With Gaddafi’s goons preventing foreign journos from leaving Tripoli’s Rixos Hotel to freely cover the unrest, one opponent of the regime did something extremely brave.
A distraught woman identifying herself as Eman al-Obeidy simply walked into the hotel as reporters were eating breakfast and began telling them she had been raped by government soldiers. And as she told her story to the rolling cameras, the government’s media “minders” showed up and bundled the woman off. Here’s CNN:
She sobbed and said she was held against her will for two days and raped by 15 men. She showed the journalists how she had been tied at her wrists and ankles. She had visible rope burns.
CNN could not independently verify al-Obeidy’s story but her injuries appeared consistent with what she said.
Government officials quickly closed in to stifle her. But she persisted, wanting the journalists, staying at the Rixos Hotel, to see Gadhafi’s brutality firsthand.
International journalists, including CNN’s staff, are not allowed to move freely in the Libyan capital and are escorted out of the hotel only on organized outings by government minders. This was the first time a Libyan opposed to Gadhafi attempted to independently approach the journalists here.
Not a good week for these minders. A few days ago, they couldn’t find any civilian casualties after coalition forces launched air strikes.