Eman Al-Obeidy Leaves Libya For Malta

Eman al-Obeidy, the Libyan woman who said she was gang-raped by militia men loyal to Colonel Muammar el-Gaddafi and fled the country in early May only to be deported back by the Qatari government on Thursday, has now left Libya again and is on her way to Malta with her father, a high-level State Department source told CNN.

The State Department source said a representative from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is accompanying al-Obeidy. She will eventually head to a refugee-processing center in Europe before permanently resettling in another country.

Al-Obeidy grabbed international headlines in March when she burst into a Tripoli hotel popular with journalists to tell them she had been raped and beaten. She was immediately removed by security guards and detained for several days.

Al-Obeidy fled to Tunisia at the beginning of May, and then to Qatar where she had been staying in a hotel in the capital city of Doha with her family awaiting resettlement. The Qatari government forced her back to Libya on Thursday. She appeared to have been beaten before being deported. 

From CNN:

Nasha Dawaji, a U.S.-based Libyan pro-freedom activist, said she was with three key members of Libya’s Transitional National Council when they first learned that al-Obeidy was forced from Doha and arrived in Benghazi, Libya, on Thursday. She said al-Obeidy had a black eye, bruises on her legs and scratches on her arms.

The council members were upset upon seeing al-Obeidy’s condition and vowed to open an investigation, Dawaji said.

According to reports, the Qatari government deported al-Obeidy because she had criticized Libyan rebels in Qatar. 

From The Washington Post:

Obaidi had been under pressure from the rebels to return to her home country for some time, and had come under fire for complaining about the lack of support she had received from the rebels and in particular from rebel official Mahmoud Shammam in Doha.

“Mahmoud Shammam had been giving her a hard time,” said Mohamed Ali, an official from the city council of the rebel-held city of Misurata, who is now based in Doha. “It is very counterproductive what Shammam has done.”

Another official, who declined to be named because of the sensitive nature of the subject, said the rebels had asked the Qatari authorities to send her home. Qatar has been a major backer of the Libyan rebel movement.

On Thursday, the United States signaled its concern and expressed disappointment at her deportation, saying it was “a breach of humanitarian norms.”

Today, CNN’s State Department source said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “has been deeply interested in the case and has followed it throughout.”

CNN, which has interviewed al-Obeidy, said she told the network “on repeated occasions that she wants to go the United States.”

Related Reading:

Qatar Deports Libyan Libyan Rape Victim Back To Benghazi

Libyan Rape Victim Escapes To Tunisia

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

Libyan Woman Dragged Away While Describing Her Rape To Journalists


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


Jonathan Y.
Jonathan Y6 years ago

Shammaam wanted her to return to Benghazi to symbolize female resistance to Gaddafi, because of his propaganda of being pro-women's rights and surrounding himself with female security. It's true he's given high-profile jobs to women but he has also made them dependent on his good will.

Tragic she became a political football after being wrongfully detained and raped.

I hope she and her family find asylum.

Loo Samantha
Loo sam6 years ago


Ian F.
Ian Fletcher6 years ago

So sad this. But how brave she is!
Good for her to leave, hope she's happier now.

Sue Horwood
.6 years ago

I truly hope she will be safe now.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L6 years ago


Shell S.
Past Member 6 years ago

Hmmmm...there was a FEMALE president in Pakistan. Have WE Americans had a female president yet? Hmmmmmm...... I'm not sticking up for all of them, just the innocent ones. There are innocent ones, really. Sigh.......

Shell S.
Past Member 6 years ago

Yes, the people who did this to her are sick. I however, am not going to say all Muslim men are the same way.
Let's see, my husband was abusive, my mom's first husband was, every other person you run into can tell you a story of a man abusing a woman, every other woman you run into has story of an abusive partner, there are talk shows on it, movies on it. So there for...ALL men are abusive, right? Hmmmmm...that sounds pretty silly, right? Well, so does saying every Muslim man is that way. Sending loving kindness to all of you. May you find your method to your intended esence. Namaste

Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

Thanks Suzi.

Ernest R.
Ernest R6 years ago

Yet another Islamic country that hasn’t heard the message that Islam is about peace and love and respect for women. Is there then NO Islamic country that knows about this ? Perhaps Mr Freewheeler can tell us which countries follow the true Islam. Okay Scott ?

Marie Russell-Barker

This poor woman have been through hell and back and as a woman I feel her pain, so this is the way men want to treat women and I can not help but think about how our congress today is thinking almost along those same lines of thoughts, Raped but don't tell or you will become the villain, she is actually running for her life because she had the courage to call those out who raped her. I wish her well and that she be given the opportunity to come to America. P.S. I hope we will still be the same America that protect women's rights.