Late Night BREAKING: Eman al-Obeidi interview with Anderson Cooper

Eman al-Obeidy rushed into a hotel in Tripoli, Libya, on March 26 and told journalists she had been raped by Gadhafi loyalists.

This is breaking on Anderson Cooper tonight — Eman al-Obeidi interview with Anderson Cooper:

(CNN) — Eman al-Obeidy, the woman who went burst into a Tripoli hotel to tell journalists she was beaten and raped by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi last month, is no longer in custody but says she still fears for her life.

In two telephone interviews with CNN’s “AC360,” al-Obeidy spoke about her alleged abuse. At times in tears, at other times defiant, she recalled men pouring alcohol into her eyes and repeatedly using rifles to sodomize her. Al-Obeidy said has since been stopped trying to leave Libya and that she has nightmares.

One of the things I really appreciated about Anderson’s handling of the segment tonight is that even though he had to use the word “alleged” for the rape, torture, and abuse she told journalists of on March 26, Anderson was also very pointed in saying something to the extent of “Eman had the bruises and scars to prove it.”

Anyhow, the interview is really devastating content, so please be forewarned.

Eman’s responses to Anderson, and the details she relays of her treatment are beyond horrifying:

She told reporters she had been taken from a checkpoint east of Tripoli, held against her will for two days and raped by 15 men.

“They had my hands tied behind me and they had my legs tied and they would hit me while I was tied and bite me in my body. And they would pour alcohol in my eyes so that I would not be able to see and they would sodomize me with their rifles and they would not let us go to the bathroom. We were not allowed to eat or drink,” she told CNN’s “AC360,” speaking through a translator.

“One man would leave and another would enter. He would finish and then another man would come in,” al-Obeidy said.

She said another woman being held captive was able to untie her hands and feet, allowing al-Obeidy to escape.

I watched the interview being aired tonight, and Eman said the woman who freed her had earlier resigned herself to the raping and torture and didn’t fight back. That is how she was able to fly under the radar apparently to later free Eman.

As hard as this interview is to listen to, Eman is such a brave woman–her bravery comes through and through.

Here’s CNN’s quick overview of the new information gleaned tonight on this story:

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Eman al-Obeidy says men used rifles to sodomize her
  • NEW: She says she has tried to leave Libya, but authorities have thwarted her attempts
  • NEW: Her father begs the international community to come to his daughter’s aid
  • Al-Obeidy says she was interrogated for 72 hours after being dragged from a hotel

Anderson was able to confirm from Eman that the footage earlier alleged to be of her, where she is seen refusing the government’s demands for her to recant her allegations, is indeed her.

Also here are more details on Eman’s so-called “release”…she’s basically under house arrest as we’ve been hearing:

Al-Obeidy said she is no longer in government custody and has spent time with her sister. But she said she cannot leave the house where she is staying as officials from the police or army will pursue her.

She said that when she tries to leave the house, officials chase her down and take her to a police station. But police don’t know what to do with her since she is not charged with a crime, and she is released.

Al-Obeidy said she has been abducted by Gadhafi forces three times — the first time from the hotel, the second time when she tried to escape to Tunisia last week and a third time on Sunday. She said the abduction Sunday and accompanying threats were an effort to prevent her from taking her complaints to a police investigations unit.

Eman further said she’s already lost everything. She is not afraid:

In spite of the danger, al-Obeidy said the most important thing to her is that her voice reaches the world.

“I would like to direct a word to all the people watching us in America that we are a peaceful people and we are not members of al Qaeda. We are a simple people and moderate Muslims — not extremists — and we are not asking for anything expect for our freedom and dignity and the most basic human rights which are denied to us,” she said.

There’s more at the link, so be sure to click over.

This is just a quick post to get the info up as soon as possible. I’m trying to locate videos of Anderson’s interview with Eman, so I can put them up here–I’ll update as soon as I can find them.


