Late Night BREAKING: Eman al-Obeidi interview with Anderson CooperPosted: April 4, 2011
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:
- 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.