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