Qatar sends gang-rape victim Iman al-Obeidi back to Libya “against her will”

Washington, June 3(ANI): Iman al-Obeidi, a Libyan woman who claims that she was gang-raped for two days by 15 of dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi's henchmen in Tripoli, has been deported from Qatar "against her will" and sent to the rebel-held Benghazi city in Libya, the office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has said.

According to The Washington Post, after being briefly detained by Libyan authorities, she eventually fled the country and, having been granted refugee status by the UN, was living in a hotel in Qatar while she awaited resettlement to a third country.

However, she then apparently fell out of favor with Libyan rebels now in Qatar for criticizing them.

Obaidi had been under pressure from the rebels to return to Libya for some time, and had come under fire for complaining about the lack of support she had received from the rebels and in particular from rebel official Mahmoud Shammam in Doha.

"Last evening Qatari authorities notified her she would be sent back to Benghazi by military plane. And at 6.15 a.m. Washington D.C. time, she was flown back to Benghazi with her parents," said Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR regional representative in Washington.

"She felt it was not the right time for her to go back. We are very concerned about her future, we are very concerned about her security," he added.

Cochetel said Obeidi had been deported "by force, by military personnel", despite making it "crystal clear" that she did not wanted to return.

UNHCR had sent an official to protect her, but he had not been able to prevent the deportation, he added.

Obeidi, a postgraduate law student, had attracted worldwide media attention on March 26, when she burst into the restaurant of the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli, and told the international press corps staying there that Gaddafi's government troops had detained her at a checkpoint, held her against her will for two days, beaten, and gang-raped her.

A scuffle took place in which government security forces dragged her out of the hotel and drove her to an unknown destination, using violence against journalists who tried to help her.

She was released from government detention after three days, and later in an interview, she offered graphic details of her rape and subsequent detention by government officials.

Copyright Asian News International/