TRIPOLI (Reuters) - A Libyan woman who said she had been raped by pro-government militiamen is being sued for slander for naming her alleged attackers.
Government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said the woman, Eman al-Obaidi, faced court action because she had publicly named the men she accused of raping her.
“In Islam this is very serious when you accuse someone of a sexual crime,” said Ibrahim. “She named the accused publicly and they are suing her.”
Obaidi burst into a hotel full of foreign journalists in Tripoli Saturday and told them, weeping, that she had been held for two days and raped by 15 militiamen loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
After being intimidated and subdued by security men and hotel staff, who also beat journalists trying to interview her in the hotel restaurant, Obaidi was bundled into a car and driven away.
Her allegations have not been independently verified. The government said Sunday that Obaidi had been released and she was with her family.
Obaidi’s mother said she had been asked to convince her daughter to retract the allegations in return for her freedom and cash or a new home.
Her mother, Aisha Ahmad, told journalists she had been contacted by the authorities about her daughter and how she could be freed.
“Last night at 3, they called from Gaddafi’s compound and asked me to convince my daughter Eman to change what she said, and we will set her free immediately and you can take anything you and your children would ask for,” she said, according to Britain’s Sky News, which broadcast her interview with an English translation late Monday.
Reporting by Michael Georgy; Editing by Mark Heinrich