Qatar Sends Iman Al-Obeidi Back To Libya; She Raised Rape Allegations

Jun 2, 2011
Originally published on June 2, 2011 1:19 pm

Iman al-Obeidi, the Libyan woman who to many has become a symbol of the cruelty of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime, has been deported from Qatar back to Libya.

NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, who is in Tripoli, tells our Newscast desk that U.N. officials confirm the deportation and believe Obeidi was sent to the rebel-held eastern Libyan city of Benghazi today. It isn't clear how long Obeidi had been in Qatar or exactly why she was sent to Libya.

Obeidi burst on to the cable news networks and front pages in March when she made a dramatic appearance at the Tripoli hotel where journalists are staying. In hysterics, she said she had been held for days by men loyal to Gadhafi and was repeatedly raped. Security personnel — many who had moments earlier been working as waiters or waitresses — whisked her away.

In April, when she was still in Libya, she told NPR that she feared for her life. Later that month, she told NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro that "I want my freedom. I want my family."

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