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LIBYA: Woman allegedly raped by Kadafi troops leaves Benghazi for the U.S.


The Libyan woman who caused international controversy when she claimed she was raped by Kadafi troops has left Libya for the United States, her sister told the Associated Press on Sunday.

Marwa Obeidi said her sister Iman left Benghazi early Sunday morning, but it was not immediately clear where in the U.S. she was flying.

"We just want a chance for her to be treated psychologically and to rest. My sister has just been through so much," Marwa Obeidi told the Associated Press.

"Iman locked herself in her room in Doha and refused to leave the house. She would get nightmares and fall off the bed," said her mother, Aisha bin Ismail.

In March, Obeidi burst into Tripoli's Rixos Hotel, where foreign correspondents had been forced to stay while covering Kadafi's regime.

She claimed she had been stopped at a checkpoint, kidnapped and gang-raped by Kadafi's soldiers. As reporters watched, the Libyan government officials responsible for escorting them approached and dragged Obeidi away.

She disappeared for days afterward, surfacing in Tunisia and later Qatar, where she was suddenly expelled Thursday and sent to Benghazi.

Marwa Obeidi told the Associated Press that a human rights group aided by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arranged for Iman and their father to travel in a private plane to Washington by way of Malta and Austria.

The U.S. State Department had expressed concern for Obeidi's safety after she was deported from Qatar.

Meanwhile, Libyan authorities in Tripoli have dismissed Obeidi as a drunk, a prostitute and a thief.

"Iman constantly felt scared and threatened even in Benghazi," said her mother. "She was worried that at any moment Kadafi's men would be near to kill her."

Marwa Obeidi told the Associated Pres that her sister's top priority in the U.S. would be to receive psychological treatment and to continue her studies.

"I am sure they will greet her with such warmth and kindness," she said. "We are happy for her."

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Cairo

Photo: Iman Obeidi, seen in Tripoli in March, said she was gang-raped by Kadafi troops. Credit: Mohamed Messara/EPA

Comments () | Archives (10)

There is a lot of conflicting information on this apparently she is in Romania in a UN facility. So I wouldn't assume she is going to the US just yet. But then again who knows.

Obviously, NONE of you have undergone any type RAPE or even sexual harasssment - let alone what this woman has been through. Why should the U.S. be concerned? Are You serious? WHY WOULDN'T WE BE? And you're honestly concerned that she may receive a welfare check or something from the U.S. govt? Really? That is your biggest area of concern with this? Before you cast judgements, (seems rather un-Christian like behavior by the way), Just remember this my friends, "There but for the Grace of God - go I".

Tragic, what happened to the lady but why is USA so concerned? What about all the raped women in Iraq and Afghanistan courtesy of USA soldiers? What about turning blind eye to happenings in Palestine? It is shameless of USA to do politics on such matters.

@joe i think you are absolutely correct. her bursting into the hotel might have been staged for her to eventually get USA in Libya. I bet she will go to Virginia the state of the C.I.A and when she do you will know she is definitely an agent

Great!! Another freeloader for us to takecare of. Ahe will be on welfare the second she steps foot on U.S. soil.

So much for the American warmth and kindness.

But is she Nayirah (the Kuwaiti 'princess' who told congress the false story about the 'babies ripped from their incubators') all over again?

Who is her State Department PR 'handler'?

Hill & Knowlton, Rendon Group, Neill & Co.?


So why is she being allowed into the US?

Why is this woman still in the news?

I am not sure of her claimed about being raped is true. The Gaddafi forces would just have killed her. Life in Libya is very cheap right now. Perhaps she is so well guarded and protected by whom? This must just be a public relation. We don't even know that she must be a spy for some government.


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