Sent: Fri, 1 April, 2011
Subject: Libya


Last Saturday, a young woman lawyer named Iman al-Obeidi burst into a Tripoli hotel and pleaded with foreign journalists for help, showing bruises and crying that she had just been gang-raped by 15 of Qaddafi's men. She screamed as she was dragged away by Libyan agents and has not been seen since.

Words cannot express the courage Iman showed in speaking out -- and we can only imagine the terror she must be facing right now in the hands of Qaddafi's infamous thugs. Her life is in danger, but we can help, if we act fast.  

Qaddafi will ignore most international outrage, but he listened to the Turkish government when they asked him to release foreign journalists. 

We can urgently raise a massive global call to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to help save Iman.

Avaaz has launched a petition:

Sign the petition and forward this email to everyone - it will be hand-delivered by Avaaz to the Turkish consulate in Benghazi, and through ads in Turkey, as soon as 500,000 signatures are collected:  

Iman said she was stopped at a Tripoli checkpoint and detained for two days, enduring rape and beatings by 15 state security men before managing to escape. She said other women were still being held by the regime thugs.

The men who raped Iman probably thought she would never dare to openly challenge Qaddafi's terror-apparatus, or endure the shame of publicly admitting rape in a conservative society where all too often the woman is blamed for such crimes. But she has dared to break the silence that surrounds so many victims of Qaddafi's brutality and of sexual violence everywhere.

The regime has called her a prostitute and promised to charge her with defaming government forces. But Libyans have demonstrated on the streets in force to stand with Iman and support her, and Turkish influence with Qaddafi could still be enough to free her. Let's stand with Iman al-Obeidi, who dared to stand up to her tormentors and cry out for truth and justice.

Right now this brave young woman has risked everything for the values we all share, and is facing terrifying consequences. Let's do all we can to save her.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Hasanat M. Husain
Dr. Hasan Z. Rahim