UNHCR slams Qatar's move to return 'raped' Libyan woman

3rd June 2011, Comments 0 comments

The UN refugees agency on Friday slammed Qatar's decision to send back to Libya a woman who had accused Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's soldiers of having raped her.

"Yesterday's forced return of Libyan national, Iman al-Obeidi, by Qatar to Libya violates international law," said Adrian Edwards, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Edwards pointed out that Obeidi is a recognised refugee and that UNHCR officials were at the hotel where she was staying, ready to accompany her to get on to a flight for Romania.

"She was prevented from leaving for this flight in the early hours of Thursday morning, said the spokesman.

The UN agency is seeking to meet her and her family in Benghazi.

"Every effort will be made to ensure that their best interests are respected," said Edwards.

Obeidi attracted international media attention when she stormed into Tripoli's Rixos hotel on March 26, threw open her coat to reveal scars and bruises on her body to expose her ordeal.

But as she screamed: "Film me, film me, show the whole world all they did to me," she was dragged off by security guards amid scenes of mayhem as journalists were shoved aside while trying to intervene.

A Libyan rebel official told AFP last month that Obeidi had escaped from Libya to Qatar with the help of rebels.

© 2011 AFP

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