddafi officials. When she was finally released, she fled to Tunisia, and then moved on to Qatar. From Qatar, however, she was deported back to Libya.

Now, after spending 54 days in aU.N. High Commissioner for Refugees facility in Romania, she says she is “excited and happy” to be in the United States. When she spoke with a CNN producer, however, she added that she was not yet ready to speak to the media.

Throughout her ordeal, al-Obeidy repeatedly asserted her desire to go to the United States. Now, it’s unclear what her new life will be like. Perhaps it is enough, for now, to know that she does not have to flee yet again.

In the meantime, there has been no update on the state of sexual violence in Libya. Earlier this summer, the International Criminal Court expressed its fear that Libyan soldiers were using rape as a weapon of war. It’s terrible to think that al-Obeidy’s story may just be one of many, and that Libyan women are continuing to suffer the same trauma.

Related Stories:

Gaddafi Soldiers May Be Using Viagra to Rape Their Opponents

Eman al-Obeidy Leaves Libya for Malta

Libyan Rape Victim Says Gaddafi’s Soldiers Abducted and Tortured Her

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Photo from Maher27777 via Wikimedia Commons.

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5:25PM PDT on Sep 14, 2011

Good on her!

7:21PM PDT on Aug 20, 2011


4:36PM PDT on Aug 11, 2011

Thank you for the good news!

10:58PM PDT on Aug 6, 2011

thanks for the good news.

6:28AM PDT on Aug 5, 2011

Under the last regime, this would have never happened, she never would have been allowed into the states. Thankfully we have a president that has heart and intellect. I hope that Eman can put her life together as best she can here in the states.

3:48PM PDT on Aug 4, 2011

Happy for her! All of those men should be tortured and then killed!!

10:23PM PDT on Aug 3, 2011

I am glad she made it out of there and I hope her life in the US is peaceful. What a horror that happened to her and what courage it took to do what she did. The spotlight from CNN helped save her life as did the US consul. Good for them.

12:54PM PDT on Aug 3, 2011

Way to go, U.S. Consul!

1:47PM PDT on Aug 2, 2011

It's so horrible what happened to her. I'm happy to hear the good news!

1:38AM PDT on Aug 2, 2011

With the courage to step up and stand in front of the world and decry rape, I applaud women like her - I am so sorry she went through this, but may her courage begin to effect the change we need against all rape. I am glad she is safely out of Libya.

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