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Libyan woman claiming rape will face charges

By Hadeel Al-shalchi

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, March 29 2011 5:30 a.m. MDT

Hands from hotel employees trying to grab her, and foreign journalist attempting to protect her, surround Iman Al-Obeidi, right, who said she spent two days in detention after being arrested at a checkpoint in Tripoli, Libya, and was sexually assaulted by up to 15 men while in custody in Tripoli Saturday March 26, 2011, after storming into the hotel's breakfast room to show her wounds to foreign media. A scuffle between hotel employees, information ministry officials and plain clothe police trying to grab her and stop the press for filming on one side and foreign media representatives followed. Two cameras were smashed on the ground and at least one reporter was beaten and kicked. Al-Obeidi was later taken in a car to an undisclosed location.

Jerome Delay, Associated Press

TRIPOLI, Libya — A Libyan government spokesman says the woman who burst into a hotel to tell foreign journalists how she was gang raped by Moammar Gadhafi's troops will face criminal charges.

Moussa Ibrahim said on Tuesday the men accused by Iman al-Obeidi have filed a case against her, calling her accusations a "grave offense."

Al-Obeidi rushed distraught into a Tripoli hotel on Saturday, seeking to speak about her ordeal. She was tackled by waitresses and government minders and dragged away from the site, and has since been missing. Her parents claim she is held hostage at Gadhafi's compound in the Libyan capital.

Libyan authorities have alternately labeled al-Obeidi a drunk, a prostitute and a thief.

The Associated Press only identifies rape victims who volunteer their names.

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