Regime has harassed and beaten me, says rape victim

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The Independent Online

Iman al Obeidi, the woman who burst into a Tripoli hotel ten days ago claiming that she had been raped by men loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, said yesterday that she had since been harassed and beaten several times by plain clothes police.

In the transcript of a telephone interview broadcast by the opposition TV channel "Libya", based in Qatar, Ms Obeidi – who was hustled away by security men after making her claims to foreign journalists – said she had been detained again last Saturday before being re-released on Sunday. Ms Obeidi said she had been prevented from leaving Tripoli and frequently approached by police. "They beat me up badly in the street in front of everybody and then they said 'we are very sorry it was a case of mistaken identity'," she said.

The regime has said that Ms Obeidi's claims of rape were being investigated but also that the men she had accused had also made counter-complaints that she had defamed them. Ms Obeidi said that after a meeting in the Attorney General's office, she had been "kidnapped" by men with machine guns: "They took me around the city for hours before they left me at the Criminal Investigation Department, who released me later."