Gaddafi’s militia is now accused of attempting to bribe Iman al-Obaidi’s mother
The parents of a woman who claimed she was gang-raped by Libyan troops said in interviews aired Monday that their daughter is being held hostage at Moammar Gadhafi’s compound in Tripoli.
Iman al-Obeidi made headlines when she rushed distraught into a Tripoli hotel on Saturday , seeking to tell foreign reporters about her alleged rape. After showing bruises and scars she said were caused by militiamen, al-Obeidi was tackled by waitresses and government minders and hurried out of the hotel and into a car that sped away.
In interviews broadcast Monday on Al-Jazeera, al-Obeidi’s parents countered government claims that their daughter had been set free after the hotel incident and was now with a sister in the Libyan capital. They also denied allegations of a government spokesman who had said she is a prostitute.
The parents said al-Obeidi is a lawyer and that she is being held at Gadhafi’s compound in Bab Al-Aziziya in the capital. It’s unclear where the parents spoke from and Al-Jazeera did not provide their names.
“I don’t feel ashamed, instead my head is up high,” the mother told Al-Jazeera, saying her daughter “broke the barrier that no other man could break” by coming forward about her rape.
The mother says she received a phone call Monday from an unidentified caller, purportedly from the Gadhafi camp, telling her al-Obeidi is held at the Tripoli compound and asking her to instruct her daughter to change the rape claim in return for freedom and other benefits.
“Whatever you ask for, you will get: build a new house or get the money,” the mother said the caller offered.
Government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim claimed in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday that al-Obeidi was a prostitute who has been freed and is staying with her sister in Tripoli.
The government also said four men were interrogated in connection with the hotel incident, including the son of a high-ranking state official. Ibrahim said “a criminal case” was being investigated.