17 Comments on “Late Night BREAKING: Eman al-Obeidi interview with Anderson Cooper”

  1. dakinikat says:

    It’s a relief to hear that she’s still alive!!

    • bostonboomer says:

      I know. I was afraid they would kill her if she didn’t recant. They were probably afraid to after all the media attention.

      • WomanVoter says:

        Yup, when the Gaddafi State PR spinner Ebrahim, started to lie, about her being in a ‘shelter’ or ‘a place where abused women go’, I knew he was full of BS. It was clear he didn’t even know the name of the supposed facility he was talking about nor what they were for…fantasy on his part, and was trying to dress up her captivity by Gaddafi handlers.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Thanks for posting this, Wonk. al-Obeidi gave an interview to NPR this afternoon too.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/04/04/135114911/iman-al-obeidi-every-day-i-am-beaten?sc=tw&cc=share

  3. Branjor says:

    Wow. I said it once and I’ll say it again – that is one brave woman. I’m very relieved she is still alive and I hope she will escape soon.

    • WomanVoter says:

      She broke the silence and is speaking Truth to Power, and making it clear that she was wronged/abused/tortured/and her dignity trampled upon and she is clear/resolute in that she will not be made to retract her story.

      Her story is more impressive when you become aware of the ‘re-education’ torture programs when were/are put through in the Gaddafi Regime. In other words, the women are prosecuted, not the rapists and with Eman Al Obeidie, they are having the rapists sue her. 😯 I hope she manages to get to Benghazi or to Tunisia.

  4. Here’s Eman’s interview with Free Libya TV:

    • WomanVoter says:

      Eman Al Obeidi is helping women across the Middle East to brake the silence of rape, and many will see that the ones that should be shamed are the rapists and the women who are the victims of this torture/sexual assault.

      I recall one African woman who gave testimony about rape being used as a weapon and how she endured being raped and tortured and recall that when she left the court house she felt that by speaking up, she was hopefully bring light to the suffering of all women in her country.

      Eman Al Obeidi asked for the most ‘Basic Human Rights’, and I do hope she does get her Human Rights and that her courage help others across the Middle East and all across the region. Her courage is amazing, because for many, it is the face of someone that said, it was wrong to abuse women in this manner, and she did it to save the women that are still being held.

      • WomanVoter says:

        ooops, sorry, watching her interview and most affected by her story… left out word…should have been:

        many will see that the ones that should be shamed are the rapists and NOTthe women who are the victims of this torture/sexual assault.

        I was near tears, when she was asked about the engagement ceremony… 😥 Women go threw so much…I finally understand that in her society, this was a noble act to defend her, and that she explained what that meant.

      • WomanVoter says:

        The woman is amazing, as she tried to go back to the hotel again…what courage!

  5. paper doll says:

    How is she able to get to Western media? May it continue! It’s her life line

  6. okasha says:

    This brave family is creating a new paradigm for rape survivors and their families–support, not rejection–that has the potential to improve the lives of women all over the Middle East and Africa if it spreads. The refusal to be silenced is itself a huge step forward.

  7. Fannie says:

    I so much wish that she could be plucked out of Libya. and be safe.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Here is something from this morning, maybe not new info.

  9. Peggy Sue says:

    I suspect the only reason this woman is alive is because of her public notoriety, the massive media attention her case and abuse has attracted. Hopefully, the attention will not stop or become distracted until she manages to get out of country because she could quickly become ‘disappeared.’

    Al Obeidi’s story is a brutal reminder of how rape and sexual assault is a tool of war, an ancient one at that. I found her family’s reaction very hopeful–the speaking out, the wedding ceremony they held in her behalf. They haven’t turned their backs on the story or blamed her for the abuse [too frequently the case in these countries]. They’ve supported her and pleaded her case to the world.

    Hope the press keeps the spotlight on her. That in itself is her best protection.

  10. foxyladi14 says:

    brave woman.bless her