Libyan woman not deported, says rebel

June 06, 2011 - 1:00:19 am

DOHA: The raped Libyan woman, Iman Al Obeidi (pictured), was not deported by Qatar and flew to Benghazi in a plane that took relief supplies from Doha.

Al Obeidi was issued a two-week visit visa by the Qatari authorities, which was perhaps extended for another week, so she left after the expiry of the visa.

A source close to the developments involving Al Obeidi said that media reports suggesting that she was deported are ‘false.’

“Why should Qatar deport a woman it welcomed from Libya so heartily and put her in a five-star hotel here and provided her financial as well as moral support?” he argued.

“The Qatari authorities were so generous that they even brought Al Obeidi’s parents and a sister and brother with her and put them all in a five-star hotel,” the source in the rebel movement based in Doha told The Peninsula.

Qatari laws specify that a foreigner who is here on a visit visa must leave after its expiry, said the source.

“It’s quite normal for a visitor like Al Obeidi to have left after the visa expired.”

Media reports that she was beaten up are also false. “Who would beat her up and why should Qatari authorities assault her? What would be the provocation for that?,” he asked.

She flew in a plane that carried relief materials from here to Benghazi, which is a stronghold of anti-government forces in Libya and also Al Obeidi’s home town, the source claimed. So media reports that she was flown in a military aircraft are also wrong. “No commercial flights are operating to Benghazi, that was why she was flown in a plane that carried relief materials,” the source said.

He added that many Libyans who were injured in the fighting back home and were brought here for treatment, were also flown back in relief-carrying aircraft.

Asked why in the first place, Al Obeidi came to Qatar, the source said she was offered comfortable stay here, away from the place where she was gang raped by pro-government militiamen so she could get over the trauma.

Al Obeidi is not the only Libyan woman who was raped by pro-government militiaman back home. “There are more than 700 women who have fallen victim to the lust of pro-government militiamen,” the source claimed.

He said many of these women crossed over to Tunisia and returned home later, after they were able to somehow reconcile with their fate.

“So reports suggesting that Al Obeidi came here with the intention to seek refuge or asylum are also baseless. Tell me, how can refuge or asylum in another country help such a woman? And why should a woman seek refuge or asylum in another country?”

“What wrong a country does to a woman who has been raped by a bunch of criminals?” asked the source. Al Obeidi is very much in Benghazi which is under control of anti-government forces and she is quite safe there, the source claimed. The Peninsula