WOMEN WAR & PEACE | PBS

New Allegations of Rape and Abuse Under Qaddafi

August 29, 2011 | Lauren Feeney

With rebels now in control of the Libyan capital and Qaddafi on the run, a slew of new stories are emerging about rape, sexual assault and physical abuse at the hands of Qaddafi, his sons and his henchmen.

  • Five of Qaddafi’s female bodyguards went public with allegations of rape by their former boss. The women were part of the “Amazonian Guard –” an elite group supposedly handpicked by Qaddafi and forced to take an oath of chastity (with an exception, perhaps, for the strongman himself).
  • The U.K.’s Daily Mail profiles Nisreen Mansour al Forgani, a 19-year-old member of Qaddafi’s all-female militia who admits to having executed as many as 11 suspected rebel prisoners. The young woman says that she was sexually abused and forced to carry out the killings by senior members of Qaddafi’s military.
  • A nanny who cared for two of Qaddafi’s grandchildren says she was beaten, starved, and had boiling water poured over her head by Qaddafi’s daughter-in-law Aline, wife of his playboy son Hannibal. The woman’s scalp and face were covered in scars, with clear liquid oozing from an open wound on her head at the time of the interview, according to the CNN reporter who spoke to her.
  • A Libyan-American brain surgeon who joined the rebel forces in Libya and was captured in Ajdabiya recalls a young pro-Qaddafi soldier whispering in his ear: “My friends and I are ­going to rape you tonight.” His ear. The threat of rape turned out to be an empty one, but the man was allegedly beaten by both his captors and later, prison guards.
  • Amnesty International finds evidence of abuse on both sides, with rebels physically assaulting both pro-Qaddafi prisioners and foreign migrant workers, and Qaddafi forces raping inmates — including young boys — at Tripoli’s notorious Abu Salim Prison.

The use of rape as a weapon in Libya has been a concern since Iman al Obeidy burst into a Tripoli Hotel room and attempted to tell foreign journalists that she had been sexually abused by Qaddafi forces. In May, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said that he was looking into allegations that Qaddafi troops were found with Viagra in their pockets, a sign of pre-meditated sexual assault. But at the time, neither Human Rights Watch nor Amnesty International found evidence of systematic use of rape.

Comments

  1. Merva Scott says:

    Wow

  2. Rev. Sr. Barr. Carol Ije. Njoku says:

    The perpetrators of war crime against women and minority ought to be brought to book. The UN security should intensify their effort to protect the lives and rights of women and minority.

    Barr. Carol.

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