Libya: Reports of Rape by Qaddafi Forces
259 Women Say They Were Raped by Qaddafi's Troops
In documenting the eperiences of 70,000 refugees from Libya's civil war, Dr. Seham Sergewa discovered something shocking, even by the standards of war: hundreds of Libyan women claimed that they were raped by Muammar Gaddafi's troops.
As more and more women told Sergewa about the sexual assaults, she added an item about rape to the questionnaire distributed to the refugees. The result: 259 claims so far. (It's unclear why, on a questionnaire meant to document a refugee's experience during wartime, rape wasn't already included on the form.)
- Eman al-Obeidy: 'Gaddafi's Soldiers Raped Me'
- Eman al-Obeidi Freed, Still Harassed by Libyan Government
Rape victims in Libya are often ostracized by their families, which would prevent those victims from wanting to come forward. A Libyan army deserter backed up the women's stories, saying that he and other soldiers were told that rape would be condoned by the army. (This claim has yet to be verified).
Meanwhile, the administration in charge of rebel forces in eastern Libya has distributed rules on treatment of prisoners of war, following emerging reports that rebels have been abusing prisoners and killing foreigners accused of being Gaddafi mercenaries.